Zion Travel Journal
The dry desert air, the red rocky alien landscapes and the smell of campfire lingering in the valley from dusk until dawn. It’s great to be back in Utah and this time to a new part of the state (for me at least), Washington County. This part of the Utah is well known as the home to Zion National Park, tourists from all around the world have Zion high up on their bucket list, and for a good reason!
Zion and the surrounding area is famous for its world class hiking, canyoneering, horse riding, biking and many other outdoor activities. I was excited to spend some time outdoors in an environment very foreign to me and to challenge myself with some new experiences over the two nights and three days I spent there.
My partner and some friends joined us on this trip and we made ourselves right at home in these beautiful canvas tents at Zion Under Canvas. Think of it as semi-luxury camping or ‘glamping’. We spent our first evening huddled around the communal campfires eating s’mores with a glass of wine before firing up the stove in the tent and crawling into bed ready for an early start.
A 6am wake up to catch the sunrise at 6:30 then on the road for a short drive with Zion Adventure Company to a nearby canyon for a half day canyoneering adventure. Most of us had never been canyoneering before so it was exciting to learn something new and expanding on rope and rappelling techniques that I already knew from climbing. The guides at ZAC are the perfect balance of fun, safe and knowledgeable and they showed us a great time exploring slot canyons, cracks and rappelling off enormous cliffs. Be sure to wear rock pants if you plan on doing this, synthetic pants tear easily sliding between rocks as I learned. Helmets, harnesses and good times are all provided by the staff.
We returned to camp, freshened up, then @patricklevesque and I headed into Hurricane to find some food. We came across River Rock Roasting Co and refuelled on smoothies, pizza and coffee. It’s a great little spot not too far from the camp but be sure to get there early, it’s popular. After our stomachs were full we drove the hour long journey to Snow Canyon State Park and met up with the rest of the group at a trailhead.
The 7.6 kilometre (4.7 mile) round trip hike took us out to Snow Canyon Overlook and back and was roughly an hour in and forty minutes back out. We hiked up to the highest ridge to capture the golden light over the canyon before it set in the distance and we had to start the journey back. Be sure to pack a headlamp for this trail if you go for sunset, the trail is very rocky! My favourite thing about this trail is that we had it all to ourselves and there was a lot to explore at the end of the trail. We grabbed a bite to eat at 11pm on the way through St. George and fell asleep as soon as our heads hit our pillows back at camp… our alarms set for 4:15am.
After a few hours of sleep we were up again and this time driving out to the Yant Flat trailhead, about 80 minutes away from the camp on a very bumpy road. Be sure to have AWD or a 4x4 vehicle if you’re wanting to explore this area. A thirty minute hike took us to one of the most beautiful and surreal landscapes I’ve ever seen. The rock formations were colourful and almost like we were on a different planet. We spent over an hour walking around taking photos, munching on energy bars and taking in the view.
After hiking out we regrouped at the campground, showered, packed up all of our gear and said goodbye to our friends. We stopped off for coffee and a burrito at River Rock Roasting Co one last time then made our way out to the airport to catch a midday flight home to Vancouver.
This post was written in partnership with Travel Mindset. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own and always will be!