This year’s Memorial Day road trip debate was between: Big Sur, Mexico, Yosemite, and Zion. After weighing the pros and cons (looking at pictures), it was an obvious choice… “Pack yo bags baby, we’re goin’ to Zion!” We left on Friday around noon, 7 ½ hours and a few playlists later we arrived. It was sunset, or it should have been, but the stupid rainy weather nixed it. Oh well. We woke up super early the next day, hoping to beat some of the foot traffic. We did – practically having the Emerald Pools hike to ourselves. The waterfalls combined with the early morning mist were incredible. (At one point, we just closed our eyes and listened to the sounds of the water falling from the canyon and bouncing off the rocks in the shallow pools below. It was incredible.)
We spent the rest of the day driving through the park, making a few stops along the way to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. It was cool, but the pink was more orangey than pink... maybe it was caused by all the recent rain. But it was all good, the drive through the rock tunnels and scenic viewing points totally made it worth it.
The next day we got our gear for the Narrows – a gorge with Canyon walls towering over 1,000 feet on both sides and the Virgin River running through it. Armed with a walking stick and water boots, we made the trek upriver. We went upstream for a few hours before turning back. The water was flowing pretty strong, and reached above our waist at times. It was definitely one of the coolest outdoor adventures we’ve ever done. The Narrows took up most of the day, but we did do the last 1.5 mile hike to the visitor center that afternoon, just to get one last look at the natural wonder that surrounded us. We spent the night making new friends in the hot tub at our hotel, the Hampton. Surrounded by gorgeous views and located just a mile from the park, it was the perfect spot to hang our hat after a long day of hiking. We highly recommend it!
All-in-all, Zion was more incredible than we could have ever imagined. We’ll definitely be back to explore not just Zion, but the rest of the national parks tucked away in Utah.
Jake & Carley
[words by Jake and pictures by Carley]