Adventure in Zion National Park, relaxing at Kolob Reservoir

Zion Canyon is one of the most impressive places we have ever seen, but you can’t compare it with other National Parks we’ve been before. Plenty of people recommended us this place, because there is not just hiking there. Zion belongs to the top five Parks in US referring to the number of visitors. That must be true, because it is really too crowded in that little Canyon.

When we entered close to 3:00 pm there was no way to get a campsite at the two campgrounds in the park. So we paid too much for one night in Springdale. Next morning we wanted to do the Narrows at the Virgin River. So we rented the recommended wet shoes and a hiking stick. If you really need them depends on, how far you hike up from the bottom.

So we got up at 5:15 in the morning and drove to the South Campground with first-come-first-serve. At 5:40 we were the 11th in the line waiting and at 7:00 am they started to remit campsites. We had enough time for breakfast and to prepare for the hike. Hundreds of people were waiting for the shuttle when we arrived at the bus station at 7:45. Three quarter an hour waiting in the line and the same time driving to the Temple of Sinawawa, the entrance of the Narrows. When we passed our campground about 40 cars were waiting for a site. Crazy!

We were a bit fed up with the crowd, but when we entered this narrowed canyon all our expectations became true and we nearly forgot the hundreds of people. At some parts the river is only 10 feet wide and the red walls are 1500 feet high. After the canyon junction the guys got less and less and it became more fun. It was usual to get wrest deep in water and once breast deep, but it wasn’t so cold. The only challenge was to keep the backpack with the camera dry. After the end of Wall Street we returned, took a little bath in the pools of the Orderville Canyon and went back to our campsite. That was a fun moderate daytrip!

Peppi booked a canyoneering tour for the next day. So he started with two ex-army men and the guide at 7:30 from the agency going to the slot canyons near the southwest entrance. It was really challenging for Peppi, because the last time he did was five years ago. You can’t compare it with indoor climbing and it is a bit scaring when you are not used to rope down 100 feet. But he really enjoyed! Something to add? Two rattle snakes on the path and a gorgeous view from the top of the cliffs!

Next morning we got up at 6:30 to hike the strenuous Angels Landing Trail with only 5.4 miles (8,7 km) length, but with 1488 ft (453m) elevation. Nothing for anyone who is fearful of heights, because there is narrow steep ridge to the summit! Same procedure like two days before: 7:30 at the shuttle, waiting half an hour, going to the trailhead, start at 9:15. There are less people on trail in the morning and it’s not so hot yet.

We usually hike fast, probably too fast that day! When we reached a bit done at the top, we realized that it was one the best hikes we’ve ever had. Awesome 360°-view from the high cliffs into the canyon! You usually hike it in 3 ½ – 4 hours, we did it in 2 ¼ with a longer break. It was too early to get back to the campground, so we continued at the Kayenta Trail to the Lower Emerald Pool. Now it was enough!

At groceries we filled up our storage for three days, took a shower, relaxed a bit, talked over hours with Stefan, a German guy who works for three years in US, and cooked a delicious chili. Sounds like a busy day! 😉 Next day we climbed up the Kolob Terrace Road with our van to the free Lava Point Campground with elevation of 8400 feet. We enjoyed the cooler conditions at this sea level. It became the brightest night and there was no moon that day. Never seen the stars and the Milky Way in such a deep clearness! Gorgeous!

Next morning we bought a fishing license and went to the close Kolob Reservoir Lake. All places around the lake are free for camping. We’ve never expected that it is so nice there. So we spent three days with fishing, reading books, learning Spanish, writing blog and just relaxing. For dinner we prepared droughts and were glad to live from the groceries we bought two days before.

 

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