Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Trip to Zions National Park

I got to spend this whole last weekend with my beautiful cousins. We all grew up together, we were each other's best friends, and we still are.

We went hiking down in Zions National Park in Utah. It was probably the best hiking trip I've been on (so far).  

We started out with our almost four-hour drive. Listening to all the good music and packed into the car. That's how road trips go. 

Once we got there, picked up our cousin Ashley, and got camp set up, we headed out on our first hike. We decided to do Emerald Pools.

Usually, these pools look a beautiful greenish color. When we went, it was getting dark and a little overcast so you can't see that green color very well. But this reflection is still very pretty. 
Emerald pools is a very easy, quick hike. There are several different pools you can go to as well. 

The temperature was very comfortable. It was nice a warm but not at all hot. 

We went back to camp and had dinner. Tin foil dinners. They were yummy and perfect to refuel us. We went to a little tourist town just outside of Zions for some ice cream. 

This was the yummiest ice cream ever. I don't think it was just because it was hot outside. I got cookie dough and a scoop called candy bar swirl. Holy smokes, I wish I remember the name of the store so I could tell you to go if you're ever there. But I forgot, so you'll just have to try them all until you find it. 

We went back to camp, had a little campfire and called it a night. We wanted to get up early the next morning to get in as much hiking as possible. And we were all pretty tired from the drive down.

In the morning, we got up and ready, ate breakfast and took down camp. I'm so glad we got to camp even if it was just for one night.  (As a side note: camping alone is so much different than camping with kids. Even though camping all together is fun.)

We wanted to do the Narrows this day, but there was a 40% chance of flash flooding so we decided we'd better not. It would have been really fun to do the narrows, and I'm sure sometime we will, but it's not worth risking the safety when there are flash flood warnings. 

The first hike we went on was Weeping Rock. This is another really short, easy hike. It's kind of a cool view too. 

I wish you could see a little better from this picture, if you look close you can tell that it looks like it's raining. That's why they call this hike weeping rock. That's not actual rain, it's water coming from the rock. Kinda cool huh?

Then we went on Observation Point This hike is not super hard, but it's longer and harder than the other hikes we went on. At first, you have some steepish switch backs. Nothing too challenging, the path is paved at that point. Then you start to get into some canyons. That's when the hike got really pretty. 

This is the top of all the switchbacks

The trail overlooked this drop-off. If you're hiking anywhere with a slot canyon, like this, please be smart! Stay on the trail.  Slot canyons can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. 

There was a little place in this hike that you could drop down into a little bowl area and walk around a little bit. This is me and my cousin looking into the drop down. Look at how beautiful the sky is!

This is probably my favorite part of this hike. I'm honestly not sure why. I just thought it was a cool little passage. You come out from this spot and see this: 

It's suddenly super open. Again, the sky was so pretty. We didn't make it all the way to the overlook. Not because we wimped out. We just wanted to get to some other stuff too.  We only had about a mile and a half to two miles to go. 

So we got back on the tram and headed to see the narrows. It hadn't been rainy at all, and even if we weren't planning on hiking it, we wanted to check it out. 

This is the entrance to The Narrows. There were way more people than I expected to be there for a day with that high of flash flood warnings. But we hiked on the path there and hung out at the entrance for a little while. Next time we will hopefully be able to actually hike it. But by this time, we were needing to get back to my cousin's house to get cleaned up. 

When we had all got cleaned up, we went to dinner at this Mexican restaurant in St George called Casa Donna Maria. It was amazing! 

I got three chicken enchiladas. They were delicious. And it was a lot of food for a really good price. Still not as good as Jo Vera's in Provo, but pretty dang good all the same. 

After dinner it was time to pamper ourselves. We went to go get pedicures and manicures. Clearly, I was tired because I stopped taking pictures. But it was very relaxing and felt really, really good after all of our hiking. We were worn out! 

We went back to my cousin's house and spent the rest of the night in our pajamas and watching movies. 

All in all, it was the perfect little getaway for us. We had so much fun and did a lot of cousin bonding. Even with all the fun, I was ready to get home and see my little family. I sure missed them! 

What was the last weekend away you went on?

Do you have a favorite hike?

Where do you go when you need a quick getaway?

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