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Hiking heaven in stunning Zion National Park, UT

The popular Canyon Overlook Trail is east of the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel and offers one of the most photographed spots in the park; cost to enter Zion is $35 per vehicle good for 7 days

The popular Canyon Overlook Trail is east of the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel and offers one of the most photographed spots in the park; cost to enter Zion is $35 per vehicle good for 7 days

I struggled at times on the Shelf Canyon hike trying to get around boulders but the payoff was this super narrow slot canyon; Southern Utah has the densest population of slot canyons in the world (100 )

I struggled at times on the Shelf Canyon hike trying to get around boulders but the payoff was this super narrow slot canyon; Southern Utah has the densest population of slot canyons in the world (100+)

The Great Arch is one of the most famous sights in Zion Canyon and is easily visible as you approach the ZIon-Mt. Carmel tunnel from the west;

The Great Arch is one of the most famous sights in Zion Canyon and is easily visible as you approach the ZIon-Mt. Carmel tunnel from the west;

I was surprised to find this condor in Shelf Canyon; these birds can live more than 60 years and usually have a diet consisting largely of carrion

I was surprised to find this condor in Shelf Canyon; these birds can live more than 60 years and usually have a diet consisting largely of carrion

It's difficult to capture the cliffs with my camera so I tried the panorama mode on my iphone for this shot; the Upper Emerald Pool is at the bottom but it's hard to see

It's difficult to capture the cliffs with my camera so I tried the panorama mode on my iphone for this shot; the Upper Emerald Pool is at the bottom but it's hard to see

The squirrels aren't aggressive but are always nearby in case someone drops something; maybe this one thinks he's a prairie dog!

The squirrels aren't aggressive but are always nearby in case someone drops something; maybe this one thinks he's a prairie dog!

I needed my geologist friends with me to provide commentary on the cool rock formations in Zion; many visitors fly into Las Vegas which is only 2 1/2 hrs away

I needed my geologist friends with me to provide commentary on the cool rock formations in Zion; many visitors fly into Las Vegas which is only 2 1/2 hrs away

Throughout the park you'll be amazed at how trees ever grow in such a rocky, inhospitable area; there were no people at all on two of my hikes on the east side of the park

Throughout the park you'll be amazed at how trees ever grow in such a rocky, inhospitable area; there were no people at all on two of my hikes on the east side of the park

The Least Chipmunk is the smallest in North America; they survive the winter by entering torpor (technically, not hibernation) for long stretches of time, waking to eat food cached in their burrow

The Least Chipmunk is the smallest in North America; they survive the winter by entering torpor (technically, not hibernation) for long stretches of time, waking to eat food cached in their burrow

Zion National Park is more easily visited than either Yosemite or Grand Canyon since the town of Springdale is just outside the entrance; the park is most famous for the Narrows and Angel's Landing hikes

Zion National Park is more easily visited than either Yosemite or Grand Canyon since the town of Springdale is just outside the entrance; the park is most famous for the Narrows and Angel's Landing hikes

Unique Checkerboard Mesa has vertical lines formed from expansion and contraction of the sandstone due to water and temperature changes while the horizontal lines were formed from erosion caused by wind

Unique Checkerboard Mesa has vertical lines formed from expansion and contraction of the sandstone due to water and temperature changes while the horizontal lines were formed from erosion caused by wind

The Many Pools Trail is noted for the potholes formed in the sandstone by snow melt running down the mountain; spring would be the ideal time to see the water in action

The Many Pools Trail is noted for the potholes formed in the sandstone by snow melt running down the mountain; spring would be the ideal time to see the water in action

Mountain blue jay; the 1  mile long Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel links Zion with points east like Bryce Canyon; large RVs require an escort (traffic is stopped going the opposite direction) in the narrow, 100 yr old tunnel

Mountain blue jay; the 1+ mile long Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel links Zion with points east like Bryce Canyon; large RVs require an escort (traffic is stopped going the opposite direction) in the narrow, 100 yr old tunnel

A Methodist minister named this vista the Court of the Patriarchs with the highest peaks named for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; it's hard to imagine how early settlers navigated the West where water is so scarce

A Methodist minister named this vista the Court of the Patriarchs with the highest peaks named for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; it's hard to imagine how early settlers navigated the West where water is so scarce

It's amazing to me how the cliffs are so sheer; the Upper Emerald Pool is in the center of the photo at the bottom where you can barely see the rock discolored from water seeping out

It's amazing to me how the cliffs are so sheer; the Upper Emerald Pool is in the center of the photo at the bottom where you can barely see the rock discolored from water seeping out

Posted by VagabondCowboy 03:03

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