Posts Tagged hiking

late summer hiking…

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I haven’t forgotten the existence of my blog, but just I feel that the rush and hush of everyday life consumes one mentally.  I am the kind of person who likes to write and read, when things are kinda peaceful and calm and when there is plenty of time to relax and think; but that blissful state is very rare to find, unless a conscious attempt is made to find time to write.   Back to what I have been upto this year, I did another trip to Utah to finish up the hikes I missed last year in Canyonlands and Arches National parks.   Have been day hiking in the local VA/ DC area trails every opportunity I get.

Recent one was the White Oak Canyon/Cedar run trail in Shenandoah National Park.  There are several options to do this hike, but I did it from the White Oak Canyon parking lot near the Weakly Hollow Road on a wet day.  Its amazing to start the hike on a rainy wet morning, surrounded by dark green leaves and woods pretty quiet with drops of water dripping from the leaves.  The hike to the White Oak upper falls is about 2.5 miles with several switchbacks and lots of rocky patches.  Once you reach the upper falls, you can either go around the footbridge and continue one to the Cedar run trail which would make a loop hike or could turn back the same way.   The elevation gain is about 1000ft for a 3 mile hike going up, but the cool thing is you will be hiking along the waterfalls and there are several pools along the way to dip your feet on a summer day.

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My first trip to National Parks in Southwestern Utah – Zion Canyon

Last year when I was reading about Grand Canyon National Park, my friend shared a link with top best day hikes, and Zion Narrows was one of them. Initially the thought of hiking in water in deep canyons scared me, but the feeling of doing a river hike was so new to me and slowly it sinked in, and I started to feel little bit comfortable.  Having not traveled anywhere, the loads of information and travel blogs I read opened me to a whole new world. Alright, coming to the trip, the plan was to do what is called the Mighty 5, Utah National Parks, except we had only 5 days, which gives us only a day in each park.

Our original idea was to progress from Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches and back to Vegas. But that would involve a long drive (7 hour) back to LV from Canyonlands on the last day. Hence we mixed it up a bit.

We started off with Zion on Day 1, following, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef and finishing off with Bryce Canyon.

Flew to Vegas and drove to Zion the next day. The narrows hike was our main agenda for the day, and may be a short land hike if we are back from narrows in 4 hours (that was the original plan….). We rented water boots and equipment from Zion Adventure Company, parked near the side road there, got ourselves fitted with the water boots and lining our backpack and decided set off to the park. It was a late start that morning actually, and the final thing was to pick up a lunch sandwich packed for our hike in Cafe Soleil in Springdale which was only 5 minutes walk from the Zion Adventure company.

From Cafe Soleil, it was just a few minutes walk to the entrance of the park over a wooden bridge, and got onto the Zion Park Shuttle to Temple of Sinawava Shuttle stop to begin the Narrows hike.

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Excited about the water, but to get to the water, you would need to hike approximately 1 mile walk along the somewhat red mud road (which felt soo long), to reach the starting point of hike. Finally after dipping our feet in water, the first half mile felt slow, as we wanted to stop by every spot and click pictures of the water, the tall canyons and our face. After taking quite a lot of pics within the first half mile, we decided to put off our cameras and start wading through the river. I do not have an exact distance, but we went till a forking point, where turning right at the fork would lead to Orderville Canyon and just going straight would take towards Big Springs.

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I guess it must be 2 hours in the river from the starting point to this forking point. Decided to take the Orderville canyon path, and soon as you turn right, you will notice a pocket of water flowing through rocks which you need to climb over. From that jump up onwards, you will encounter a few minutes of wading the river, and jumps over the pockets of water gushing down. I was able to do around 3 or 4 more jumps, and the last one is where we decided to turn around.

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At this point, time was almost close to 4pm, and we were 3.5 hours in the river, we realized there is probably no time to hike the Wheeping rock trail, and thought we should turn back so that we can get out of water before dark. I was just hoping there is enough time to make it back to return the rentals and grab some dinner before heading to the hotel.

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