Last year, in September 2014, I visited Zion National Park for the first time. My goal was to hike Angel’s Landing and do the 12-hour Zion Narrows top-down hike. I was really excited because I was looking at all the cool pictures on google images and knew I was on my way to my first epic hiking trip and road trip outside of Canada.
Karen and I decided to book our flight from Bellingham WA, just a one-hour drive from Vancouver, and fly using Allegiant air to go to Las Vegas. Once we reached Las Vegas, the original plan was to do a road trip to Zion National Park, then to Bryce Canyon, then to the Grand Canyon, then South to Sedona Arizona then back to Las Vegas and fly back home from there.
Unfortunately, we realized we overbooked too many activities on our trip and realized, that sadly, we needed to cut out the Grand Canyon and Sedona from our trip.
From the counsel of a co-worker of mine who used to live in Flagstaff Arizona, he said we HAVE to go to Bryce Canyon. That’s when we finally decided to go to Zion National Park, hike Angel’s Landing, drive/hike Bryce Canyon, drive back to Zion National Park and hike the Zion Narrows top-down then finally drive back to Las Vegas to go shopping at the outlet and explore the city for a bit before flying back home.
Life never turns out the way you plan it and so a tropical storm hit Las Vegas, Utah and Arizona. Las Vegas was actually really cold when we arrive and we didn’t bring any jackets because we expected it to be super hot. The next day, we drove to Zion National Park –an awesome and beautiful drive by the way– and realized that there was a storm and flash flood warning meaning we cannot hike Angel’s landing. My girlfriend was really exhausted anyway so we ended up just staying in as we watched the insane downpour outside our motel (Zion Park Motel, the cheapest motel we can find in the area).
The very next day, we decided to try our luck with Bryce Canyon and drove there instead. The rain was intense and you could barely see anything. The drive through Zion National Park was stunning despite the bad weather and we managed to reach Tropic Utah where we planned to stay for the night. We checked in at Bybee’s Stepping Stone motel which turned out to be a pretty good place to stay despite the pictures online. The only thing I didn’t like about Tropic Utah was that it was a Mormon town (I have nothing against Mormons) and everyone kept staring at me and my girlfriend and giving us that suspicious look when we went to buy a poncho at a local store to protect us from the rainstorm. I was joking with my girlfriend that they will crucify us in the middle of the night!
After buying the poncho, the rain completely stopped and the sky cleared with nice sunshine…(why does this always happen?) We then drove to Bryce Canyon National Park to explore the area.
I’ve got to say, the Bryce Canyon hike is stunning! I felt like I was in ancient biblical times. It was great! Highly recommended for everyone to see it at least once in their life. The hike isn’t too difficult but still a little challenging and the view is just amazing!
After Bryce Canyon, we retreated back to the motel in Tropic, UT and prepared to head back to Zion National Park to try hiking Angel’s Landing and the Zion Narrows once again.
The next morning, it turns out that the huge storm caused mudslides and flash floods in Zion National Park and they actually closed the entire place when we were in Bryce Canyon. We were unsure if we would be able to make it back but thankfully, they reopened the park the very next day.
Upon arriving at Zion National Park, we went and hiked Angel’s Landing right away. The hike itself was good but very dangerous and steep! You can easily fall off the cliff and it was extra dangerous because there were so many people. We didn’t up finish the last part of the hike because my girlfriend was shaking in fear so I decided we should just turn back and check out the Zion Narrows.
After Angel’s Landing, we rested for a bit and went to check out the Zion Narrows. I’ve got to say, there is definitely a reason why they said the Narrows is one of the top 10 hikes you must do before you die. It is that EPIC and we barely scratched the surface! At first, I was apprehensive to hike in the water because it was really muddy as a result of the flash flood. After hiking in the water, you eventually get used to it and it’s really fun! I am going back here again in two weeks because I want to experience hiking top-down this time around and see the entire Narrows in its entirety.
The drive back to Las Vegas was also epic because some of the high going back to Las Vegas was destroyed and we had to take a detour through the Valley of Fire National Park. That was a fun experience. The Valley of Fire National Park is pretty neat but of course, it doesn’t compare to Zion National Park.
I will definitely go back to this place…actually, I am going back in two weeks so stay tuned for more pictures and videos of the upcoming trip!