Also high on the list of Zion's incredible backpacking trips is the East and West Rim Trails. Zion is not lacking in day hikes either. Angels Landing stands out in the multitude of unique Southwest trails. Few hikes anywhere can compare with the thrill of walking along the narrow fin of sandstone, eye level with some of the worlds tallest monoliths.
Heading over to hoodoo country, the parks in this region host some fascinating trails. Cedar Breaks, Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon put on a breathtaking show as hikers wind through mazes of fairyland castles.
On the way to Cedar Breaks get out and stretch your legs on the short and scenic Cascade Falls Trail in Dixie National Forest. Nearby, another short hike in the forest culminates at the oldest living organism on earth, the Bristlecone Pine Trees.
The Grand Staircase-Escalante has its share of hiking adventures. Bull Valley Gorge is a magnificent slot canyon all by itself, but combined with Sheep Creek and Willis Creek, its a slot canyon lover's dream. The colorful, sculpted walls of Bull Valley Gorge and Willis Creek are ideal for photography.
Top off your trip at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon where eroded and sloping walls give a magnificent view of the river below. An emerald green glow shimmers as raging white water bursts with energy from the Unkar Delta. The air is brisk and fresh at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the views are as exhilarating as the clean air. The North Rim offers above the rim backpacking, as well as the strenuous North Kaibab corridor trail, that drops below the rim and leads to the Colorado River. Be sure to visit Point Sublime. The name fits! It's the best view in the Grand Canyon next to the view at Toroweap. Toroweap is the lowest viewpoint in the Grand Canyon, but the 3000' sheer unfenced cliff gives even those with no fear of heights an uneasy feeling when they step out to the edge to see the Colorado River flowing below.
Not to be forgotten are the unique Wahweap Hoodoos near Big Water. These delicate, towering white pillars seem as if they might wash away with the next storm. Nearby is a gallery of twisted formations of stone resembling deformed pillars, cones, mushrooms and other odd creations forming "The Wave". Deposits of iron claim some of the responsibility for the unique blending of color twisted in the rock, creating a dramatic rainbow of pastel yellows, pinks and reds in Paria Canyon.
By Bo & Tanya
Authors of the hike of the month
article published in the
St. George Today Magazine