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Friday, February 18, 2011

Zion National Park, Utah - Canyon Overlook

Last week Holly and I took a trip to Zion National Park in Utah to do a little hiking and to explore a little of what the park has to offer.  We first flew in to Vegas on Thursday night (2.10.2011) to spend the night at the MGM having dinner @ Fiamma Trattoria & Bar and to watch KÀ by Cirque du Soleil.  Both were great and I'll have pics of the Vegas trip posted later, but for the purpose of this post I'll focus on our Zion experience. 

On the morning of Friday 2.11.2011 (My Birthday) we left for Zion which is roughly about a 2 1/2 hour drive from the Vegas Strip.  Due to Vegas being Vegas, we hit the road a little later than expected.  We had also forgotten about the hour time difference between Nevada and Utah, so after making a quick stop in St. George to have a late breakfast @ Cracker Barrel (which was pretty freagin grubbing btw) we found ourselves not getting to Zion until about 3:30ish in the afternoon which was a few hours later then we had hoped for.  At the time we got into the park we only had about 2 hours or so before sunset so we decided to get one of the easier hikes in to get the legs going and to get a little sample of the park.  We decided on the Canyon Over Look Trail which was a short 1 mile hike up to one of the classic veiws of the canyon.  To get there we had to drive through this long dark tunnel that is lit only by the day light coming through 3 windows that are carved into the the side of the cliff.  It was definitely interesting.

Canyon Overlook Observation Point, Zion National Park, Utah
The sun at the time we started our hike was pretty harsh for pictures and it casted a pretty big shadow on the valley once we got to the observation point so I wasn't able to snap that many great shots, but the ones that I did take are posted here:  Zion National Park, Utah - Part I.

The hike was quick, probably only taking about an hour or so round trip including the time hanging out at the observation point.  It was a pretty easy hike with some exposed cliffs, but definitely doable for those that are not avid hikers. 

Sun setting on the Red Rocks in Zion
After our hike we decided to take a quick drive around the park to scope out where we would start off the following day.  While we were driving  I thought it was cool the way the sun was setting on the rocks.  It made them look like they were glowing.I tried to capture it with the picture to the right.

The next day we were planning on starting off with the Angel's Landing trail which is one of the most famous and thrilling hikes in the national park system.  The hike includes exposed cliffs, narrow drop offs, and the last 1/2 mile is a narrow rock fin with about a 1500 ft drop.  There is a chain embedded in the side of the cliff that is needed to aid hike.  I'll have pics posted of this hike and the other's we took in my next post.  For the conclusion of our 1st day at Zion we capped it off with some Pizza and beer at the Zion Pizza & Noodle.  The pizza was decent and I was surprised to see that they even make beer in Utah, but the micro beer was actually pretty good there. 

Stay tuned for the next post, because I definitely was able to get some better pictures on the second day. 

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