Andrew traveled to Zion National Park in July 2016. We asked him for his thoughts on the park, and here is what he wrote. You can learn about Andrew here.
1. What was the most memorable part of your visit to Zion National Park?
My most memorable part was “Walter’s Wiggles.” The “wiggles” are a number of switchbacks on the West Rim Trail leading up to Scout Lookout. They help hikers climb up the last few hundred yards before resting at the Lookout. This is the last stop for hikers before they head up to Angels Landing (which is optional-the view is worth it even if you don’t go to Angels Landing).
2. Did you see any wildlife? If so, what types?
In Zion Canyon, I saw a few deer and lots of lizards. Near the east entrance, I saw quite a few desert bighorn sheep resting in the rocks above the road.
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3. Can you describe your favorite hike at Zion National Park?
My favorite hike in Zion was The Narrows hike. The Narrows is a hike up the Virgin River for as many miles as you want before turning around. The water was cold at the beginning, but once I started hiking I got used to it. The river rock was challenging at times, and a few times I lost my balance! While I was hiking, we saw rock climbers hiking up the sides of the rock. I also saw someone dressed up as Jack Sparrow, so keep your eye out! I also liked how there were lots of curves in the river, and it was always neat to see what was around each and every turn. This was definitely one of my all-time favorite hikes in my life (so far)!
4. What was the level of difficulty of this hike (on a scale of 1 to 10)? Why?
I would rate this as a 3 because it was fairly flat (so not too difficult) but it was rock and the cold took a little time to get used to.
5. What is the one “must have” product that you would recommend when visiting this park? Why?
I would recommend three products. When hiking in The Narrows, you want to make sure and protect your phone with an iPhone dry case.
You also want to rent or buy a hiking pole from one of the local outfitters to help you keep your balance.
Finally, a dry bag for anything you want to keep dry (like your lunch or camera) can also be useful. This one is really useful and rated well by thousands of people.
6. Do you have any other comments or suggestions for Zion National Park?
I would recommend staying at the Desert Pearl Inn if you have kids. There is a great pool, big rooms and it is right next to the Virgin River which is shallow enough to play in when you are hot in the middle of the day.
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