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Utah Day 5: Zion

sunny 102 °F

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Zion National Park had been closed for a while, and now requires that guests register for a spot on a tram. It is relatively crowded compared to the other places we have visited, which is a bit scary with the virus still out there. However, it seemed that almost everyone was wearing masks (including us) and that the hikes took us to less populated areas.
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The danger of flash flooding in slot canyons was low, so we felt that it was safe to hike (we actually avoided the real slot canyon of The Narrows, and only went to the river walk).
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The tram (modified to carry fewer people and require social distancing, and with all windows open) carried us into the canyon. The park is not designed for a lot of cars, and there are few places to park within the canyon, so we had to do all of our hiking from the bus stops.
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The river walk was an easier hike, but it leads to the Narrows, which are as the name describes a narrow slot canyon. We walked along the easy section of the river. The canyon feels similar to Sedona: we felt like Sedona is what would happen if someone built a city in the middle of Zion National Park.
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There is actually a lot of swampy land alongside the river. Catherine hoped it wouldn't be porous like bogs and sinkholes tend to be.
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A couple pictures of us during the hike. There were a lot of very bold and interested squirrels who kept trying to get to our bags and showed great interest in any water bottles or food that we had out. Though they reminded Catherine of Flora, we successfully avoided them and got them to go away.
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We finished our hike and then took the tram to one of the stops, with the intention of hiking from that stop to the lodge along the grotto trail. Anthony was interested in hiking more than that, but Catherine and Katie were not. Daniel and Anthony went across the street to a trail that crossed a bridge, and then just followed the trail...
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...which began to climb.
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In fact, it climbed quite a bit until we were high above the canyon. The trail was beautiful and the view of the canyon below was amazing. There were only a few other groups along this trail.
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We referred to this canyon as Owl Canyon because of this sign, but looking online we found that it is actually called Refrigerator Canyon because of the cold winds that blow through it. We met a group of hikers coming down who explained that it was the hike to Angel's Landing, one of the most famous hikes in Zion National Park. Apparently it was formerly called the Temple of Aeolus, after the god who kept the winds in Greek mythology. They said we were about twenty minutes from the top, but we had promised Catherine and Katie that we would be down by 6:30, so we didn't have the time to continue up the mountain, so we turned around.
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The way down. We met with Catherine and Katie back at the bus stop and decided to continue the hike to the lodge.
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The "grotto hike" to the lodge mostly followed the road. It was easy and beautiful.
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This statue of a ringtail cat reminded us of Flora.
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There was one loop that was open to drive, and so we drove around the park to the degree we were allowed and saw a lot of interesting sights, including the famous tunnel.
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Right outside the park is a brewery called Zion Brewpub. We had a dinner there, which was delicious. We had a very full day at the park, and it was an amazing thing to see on this trip.

Posted by danielcatherine 16:04 Archived in USA Tagged river wind mask tram zion refrigerator owl angel's_landing ringtail aeolus social_distance

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Comments

I think you deserved that desert after that beautiful hike. It looks like the trails were very well maintained.

by chief

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