Moments & Misadventures :: Frozen Zion

It was a perfect day to hike around Zion National Park with my friends Emily and Candice. We had spent the night before in St. George and got up early so we could be some of the firsts at the park. Because we only had the one day at the park we were determined to get in as much as we could.

Winter is always a great time to visit Zion because there are so few people. The air was crisp and cool as we set out. With the first morning rays hitting the beautiful red rocks, we knew we were in for a great day of hiking.

We drove up the winding road and through the tunnel with cut outs in the side overlooking the park. We made our way to the top, most popular trail which would take us to the overlook.

We started our hike along the trail over and around the rocks. This trail is listed as a moderate trail because of the exposed rock to walk on and the parts that have a railing to hang on to.

We were surprised to see icicles hanging from the rock face and small spots of ice on the trail. Our decision to get their early paid us off with having the trail and the vistas completely to ourselves going up. Everywhere we looked we were amazed at the incredible geological wonders that makes up the park.

The view that awaited us at the end of the trail was absolutely stunning. We looked out over the park, completely surrounded by the natural beauty of the rocks and sky, and thought we may never leave. So much beauty stretching out endlessly in front of us stopped us still and turned all focus inward as we got lost in our own thoughts.

We made our way back down the trail, this time having to pause and wait for the many groups of people that were hiking up towards the overlook. Again we were glad that we had gotten there so early. We drove back down to the main area of the park and took the other road leading up towards where a collection of other trails waited for us. Normally, there are masses of shuttle buses driving masses of visitors up to various trailheads. We decided on the Kayiente Trail which would take us to a waterfall. This trail is another moderate trail much like the one from the morning.

We hiked next to the rocks and along small pathways. This from this trail you can see two waterfalls, the lower one and the higher one. And we were on our way to the higher one.

It was such a beautiful hike being right next to the red rocks. And then we came to the waterfall. While the water was still running over the rocks, the splash of the water at the bottom and the pool beneath were frozen giving an incredible contrast between the red rock and the frosted ice. The effect was beautiful and ethereal.

We were quiet as we went back down the trail. One day in Zion was just not enough time to really see all that we wanted to do. But we had managed a couple of incredible hikes and a walk along the river on our way back to the car.

Our day at Zion was both exhilarating and peaceful at the same time. We wished we would have had more time to spend there and to do more of the many trails that are there. But the real world called to us pricking our sense of the responsibilities waiting for us at home. But we went back to the real world feeling more grounded and accomplished and ready to face whatever was waiting for us. Spending a cold winter day at Zion is a good remedy for whatever is troubling your soul and we couldn’t wait to go back again.

17 responses to “Moments & Misadventures :: Frozen Zion”

  1. A great hike Meg, even by your standards. The more I see of these rocky national parks the more Sladja and I want to spend an extended amount of time in the U.S. Love the juxtaposition of the rocks, sky and skeletal trees.

    • Oh I hope you make it out to the Rocky Mountains – I really think you and Sladja would love the parks there! And if you have an extended amount of time there you can see so many parks because they are all relatively close to each other. I will tell you though to give yourself a couple of days before you hit the trails and drink a lot of water because the elevation change can be really hard on you.

  2. The colours of those rocks are beautiful Meg and the waterfall is stunning, great day to spend with friends, you are so full energy

    • No crowds is always a plus at the parks. I think winter is the best time to visit southern Utah because you can do so many more trails and not have to get stuck behind the massive tour buses everywhere.

    • Thank you, it was a really fun day with them. I think you would really enjoy hiking through the national parks of Utah 🙂 But if you decide to go- don’t go in the summer. Between the heat and the crowds it kind of takes the fun out of it a little bit.

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