Zion National Park ~ Backcountry

 

Hi Everyone! We are back and settled into home.

Bernie sorted through our pictures and selected 250 of our favorites.

This is far too many to share in one post, so I will split it into the different areas we got to visit.

 

 

Technically our first stop of the trip was Great Basin National Park in Nevada.

I did not include any photos from this stop because it was cloudy the whole time we

were there, and none of them are overly stunning.

After two nights in Great Basin we drove to the northern entrance to Zion NP,

Kolob Canyon.

After talking to the rangers for a few minutes we decided to do a 4 night backcountry

hike across the park and back. This was not a trip we were planning on but Zion has been

an area I have always loved, and this would give us a chance to explore it in a whole

new way.

Our first two days of the trip across the park were cloudy, as can be seen in the above photo.

Our journey would take us down La Verkin Creek Trail,  Hop Valley Trail, Wildcat Canyon Trail

 the West Rim Trail, and then back along the same route.

 

 

As we moved into the early morning hours of our second night camping out the clouds

opened up and dumped rain on us. Now one of the greatest disadvantages of camping in a NP

is having to use established campsites. The thousands of people that pitch their tent on that

small patch of dirt over the years pack it into a substance almost as impervious as cement.

Not to slowly the water built up into a small stream as it moved down the small

hill that led straight to our camping spot.

I flipped on my headlamp and found an adequately pointed stone to start my miniature ditch

system. Water started to stream under our groundcloths (which is but a thin layer between the

ground and our sleeping bags). My little ditches gradually grew into a system that drew

the water down and around our tarp.

Finally satisfied with the path of the water I looked down hill from our tarp at the other

“camp spot” and said a little prayer of thanks as I witnessed all the water from the surrounding area

creating a  small lake where we had first pondered setting up camp.

Once my feat of engineering removed the risk of flooding I enjoyed listening to the waves

of rain beating against our little green tarp.

Right after dawn the clouds released one last deluge of rain and hail, as if it were

throwing a hissy fit knowing that clear skies were moving in.

 

 

And then there they were! Clear blue skies!

The temperatures were lower than I had expected for our journey through the southwest,

but the beauty was amazing!

I am endlessly fascinated by all the different layers of rocks. The textures, colours, and

shapes are amazing. The beauty of nature is so often missed in our society.

If I could share one thing with everyone in the US, it would be to stop and truely see the amazing

beauty, energy, peace, and wonder that nature holds.

 

 

I never fail to be amazed by the energy of Red Rock Country. It instills the very 

essence of nature into your soul.

Zion wrapped me in a very strong inspirational grasp. It was the perfect start

to our trip. Our backcountry hike provided me the opportunity to reflect on

what I have been doing lately, and what I want to do with my future.

The nights provided me with very vivid dreams sharing great insights.

The days were filled with amazing grand vistas, inspiriting ones soul to re-connect

with our mother earth.

 

 

 

 

There were a few points along the trail that were not filled with grand vistas. These moments

were the times to enjoy the little details that fill each moment.

We also filled these moments with talks of life, the small and large of it.

The beauty of experiencing the grand adventure of  Being Human.

 

 

It is amazing how sunshine can transform a landscape. When we had first crossed this spot

grey clouds filled the sky. There is still a vast beauty to the area,

but the energy has a little more of a subdued feeling.

As we re-traced our route everything seemed to glow from within.

 

 

 

 

An old dirt road carried us back into Hop Valley.

My sandals decided to do a little bit of self destruction half way through our trip,

although it was a bit inconvenient that they decided to come apart in the middle of a hike,

I decided it was a sign that I was starting a new path in life.

I did still use the sandals for part of the hike, but I also took the opportunity to use my

moccasins. What a beautiful way to connect even more with the earth.

With a thick slab of rubber between your feet and ground it is easy to plow forth, ignoring

what lies upon your path. When a thin piece of leather is all that is between your feet and mother earth

you are able to feel your surroundings instead of insulating yourself from them.

I could feel the mud push up against the soft leather of my moccasins,

almost as if it was squishing between my toes.

The leather truely feels as if it is a second skin.

 

 

I was amazed at all the different directions that some of the rock layers took.

The movement of the earth frozen in time and then slowly revealed, as if a big red curtain

was being drawn away over the millenia.

I have to admit I was a little smitten with rocks on this trip.

 

 

Above you can see a couple of the cows that lived in Hop Valley.

On all our hikes across the country we have seen many free range cows.

Cows in all kinds of habitats.

I have to say these cows have the most scenic place to live of all the grazing lands we have seen.

And they have truely adapted to their surroundings.

