The heat of Zion

I was up at the crack of the morning to undertake the trip up to Zion. By the time I neared the park I saw I wasn’t the only one who had thought to go explore Zion. I wasn’t even one of the few. I ditched my car on the first parking spot I saw (free) and took the shuttle to the park entrance. I got a National Park Pass in the Grand Canyon, so for 80 dollars I can visit all National Parks this year! It saved me this time as well, because the line for tickets was enormous. Luckily a woman next to me started shouting “Everybody with a park pass this way!” and I swiftly got through. Then, of course, there was a line for the shuttle into the park. There are several trails you can walk in the park and they all have different starting points. I had half decided which path I wanted to walk, but I didn’t feel like waiting half an hour for a shuttle so I walked the first part. It was an easy trail.

With the map in hand I meanwhile learned that there were three trail levels: easy, moderate and strenuous. Unfortunatly, two of the trails I was thinking about were labeled strenouos and one took four, and the other eight hours. Maybe I could walk the four hour path, I was early after all. Let’s start by seeing what “easy” and “moderate” mean exactly.

There was a path going to the Emerald Pools which started out as easy and got harder the higher you got. I have to say that the first part was already quite heavy, but I also wanted to see the Upper Pools, so up I went.

Bloody hell what a climb. When I finally reached to top sweat was streaming from my everywhere. It didn’t help that the temperature was rising by now. I started wondering if I would be able to do the strenuous path to Angels Landing. Luckily I found the river that runs through the canyon so I could stick my feet in the cool water for a while.

But now what? I think it was about 30ºC/86ºF by then and that’s not mild when you still have to struggle uphill. From a friendly hiker I heard that the trail to Angels Landing actually took 40 minutes and the rest was just waiting in line. You could however, also go left and climb a similar rise that nobody visited. Well then, I should still be able to walk 40 minutes. I started up with sun beating down, but after a few bends I realized that this really wasn’t going to work. I was quite overheated. Even though at first I wanted to try again later, after an hour I’d had enough. I’m less heat resistant than I thought…

Time to leave the heat and head to San Francisco!

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