The Mysterious Southwest
Mukuntuweap, known as “straight up land” by the Piaute people. We know it as Zion National Park, which offers the most exquisite views and off the wall hiking. We checked in to the Watchman Campground which is inside the National Park. The campground offered electricity, bathrooms, and easy access to Zion trails. Our site was located next to the virgin river were we frequently saw deer and river toads. After setting up base camp we packed our day packs and went out to explore.
Hike One: “The Emerald Pools”
This expedition included family team members Malia, Leilani, Sherri, and myself. We began by taking a short shuttle ride to an easy starting hike at the Emerald Pools. The pools were located on the cliff shelf's far back on the canyon wall. The pools were like the name emerald green with hanging desert terrace gardens. We hiked to the upper pools and then on down to the lower pools via “The Grotto” trail and then out through the lower emerald pools trail. The hike took about two hours.
Hike Two: “The Watchman”
Rising early and hiking the Watchman trail was the plan for a couple of us. The hike winded through the canyons and then to switchback which led to an amazing overlook where we watched the morning sun cast on the opposite canyon walls.
Hike Three: “Narrows”
We met up with the rest of a team after the watchman trail and went to Zion Outfitters. The outfitters supplied us with all the right gear for a canyoneering expedition to the Narrows. We got the winter package which included a walking stick, dry bibs, canyoneering boots, and neoprene socks. We took the shuttle to the very end stop, “The Temple of Sinawava". From there its about a mile to the entrance of the Narrows.
The entrance to the narrows was magnificent we were stunned in admiration of the magnitude these rock walls cast. We wandered up stream, through narrow passages and waded in water chest deep sometimes. The light kept going and we had mad it to our marker for the hike which was “House Rock”. Then we turned back for the 3-hour hike back to the shuttle.
Thanks for reading, be on the look out for the second half of this blog.