Day Seventeen

Zion National Park, UT to Zion National Park, UT
June 11th, 2009

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
Hiking the Hidden Canyon Trail
None that come to mind
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
The Bus Playlist
12 in the bus, 8 on the park shuttle, 4 on foot
Sunny and in the 80s
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
Lizards, Squirrels, Deer, Hummingbird
South Campground, Zion National Park
Springdale, UT

Daily Didactic
Today started slow and lazy in South Campground. We rose latish and decided to drive the mile into Springdale to find some breakfast. We lucked upon a great little cafe and a tasty meal. A group of older Harley riders (not a rare breed around here) looked out the window and expressed amazement that someone could drive the bus from Alaska. "What if you needed to get it worked on?" We smiled.

We made it back to camp around noon, packed a day pack, and headed to the Visitor Center to figure out the day's hike. We were still interested in Angel's Landing, but a little wary of the "last half mile" of chains on cliffs. Fortunately for us it had gotten to be a little late in the day for a couple of pale Alaskans to spend four hours in direct sunlight. This forced us to look for a shorter hike and we settled on the Hidden Canyon Trail. This hike was only about four miles round trip if we added some slot canyon exploration at the end, and was marked "strenuous". We boarded the shuttle, got off at the Weeping Wall stop and began the series of switchbacks to the fork in the trail that leads to the "hidden canyon". From the fork we climbed some great old Civilian Conservation Corps steps to a part of the trail that was just a two or three foot ledge wrapping around a high curved cliff face. When the trail sloped toward the cliff you were on your own, when it sloped away you got a chain bolted to the cliff to hold on to. It was exhilarating. Where the cliff wall ended the slot canyon began, and we hiked another chunk of a mile up it before turning around and reversing the trail back to the parking lot.

From the parking lot we took a quick trail up to the Weeping Wall hanging gardens. The vegetation growing out of the wall was interesting, but the water falling down off of them was great. After this quick distraction, we jumped the shuttle back to the Zion Human History Museum, poked around briefly and then walked back to the campground. We convinced ourselves that we had earned a dinner in town and headed back to Springdale for some pasta. Finally, we wrapped up the evening taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity. Star Trek the movie, digital, on an Imax screen. National Parks, we love them.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

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The bus, happy in the simplicity of South Campground Brian trying to understand his hiking options
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Shuttle road shot Shuttle interior shot
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There is something we missed here or it was a pretty long two mile trail This helps
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Brian, poised Pretty flowers
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The trail to the Hidden Canyon cutoff Good old fashioned CCC steps
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Apparently, this is what they mean by drop-offs Occasionally they gave us a chain to grasp on to
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Looking back at the trail up Maintained, unmaintained, it really didn't change that much
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Theresa scrambling More fun Zion rock
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A free standing, if not monumental, arch When you've got sandstone, your signage options increase
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Butterfly Theresa testing the chains
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Looking across at the West Rim, with the Organ in the foreground Pretty lizard
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Weeping Wall hanging gardens That water falling was cold and refreshing
The East Temple, behind the Museum

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