Last summer, we spent a week hiking the exceptionally beautiful terrain of Zion National Park and trails surrounding Kenab, Utah. Blessed with awesome local friends who double as amazing guides – the hikes undoubtedly ranked as some of the most beautiful US sights we’ve seen.
I instantly fell in love with the rich reds of the native soil. Not having the same rainbow of color or dimension in the Midwest, I was in awe of the land that surrounded us. Naturally, I gathered dirt to commemorate it all.
Our hike to the top of Observation Point in Zion National Park was one for the books. Early on, Aaron and I exploded at each other. The busy crowds, too-warm buses and lack of morning snacking lead to some pretty strong arguments at the start of the trail. Of course, there’s nothing like a few hours of steep upward climbing to reset things.
At the top, we soaked up the breeze with our crew. Bobbling about, we snapped photos at the edge of the cliff and looked out onto the valley below. Sitting in the warm sun, we devoured sandwiches. The red dirt under our feet popped against the wide green valley in every direction.
The fast walk from the trailhead was a blur. Too warm. Too long. After our journey to Angel’s Landing the day before, my sluggish legs didn’t seem to move fast enough for the rest of the crew. Soon, we were winding through canyons. The smooth red walls shot into the sky – bending and twisting as they danced into the rich blue above.
We traipsed deeper and deeper still. Rocks. Sand. Mud. Sand. Every turn was more picturesque than the last. We paused for photos all along the way, then rushed to catch up before pausing once again.
The trails were quiet – unlike our days in Zion. We had the wilderness to ourselves and a beautiful day that was ours alone.
The bright white sand that rose out of The Narrows was unexpected against the reds and browns we’d seen all along our way through Utah. The final day of hiking too us down the long riverbed through Zion National Park. Once again, we were weaving through canyons – this time with hip-deep water hiding bulging rocks and dips in the trail.
The cool water was a welcomed retreat from the warm days we’d had previously. We ate our lunchtime sandwiches along a shore – escaping the resistance of the water against our legs. Sitting quietly on a rock, I watched swarms of hikers continue up the river – ducking behind the canyon walls and boulders that dotted its middle.
The sun shined in – bouncing off the water and burning at our faces. The big sticks we’d rented were helpful for staying upright, but cumbersome on the uneven river floor. Many times, I crash landed with a face full of water – laughing at what had to have been an amusing sight.