Monday, October 13, 2008

Desert Destination: Zion National Park in the Rain

Every Monday we visit a desert destination.
Zion National Park is one of my favorite places, with its soaring sandstone walls, secret creeks, challenging canyons, and variety of vegetation. My brother Ed came out for a visit, and we took time to discover some of the beauties.

The view from Angel's Landing is spectacular, with the Virgin River far below, curving around the rock outcrop. The hike up to Angel's Landing is also spectacular, as you cling to chains drilled into the rock so that you don't plunge 1,500 feet to your death. I didn't manage to get photos of that clinging part--I was too busy making sure I wasn't plunging! 

Here's Ed, all relaxed. Notice the clouds building in the background. We had originally planned to go canyoneering that day, but the weather forecast was for certain rain, so we decided to stay out of slot canyons and avoid flash floods. The morning was beautiful, though, and we made the most of it by hiking.

Here I am. In the background you can see a couple different layers of rock, red and white, and the far-reaching canyon that extends as far as the eye can see. Because those canyons are so long, it can be sunny where you are and raining upstream. That rain can cause a flash flood into your sun-drenched spot without much warning.

This is the West Rim trail, a scenic area without the crowds on Angel's Landing. The sky looked quite blue behind Ed. But before we got down to the trailhead, the skies let loose, and we were drenched. Then the fun began.

We watched water cascading over sandstone in places we never thought saw water. The water twisted and turned, forming rivulets and then roaring streams of dirty water.

The number of waterfalls was amazing. Some poured nearly one hundred feet off the rocks above.

We were supposed to come out of one of these canyons, so we were really glad that we had played it safe. Besides, the views of all these waterfalls made for a one-of-a-kind experience.

We were even able to get nearly underneath a couple waterfalls.

This is a waterfall at the Emerald Pools.

Don't expect this sight if you go visit Zion. Nevertheless, there is always water around, it's just usually at the bottom of the cliffs, rather than pouring over it!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos!

GAA

The Incredible Woody said...

What a wonderful trip! I have always wanted to do the hike to Angel's Landing - maybe one day. Sounds like you made a very wise decision to stay out of the slots!!

Caroline said...

Such beauty! I want to go see those waterfalls in person. You are a wonderful photographer....
~Caroline

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