Hannah and I began our third day in Zion National Park with a run up the Watchman Trail.
The steady ascent around Bridge Mountain afforded some spectacular views, but hopping on and over the rocks required that we maintain a decent focus on our footing as well.I’ll never forget running just ahead of the morning sun’s illumination, its rays sliding steady at our heels as we ran out a side canyon to join “the guys” for our day’s hiking…
The trio Emerald Pools (with water!) gained unanimous approval. Decision made; we dashed outside, hopped a shuttle bus and rode toward our next trailhead.
We made a photo stop at Court of the Patriarchs, named for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of the Old Testament. After a short uphill stroll, we easily attained the promised photographic vantage point. This “trail” is touted as the “you do this and you can say you hiked Zion” trail by the shuttle bus drivers (of which our favorite was the smooth-toned and knowledgeable Daniel).
The trail to the Emerald Pools began further up the road and across the river from Zion Lodge. It was hot. Current drought conditions rendered waterfalls a mere trickle of their normal flow. But we were somewhat acclimated now and knew that keeping hydrated was the key to a good hike…
We favored the Lower and Upper pools over the Middle “puddle” and enjoyed endless views, dainty foliage and a deer or two as we hiked to our favorite Upper Emerald Pool. Preservation efforts eliminated our normal splashing, but we found a picnic spot downstream where we could cool ourselves before the hike back down.
And at trail’s end? Ice cream on the patio at the venerable Zion Lodge…
Zion National Park (Utah)
Canyons and cliffs in vibrant “rainbow” colors!
Hike and climb your way through rivers, slot canyons and up radical cliffs for a “view” in every direction…
Springdale, UT 84767-1099
Park Hours: Daily (except December 25); call for seasonal hours.
Entrance Fee (valid for 7 days): $25.00/private vehicle; $12.00/bicycle, motorcycle, pedestrian($25.00 family cap) Annual Pass available