Our Second Day in Zion – The Canyons from Within

April 20, 2012

The Trail into Echo Canyon, April 19, 2012

(Zion National Park, April 19, 2012) Our second day in Zion takes us up into the canyons we saw yesterday from on high. The hike is the same – we still need to climb 1,200 feet or so to get there, but instead of views downward toward the Virgin River, we walk into a canyon that towers above us on both sides. So much for us hiking nearly to the top of Zion; that’s an option for those of us who want to see the canyon from Observation Point, 700 feet higher than Angel’s Landing.

Our immediate destination is Echo Canyon, a place where wind and water have carved intricate patterns into the sandstone walls beside us. They’re beautiful, and looking up at them is a different kind of inspiration.

Mary Ellen and Doug Bates

Today is also about choices. Marcia has given us an open schedule, and if we want to choose any of three different trails, they lie before us, each promising its own reward. I chose Echo Canyon.

Donna Clark at the base of Hidden Canyon Trail

When I arrived, a half-dozen other participants were already there, enjoying the views and more insights from Keith about how our little world had formed.

Road Scholars along the Virgin River

 

Our afternoon hike led us up the canyon along the Virgin River, named, as legend has it, because “it runs just fast enough.” The rapids are still too fast to attempt The Narrows, a trail that eventually requires hikers to walk in the water as they climb. We’re fine with the views, and with another spectacular day in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

At dinner, we bid Zion a fond farewell as we contemplate what Bryce Canyon will bring, with its floor equal to the ceiling of Observation Point, a place that towers 2,200 feet over the Virgin River.

Zion Canyon at Sunset

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