Zion National Park

Featured Photo Gallery: Dayhiking Across Zion

You may think the idea of a 50-mile dayhike across Zion National Park is too far past sane for your taste–or that it sounds like a bit of inspired genius. Either way, this gallery of photos from a north-south traverse of Zion may inspire you to dayhike, trail run, or backpack all or part of it, and spring is an …

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Mid-Life Crisis: Hiking 50 Miles Across Zion In a Day

By Michael Lanza

La Verkin Creek, swollen and bellowing with spring snowmelt, charges past us like a stampeding herd of bison—with a force and noise level that can make a reasonable person question the wisdom of stepping into its path. Deep in the Kolob Canyons in the northwest corner of Utah’s Zion National Park, it’s tearing enough dirt from its banks to turn the water muddy brown, making it impossible for us to gauge its depth. The pitch-darkness of shortly after 5 a.m. doesn’t help in that regard, either.

We need to get to the other side.

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Woman and two young children backpacking the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park.

Pilgrimage Across Zion: Traversing a park of Otherworldly Scenery

By Michael Lanza

At the Lee Pass Trailhead in the northwest corner of southern Utah’s Zion National Park, a strong, chilling wind blasts us with air that feels more Canadian Rockies than canyon country. It’s noon on the first day of October, and while the air temperature hovers around 50° F here at just over 6,000 feet, and the sun beams down warmly from a bulletproof blue sky, we’re dressed in pants and fleece jackets.

It’s not quite what I’d expected after tracking Zion’s weather for the past week from home: Up until a few days ago, the highs were hitting the 80s up here and topping 90° F in Zion Canyon, about 2,000 feet lower than this rim. But it’s hard to worry much about wind when you’re staring at an extended forecast for sunshine and the kind of scenery greeting us at the trailhead. Fanned out before us like a royal flush of diamonds is an array of 700-foot, red and orange cliffs forming one end of the finger-like Kolob Canyons. The red hues contrast starkly against the strip of greenery tracing the stream channel in the canyon bottom and the yellow in some leaves still clinging to trees.

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