As I walked pass a cow, talking to her as I went (something I often do with all kinds of animals) I followed

her gaze up the “cliff” above her.

There I saw my first rock climbing cow.

This might sound out there, but I have never seen a cow that had climbed up such a steep incline.

The first one we witnessed up there was a partially grown calf. He was poking around in

the brush. After admiring his climbing capabilities we turned to continue on and suddenly heard

a loud crash behind us. I turned around expecting to see a calf in a pile of rocks,

but no, he held fast to his spot, not even a hint of being flustered.

Hmm, rock climbing cows, its a whole new breed.

 

 

La Verkin Creek had a particularly beautiful scenic bend. I loved how the

water had worn down through the rock in this one spot. The sound of the cascade was

mesmorizing, and the view breathtaking. A beautiful place to reflect on our 4 night backcountry

journey across the park.

 

Well everyone, that is my story of our first leg of an amazing journey!

I hope you enjoyed it!

 

Scenic Sunday

 

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31 thoughts on “Zion National Park ~ Backcountry

  1. so much beauty. How wonderful that the two of you embrace the land in such an intimate way. something about the 7th photo, the landscape won my heart!
    sleep well this eve~

    • I truely love the energy of Zion. It is such an amazing area, and the scenery is so varied. I too love that photo, there is just something about the feeling of that landscape. It was a transition zone between two types of formations/habitat.
      As always, its so lovely to see you here!

    • These were actually taken the end of October, but it is truely beautiful down there all year long! They do get some snow in this area off and on through the winter months. It was lovely and sunny, but we did have cool temps also.

  2. Stacey, these are gorgeous! What a beautiful place! I’m so glad it’s a national park. 😉 Loved your narrative, too. Your story about the rain really took me there with you, and I totally related to your moccasin experience. Thanks for sharing! xoxo ~Julie

    • So lovely to get your comment Julie! Thank you for the compliments, I am taking the opportunity to develop my writing. It really was a beautiful place to explore. I loved my past brief visits to Zion, so I was excited to get to explore it in more depth!

    • Thank you Jayne! I am working on my writing to get better and more descriptive. I will keep posting about the journey, sharing each place we stopped to explore. Lovely to see you here! Thank you for always visiting!

  3. Your images and words took me immediately back to Zion. Such an amazing place. The rocks, ancient and speaking of their sources. You are an industrious women to dig the trench that keeps you dry. The photos are magnificent. Definitely need to get Mike to Zion next summer.

    • It really is amazing isnt it? lol, I could have not dug a trench, but I would have then gotten wet….. And its always kind of fun, its like being a child again, digging in the dirt. Seeing how effective of a drainage ditch I can create. You guys will have a wonderful time there if you make it next summer!

    • Thank you Akemi! So Lovely to get your comments! I know, the snow is fun isn’t it? I like that wordpress has that option for the holidays, it makes me feel festive!

    • Thank you Misti! Its always so lovely that you come to visit my blog all the time, I am sorry I am not so good about keeping up with others blogs! I look forward to hearing about what ever backpacking trips you get to go on next year. It is lovely to be out in nature!

    • Sally,
      Zion is truely one of the most beautiful places I have been in my travels. I highly recomend taking time to explore the area!

  4. Hi Stacey

    Wow amazing photos! Markus and I marvelled too at the cuts in the rock and the layers, and even colors!

    You two, had quite the start to your journey! Exciting and I like the idea of “a new path” in your life too.

    I am a big dreamer myself (talking about the night time) and sometimes, several times in my life I had very lucid and prophetic like dreams…. I wish to have those more often and I wonder what effect a trip like this would have on me.

    Thank you for sharing these and look forward to more 🙂

    • Evita,

      Its so lovely to see your comment here! Thank you for visiting. I am so glad you and Markus enjoyed the photos! The rock in that part of the country just amazes me, so much going on there!

      This hike across Zion was an amazing start to our trip, it was exactly what I needed. And speaking of dreams, I had one toward the end of this 5 day hike that was extremely vivid, and full of messages from my guides/the universe. It was amazing! I too wish I had these more often! Any trip that takes one out of their daily life offers the opportunity for inspiration and new energy to come in, and so dreams can be part of that. It was great for me.

    • I am truly loving all your comments on my older posts, as it inspires me to look back through the photos. Our trip through the southwest has been drifting too and fro through my mind lately. It was a beautiful experience, and offered me many moments of being deeply connected with nature.

      Zion was one of my favorite stops along the trip. What a stunning energy this place has! I sense more trips in the future!

    • Red Rock Country truly is magical isn’t it? And that hike is just stunning! I would love to go back to the southwest and explore in more depth.

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