Posts tagged ‘utah’
Never heard of Canyonlands National Park? Consider it our little secret. It has all of the incredible red rock views that you’d expect from the Grand Canyon, along with more room to explore, but without the crowds.
The park is divided into four unique regions that showcase the rivers, hoodoos, and of course, the canyons of the region. Located in the southeastern section of Utah, this park is close to Arches National Park. During the summer, expect high temperatures to peak near 100 or sometimes above. Better hiking weather can be had in spring and fall, while the winter often blankets the region in a light snow. Canyonlands National Park is also part of the Grand Circle region of parks and sites, which also includes Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Zion National Parks.
One of the most challenging and most interesting hikes in the United States can be found in the amazing Narrows section of Zion National Park. In the southwestern portion of the state of Utah, in appearance, Zion is a long, forested canyon, with the beautiful Virgin River running through the middle. As the river gets slimmer in parts of the canyon, the walls also get closer together. This is where the challenge of hiking the Narrows becomes so difficult and interesting. The Narrows aren’t accessible during the entire year. You’ll have to stop by the Visitor’s Center to see if the current conditions are acceptable for hiking, which usually occurs in the late summer months as the river becomes less active and forceful.
Be prepared on your hike up the narrows, as you’ll
need a good set of Outdoor Water Hiking Shoes to get you through the canyon. The deeper you progress into the canyon, the slimmer the crevice becomes (at some points being only 30 feet wide!). Expect to swim short distances where the water becomes deep (you thought I was kidding about those challenges?). You’ll be rewarded with the stunning scenery that the Narrows offers, and an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience you can look back on and be proud of.
Wondering what else you might need for the trip? Here’s a few things that are necessary and useful:
- Sea to Summit SN240 Ultra-Light Siliconized Cordura Pack Cover
- Pentax Optio W60 Waterproof 10MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Zoom (Ocean Blue)
- Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottles
- Hammers HP5 Anti-Shock Hiking Pole with Compass & Thermometer
In 2005, I was lucky enough to stay overnight in Zion. Right outside the park in Springdale, there are a number of beautiful accomodations in the midst of the canyon, and right outside the gate of the park. Only one hotel is within the park boundaries, a rustic lodge that’s been open since the early 1900’s. Here’s a list of recommended hotels in Zion, like the Cliffrose Lodge and Bumbleberry Inn.