So I’ve decided to go ahead and reblog in entirety my 2010 spring break trip to Las Vegas/California/Utah. It’s more of an exercise for myself in blogging than anything else. I also want to share the pictures I took during the trip because the original blog posts from March-April 2010 don’t have any. More and more people seem to be reading my blog and if possible, I want this blog to be something readers come back to.

We spent 2 days exploring Zion National Park. Before this trip, I had never heard of this place and I was unaware that southern Utah was filled with so much natural beauty. Zion National Park is actually a 15 mile long canyon and home to a very diverse flora and fauna. The canyon was discovered by white Mormon settlers in 1858 but it had been used by the Native American tribes centuries prior. The canyon was designated a national park in 1919 and was named Zion, which is another name for Jerusalem in ancient Hebrew.

The park is a popular place for hiking, rock climbing, and horse back riding. There is one lodge in the park where visitors can stay, but other than that, hotels and motels are located outside of the canyon.

On our first day, we opted for the Emerald Pool trail hike. It was a mildly challenging hike which took us past a lot of waterfalls and offered incredible views of the canyon. The Emerald Pools turned out to be a series of muddy green shallow pools at the top of a series of waterfalls. They were kind of disappointing, since “Emerald Pools” sounds like something you’d find in the Wizard of Oz; the name is definitely misleading. I remember Mom was freaking out during the hike because of the sheer drop during part of the hike; however I don’t remember us being that high up. As you can see by the following pictures, the canyon reminded me of my elementary school science textbooks. There was always some incredible picture of a moose or a bear posing in a majestic looking canyon but in the back of my mind I didn’t actually think those places existed in the United States.

one of the views during the Emerald Pools trail hike

warning!

this is one of the Emerald Pools… less impressive than the name.

some local wildlife

one of the many waterfalls during the hike

a very muddy trail! Oh and that’s my dad further up the trail.

The second day we started off with an easy trail, the Riverside Walk. The trail is flat and as the name suggests, it follows the river. I don’t have many pictures from this trail but it was  a very pleasant hike.

ooooh water!

beautiful butterfly

We then decided to go for a harder trail. So we picked the Watchman Trail. The hike started down by the river and then made its way slowly towards the mesa ledge which provided incredible views of the canyon. The sheer drop made Mom nervous again but I have to admit, there were a couple of hairy sections where even I got nervous. There were very few people hiking this trail, compared to the Emerald Pools the day before. It was nice getting away from the crowds.

at the top of the mesa on the Watchman Trail

I love how the different colors blend together on the rocks.

a lizard

my dad thought this was an “artsy” picture.

Yours truly conquering the mountain.

And yes the above picture is really me. I don’t usually post pictures of friends and family but I’m far enough away and I’m wearing sunglasses.

Our last hike in Zion was the Weeping Rock trail which reminded me of something you would find in a Disney movie/princess story. The short but strenuous hike takes you up to a large rock that has water continuously trickling down it (not exactly a waterfall).

Weeping Rock

And as we left Zion National Park, we were treated to a spectacle of mountain goats chomping on some bushes on the side of the road. And there were some babies too.

On the way back to our hotel, we spotted some mule deer on the side of the road. So naturally I took some pictures.

As you can see, there was quite a lot of snow at our hotel which was located 8 miles outside of Zion because it was at a higher elevation.

I really loved Zion and I can’t wait go back someday. The name suits the park–it has a mystical, ethereal quality to it.