Category Archives: Recreation and Sports

Tips For When Visiting Utah’s Zion National Park

Zion National Park covers 229 square miles in Southern Utah and it is widely regarded as one of the best travel destinations in the entire state, especially for those that love the outdoors. While most people think about something simpler and more luxurious, like cabin rentals in Utah, many are now interested in having a vacation that revolves around nature.

Zion National Park is around 160 miles away from Las Vegas and 300 from Salt Lake City. Its history is really long with establishments being present for those that came to the area. You surely want to make the most possible from the visit so if this is the case, here are some great tips that will help you to get away from the high crowds that often appear and have a more memorable getaway.

Hike The Narrows

Those that feel particularly adventurous and that do not mind if they get wet should seriously consider hiking The Narrows. This is, just as the name implies, Zion Canyon’s narrowest section. The Virgin River is often just around 20 or 30 feet wide in numerous parts. This may not seem special but on the sides there are rock walls that go as high as thousands of feet. You want to just go for shorter walks if you are just interested in the sights but many actually spend hours here as they travel upstream. Just remember that rocks are very slippery and the water is quite cold.

Visit The Emerald Pools

Zion National Park’s Emerald Pools can be reached through 3 trails. They have varying difficulty levels and lengths. The Lower path is 1.2 miles round trip, the Middle Pools trail is 2 miles round trip with wide sidewalks and the Upper Pool trail is 2.5 miles round trip. This last one is made out of sand and uneven rock surfaces.

You can choose to visit a pool or all the 3 pools. However, remember that you are not allowed to touch the water. This is because the National Park Service is working hard right now to restore the natural beauty of these pools.

Go Rock Climbing

Zion has numerous 2,000-foot high sandstone cliffs that are renowned around the world for the huge big wall climbs that are available. These are rare and very popular among the experienced climbers. Those that are not experienced should not actually consider this because of the high difficulty level.

In the park you can also consider enjoying some bouldering. Two main areas are available, both accessible from the south entrance. During summers heat is high so it is recommended to enjoy this between March and May or September and November. Do not climb when rain just hit as the sandstone becomes weaker. You want to talk with the park rangers to see if there are cliff closures you have to know about.

Consider Canyoneering

Canyoneering is a really interesting activity that combines problem-solving, hiking, swimming and rappelling. The sport is quite fun and it can be experienced in full glamour at Zion National Park. You can be really experienced or just a first-timer and still have a wonderful experience. You can explore so many different places in the park and play all the games you would want.

Visit Angels Landing

This is not a place for those that are afraid of heights. If you are not and can go through a pretty challenging hike, Angels Landing should be visited. This is basically a 4 hour hike that takes you through an elevation of 1,400 feet, all in 5 miles. There are many long drop-offs and a narrow ridge when you reach the summit.  Once you manage to reach the top, you will not regret it since the views are incredible. Just look online for some pictures taken there and you can instantly realize what you could be seeing.

Follow The Rangers

The rangers in Zion National Park now offer different programs that help people to make the most of their time between April and November. A highlight that should be considered is the 2 hour daily shuttle tour that takes you through various parts of the park while a park ranger narrates the experience. This shuttle tour is quite popular though so you do want to plan ahead. Seats are now limited but the great thing is that reservations are completely free. Also, the reservations need to be made at the visitor center, in-person. You cannot do so online or call ahead.

The Open-Air Tram

This is another great way to see the Zion National Park. You can be a part of a scenic drive narrated tram tour. This is closed to the private vehicles if during the busy season, which is April to October. The drive is around 70 minutes long and takes place in an open-air tram. You get close to Virgin River and will receive personal headsets that guarantee the narration will be fully heard.

Final Thoughts

Utah’s Zion National Park is one of the most impressive travel destinations in the state. It offers so much more than what many visitors expect so do be sure that you allow yourself more time to experience the various different activities that are available, including those that were mentioned above. You can surely find something that you are going to appreciate, all based on personal preferences. Just take the time you need to plan your experience and enjoy Zion.

Watch Out For The New Boracay

Image credit: People’s Tonight editorial cartoon for July 11, 2018; and NVT for the drawing

The closure of the Philippine resort island of Boracay (in Malay, Aklan), one of the nation’s major tourist destinations, was set for six months starting April 26, 2018 as part of the government’s efforts at the island’s environmental rehabilitation. Wikipedia

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