Monday, November 05, 2007

Zion NP hiking

I only hiked 2 trails in Zion this year. I wanted to avoid crowds and I wanted to go to areas I hadn't been previously. I hiked the Lee Pass Trail, from the Kolob Canyons area and the Hop Valley trail from the Kolob Terrace road. Both trails were easy to follow and well marked.

I hiked about 4 miles into the the Lee Pass trailhead, I went a bit past the first camp area. This was a beautiful trail with lots of varying scenery. I wanted to continue hiking but remembered I had to climb up out of the valley floor on my way out and didn't want to wish I had stopped sooner. Basically the trail leaves the road and descends into the valley along Timber Creek which was dry. On my way down I met 2 hikers going up, sweating and breathing heavily. Once in the valley the trail winds along with the creek for a few miles. I did not see any larger animals but saw tracks probably of bighorn sheep. This trail wasn't crowded but I did met or was passed by several hikers. It was a beautiful day and the warm breeze after about 10am making for a great hike.

The next day (9 October) I went up the Kolob Terrace road and hiked a ways along the Hop valley trail which connects with the Lee Pass although I did not get even close to the the trail connection either time. I would have also liked to see Kolob Arch but wasn't able to go that far in a day. I didn't see anyone else on this trail which was as far as I went flatter than the Lee Pass. Sagebrush and rabbitbrush and probably other types of brush were blooming and quite abundant making my allergies act up. I gave up after about 3 miles because even with antihistamines, I could barely see. I must go back in the spring, there were several other trailheads on the Terrace I wanted to explore.

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