Wednesday – July 1
The Narrows earns its reputation as one of the most amazing hikes in the U.S. The kids are kids. They expire quickly on hikes. But I knew we were in good shape when Weston asked, “Is there more to go?” When I said there was, he exclaimed, “YES!” Most of it is in water. Some of it is on sandy ground, but they preferred staying in the river. There are pools to swim in, places where you wade waste deep (depending on river flow could be much higher), and towering canyon walls. It is a hike that beckons you to look around the next corner. We ended up hiking 5 miles round trip, taking us to the beginning of Wall Street, where the walls narrow considerably. I think an overnight backpacking trip through the narrows has been added to my bucket list.
Itinerary – The Narrows
Thursday – July 2
Zion may be one of our favorite parks. I got to hike the Canyon Overlook trail today. Breathtaking views of the canyon. There is a beauty here you can’t find anywhere else. And right in the middle of it is the refreshing Virgin River. It is easy to get to from Virgin, UT. You have a beautiful gateway town in Springdale. You can hike and get all nasty, then jump in the river to cool off. There aren’t too many places with this type of diversity. Plus, they’ve restricted automobile access past a certain point, which cuts back on traffic congestion. One of the more surprising things about Zion is how busy it is. There are TONS of people in Zion. If I were to come back, I’d try May. Hopefully it wouldn’t feel like Hell.
There are surprises everywhere in National Parks. You really don’t know what you are going to experience around the next corner. We wanted to take the Zion Tunnel (built in 1930) up to the Canyon Overlook trail. I knew it was 1.1 miles long. I didn’t realize its pitch black in there. I also didn’t know about the great arch. And I certainly didn’t know I was bout to meet up with some Desert Big Horn Sheep. After reaching the overlook, I hiked back to Jennifer and the kids. Getting our packs together, we heard some rock falling. I just assumed it was loose rock. We looked down and there was a family of Sheep climbing up the mountain. This was the last animal I really wanted to see on our trip. When we got back to the truck, we were still in shock we saw them. Then out of the blue, they emerged up above us as we waited in line to go back through the tunnel. Absolutely amazing!!
Itinerary – Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, Canyon Overlook Trail
Friday – July 3
Today we drove from Virgin, UT to Bryce Canyon City. Its a whole new world! Cool. 80’s. Drops into the 50’s at night. What a welcome reprieve from all of the heat!
Route: Virgin, UT to Bryce Canyon City
Campground: Ruby’s Inn Campground
Time: Left 8:15 MT. Arrived 1:30 MT 4Hrs 45 Mins – Got stuck in traffic from a truck overturned carrying bottles of water. Ironically it caught fire.