Zion and Bryce Canyon
After spending some time with Megan’s grandpa and his wife Lynda (thanks for having us Bill and Lynda and for the amazing BBQ, and endless BBQ discussions) we were headed to Utah to spend some time in Zion and Bryce Canyon.
On the way to Zion we made a quick stop at the Horseshoe Bend, a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River near Page, and arrived in Zion at night.
Zion - The Narrows
First thing in the morning we rented canyoneering shoes, neoprene shoes and hiking sticks from Zion Adventure Company, took the park shuttle to the last stop and started our hike in the Narrows. The first section of the hike is a paved walkway alongside the river and we saw some elk on the side of the trail. After a mile you enter the riverbed and the Narrows begin. We weren’t sure if we’d really need the rental equipment, but after a few hundred feet of wading in the river we were really glad that we got it. The landscape in the Narrows is spectacular and we made it to the first landmark, Mystery Canyon Falls, pretty quickly. The next few miles had a lot of bigger sandbanks so we rarely had to walk in the river for long periods of time and had a good pace until we reached Wall Street. At that junction the canyon narrows even further and we were walking in the river most of the time enjoying spectacular views. We made it to the end of Wall Street a little after 11am and decided to have an early lunch. Shortly after lunch it started to rain on the way back. The rain changed all the colors in the canyon and really brought out the greens. It was also a bit scary because the equipment rental company warned us about flash flood potential so we picked up the pace to not get caught in Wall Street should a flash flood happen–Megan practically ran out of there.
Zion - Angels Landing
This hike was on the bucket list for Markus and is one of the most famous hikes in Zion. The first two miles up to Scout Lookout are pretty easy through nice, paved switchbacks. After that the steep climb up to Angels Landing begins with 1000 ft drops on both sides. At the halfway point Megan’s slight fear of heights went into overdrive and she decided to call it quits and wait while Markus pushed on to the top. The views are spectacular the entire way up and on from the top where you have a panorama over Zion Canyon. Luckily we made it down the climbing section before it started to rain again.
After spending the night in Zion we drove to Bryce Canyon the next morning and took the shuttle into the park. After enjoying the view from Bryce Point we had a nice short hike through the Bryce Amphitheater by combining the Navajo Loop Trail, the Peek-A-Boo Trail and the Queen’s Garden Trail into one big loop. Afterwards we picked up our car and stopped by some of the other vista points in the park. We stayed the night in a small town outside of Bryce Canyon where you could pick up a free Book of Mormon at all of the establishments.