Friday, April 13, 2012

Zion National Park

We left the Grand Canyon in the afternoon to drive to Zion National Park.  On the way, we stopped at Lake Powell.  We finally arrived in Zion National Park very late at night. Zion National Park is located in the state of Utah. Utah is Mountain Time which is one hour ahead of Pacific Time. Zion National Park is a rocky steep park. North of Zion Park, rain falls on the 11,000 high Colorado Plateau races downhill, creates the Virgin River, which then forms the beautiful Zion Park. The rocks at Zion are red and have white and brown streaks going down on the rocks.    At Zion you are at the bottom of the park and are looking up at the tall steep rocks.  In the Grand Canyon, you are high up looking down at the gorgeous giant canyon below.  

We woke up early in the morning and took a shuttle to our first hike that day.  Our first hike was to reach the three Emerald Pools.  We first went to the Lower Emerald Pool and there was a beautiful water fall.  It was very hot and it felt really nice as the water from the waterfall rained down on us. After the Lower Emerald pools we went to the middle pools. There wasn’t much water at the Middle Emerald Pool because the snow has not yet melted to create a large pool of water.  We were so hot and we all soaked ourselves before we went to the Upper Emerald Pools. On the way we saw two huge boulders that were on either side of each other.  The rocks were called the Refrigerator Rock because it was big and cold.    The pool at the Upper Emerald Pool was very big and my siblings and I took off our shoes and splashed in the pool.  The water was very cold, about 30 F. After getting wet in the pool, we had lunch on the rocks near the water.  After lunch we trekked up the steep trails and back to the start of our hike.  We were all extremely hot, and my dad bought us ice cream. I got a delicious peach smoothie. 

Lower Pool

Middle Pool

Upper Pool

Refrigerator Rock


When everyone was cooled down we went on another hike alongside the Virgin River that created Zion Park.  The river goes very fast in some places, while in other it is slower with a lot of rocks.  At the end of the mile long hike, we came to where the trail ended and the only way forward was through the river. Many hikers had special suits and walked on through the river. It is an extremely difficult hike and the water in some places is 5 feet tall. We didn’t hike any further, and just took off our shoes and jumped on the rocks in the river, and sometimes falling in. It was so much fun in the river!  We didn’t bring swimsuits so we just jumped in with our clothes on!   It was so hot that we dried off right away.  My feet were numb after wading in the frigid water.  
Playing in the Virgin River

After the hike, we went back to our RV and got ready to go to our next destination, Bryce Canyon.  On the way out of the Zion Park we went through long tunnels made into the mountains. It was very dark in the spooky! 

 What is your favorite vacation spot?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hiking the Grand Canyon

Over spring break, I went on a road trip vacation to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon. We drove in a Recreational Vehicle (RV) Our first stop on the trip was to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  It took us two days to get there!  We spent two days in the Grand Canyon.  The first day we went around the rim of the canyon.  The next day, we woke up really early in the morning and prepared to hike down the gorgeous steep canyon.  The Grand Canyon is in the desert, so if you don’t start hiking early in the morning you will have no shade on the way.  We took a shuttle bus to the top of the trail named South Kaibab.  There, we filled up our water bottles in the special spring water station. It is meant to reduce the amount of plastic that gets thrown away. There are many different types of trails in this canyon. We chose a moderate day hike of 3 miles round trip to Cedar Ridge, which should take someone 2-4 hours.

 The descent was easy, and my siblings and I started off running.  We left early in the morning and most of the trail was shady. Along the way we stopped at the Ooh Aah Point to enjoy the view. The view was spectacular, and we all went ooh and aah when we saw it. We then continued our downward hike until Cedar Ridge. It is a large ridge that has views of the entire canyon. On the way down we saw different boulders and it fascinated me!  Rocks on the steep canyon were red and the path was covered in red dust.  At Cedar Ridge we took a break to have lunch. There were many squirrels who came right up to us thinking that we had food.  Many people feed the squirrels so they like people and go around begging for food.   It is against the law to feed the squirrels, and we didn’t feed them. The ridge had a railing, and we got on top to play on it.  It took us one hour running to get down to Cedar Ridge.  

After resting and eating lunch, it was time to go back up.  On the way back it was very hot and there was little shade, and it took us 2 hours to trek all the way back up. When we finished the hike we realized that all of the red dust got on our shoes and clothes.  We came back all dirty!  After hiking we rewarded ourselves with ice cream at the village.  It was the best ice cream I ever had.  That afternoon we left to go to our next stop, Zion National Park. 

What was the most beautiful place that you