There are many beautiful places on the Earth, and Zion National Park in Utah is one of the best. There is something about the contrast of the red rock with the green vegetation that takes my breath away.
Because of all this beauty, Zion is a popular Park for visitors. In the year 2000, Zion started using a mandatory bus system to shuttle visitors along Zion Canyon Drive. This system is in effect from March through November.
Hint: The bus system is easy to use, as there are only two separate routes. The first bus route is from the nearby town of Springdale to the Zion Park Visitor’s Center. The second is from the Visitor’s Center along Zion Canyon Drive. Both buses are free to ride, and stop to pick up visitors every few minutes.
There are nine stops along the Zion Canyon Drive bus route. At each stop, visitors can get off the bus to explore the beauties around them. Greg and I decided to take one day and hike from bus stop #7, Weeping Rock.
We started with the longest hike in the morning before it got hot. It is called Observation Point, and is 8 miles roundtrip. It climbs through Echo Canyon.
It started out as a fairly easy climb. Doesn’t Greg look rested and energetic?
We unexpectedly saw this cute deer along the trail!
The hike to the top covers all sorts of different terrain. Here is a view down a slot canyon.
Sometimes the trail went right through the slot!
Parts of the hike were out in the sun.
And parts were a nice shady walk with the canyon walls on either side of us.
I love how Greg always carries the backpack with water for me!
Getting near the top it was quite hot and sunny, so I paused in the shade of this wall.
At the very end there is a little dip back down to the point. I was so excited to finally get there!
And we are rewarded with the magnificent view!
We found a US Geological Survey Marker right on the top of the point.
On our way back to the trail we spied a snake hidden in the brush!
Hidden Canyon Trail
We still had some energy left after Observation Point, so we decided to try Hidden Canyon Trail. It is 2.5 miles round trip.
We stopped for a snack in the shade before heading up.
The first part was a nice walk. We found random ferns growing from the rock walls.
And then more and more ferns!
It was a sunny afternoon, so this was the perfect shady hike.
We saw some fun rock formations, like this arch!
As we kept walking and walking up the canyon, we would come to these spots that seemed impassable. But we kept going, scrambling up the rocks!
Some of the rocks were like huge stairs. The tree limbs at the bottom were to help us shimmy up the giant rocks.
Made it up to the top!
Finally our thighs could take no more. We turned around and went back out the way we had come in. There were some steep drop offs on this hike. Good I’m not afraid of heights!
Finally we made it back to the bus stop. We were super tired after our full day of hiking, but decided we could handle just one more small walk. The hike to Weeping Rock is only .4 miles roundtrip, but it may have been the hardest part of the day, just to keep going!
At the end of the short trail is an overhang, from which water runs continuously. The trail is behind the running water, so you look out at the majesty from behind the water. The effect is cool!
Zion National Park has many more fun hikes, most of which are easier than the two difficult ones we picked. Because of the strenuous nature of these hikes, as well as the drop-offs, I wouldn’t take young children. Weeping Rock, however, is perfect for children.
The best part of hiking is being out in the beautiful world with so many amazing sights all around us! Have you ever hiked in Zion National Park? What is your favorite?