The heaviest items in your pack should be food and water. The heat, as well as the steep trails this area offers, will sap your energy, and you need to stay well hydrated and well fed. Salty snacks and water or sports drinks should be consumed on any hike lasting longer than 30 minutes. (Remember this mantra: No food = No fuel = No fun.)
Hiking & Trail Safety
Wear broken-in and sturdy shoes that have good traction. (A note of caution: Because many of the Rocky Mountain’s hikes have steep ascents and descents, often your heels and toes will get particularly pressed. Make sure your shoes fit properly and that you bring along some blister care and other first aid while hiking.)
Altitude sickness isn’t so much a simple function of altitude, says Tod Schimelpfenig, the Curriculum Director of Wilderness Medicine Institute in Lander, WY. It is more a function of a rapid change from lower to higher altitude — the quicker and the greater altitude gain in the transition, the worse the symptoms.
Yes, You Can Drown in a Desert
In such a dry climate as Zion National Park, drowning is not the most obvious way a visitor might die, but it happens. Flash floods are no joke. A thunderstorm can dump an astonishing amount of water in just minutes, and it all has to go somewhere. If the rain falls on rock, then little is absorbed by dirt, and the rest runs swiftly downstream. Park officials say that flash floods can occur at any time, but are more common in mid-summer and early fall.
Beware Heat Stress
Visitors don’t always understand the need to avoid the heat of the day, which is why dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and hyponatremia (low sodium blood level) can put a damper on activities, or even send visitors to the hospital. Take a mid-day break to avoid the heat of the day and save yourself from heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other medical problems.
Top Ten Things to do in Zion Park
Zion possesses one of the areas richest treasure troves for intrepid explorers willing to match their wits, their legs and their fingers against Mother Nature.
There are tens of thousands of ruins, artifacts, petroglyphs and pictographs throughout the region. One of the most fun things you can do is find an ancient artifact on your own.
These geological phenomena are formed through a deceivingly simple process of erosion. Water percolates through the cracks in the rock, and in the winter it freezes and expands, cracking and carving bits and pieces of the rock into natural arches.
Varied ranger-led programs are meant to inspire and educate visitors of Zion National Park. These varied programs can feature film, slides, and other forms of presentation.
The Narrows are easily accessed by everyone. The hike begins at Temple of Sinawava, then winds along the paved pathway of Riverside Walk to the beginning of the area where the canyon walls narrow.
Utah has some amazing animal populations– big cats, buffalo, bears, and more. With a little persistence you can catch a glimpse of many of Utah’s native residents.
With switchbacks, slickrock and sweeping views with seasonal waterfalls, the approach has numerous spots where you can pull off the road for a better view or to take a short hike, encapsulating many of the highlights seen elsewhere in this most scenic of areas.
Utah is know for its striking scenery, but Zion stands above the rest. With breathtaking waterfalls, towering cliffs, narrow canyons and numerous water features, it is hard to image a place more beautiful.
The Southwest is dotted with small museums set up by an individual or a small group who really wanted to tell people about something. These mini-gems of museums are worth the time and money.
With 15 miles of trails through coral-colored Navajo sandstone interspersed with snow white cliffs, dark lava flows and bright red sand dunes, the five-mile Snow Canyon Park draws rock climbers, photographers, spelunkers, RVers and hikers.