Recollections, reviews, discoveries, and future plans.
The photo below was taken about 15 minutes before the sun sank below the rim of the canyon walls. We started running in order to make as much progress as we could before it got dark. The backpacker running in the green shirt is Ryan, he grew up near Zion and was showing me around. Further in the distance you can barely see my friend Christine, she lives near Zion and we had been trying to coordinate this trip for about 3 years.
Last summer I decided to take a trip to Utah to explore Zion National Park. Over the years I had seen a lot of photos of Zion and decided that I needed to check it out in person. My original plan was to head out there in 2011 during a 4,000 mile solo road trip I was doing around the southwestern part of the U.S. Unfortunately I didn't have quite enough time to make it there and had to postpone. Finally at the end of May 2014 I had a bit of free time so I packed up my Saab wagon and drove from San Diego, CA to Saint George, UT. After about 6 and half hours I arrived, grabbed dinner, and met with a few locals I had befriended. The first day there I went on a solo hike to Three Ponds in Snow Canyon State Park. It was the beginning of June in the Utah desert so there definitely wasn't any snow in Snow Canyon and the 3 ponds turned out to be one small pool of stagnant water which was covered in dead flies. This was not the most pleasant thing to discover after trekking a few miles through really fine sand in 113°F/45°C heat.
A few days later I met with my new local friends and went to Zion. We did about a 5 mile hike in the morning that took us around one of the other parts of the park and then we headed to the Narrows after. I have to say The Narrows was definitely one of the most enjoyable hikes I've done. Not only is the terrain amazing, but hiking through the cool water in the shade while it's 100+ degrees out makes things much more pleasant. We probably hiked in about 3 miles and didn't start heading back until the sun was setting. Being in a canyon after dark was an interesting experience because it was pitch black, luckily I came prepared with my Petzl Headlamp. The downside to the headlamp was that it attracted a ton of Mayflies that started to circle my head so I eventually just used the headlamp like a regular flashlight.