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The fabulous Yosemite Park, Yosemite Lakes Park, California

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travelgrove-editor's pictureby travelgrove-editor review
added on 22nd of February, 2006
Zion national parkFacts

* Mukuntuweap National Monument was established in 1909;

* This resulted in 1918 in Zion National Monument;

* Finally in 1919 it became Zion National Park;

* Park visitation in 1920 was 3,692, in 2000 it reached 2.8 million;

* A nickname for Zion is White Cliffs.

* Zion is the middle stair of The Grand Staircase, right in between The Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon.

* Zion was part of several historical periods. It used to be sea, desert and some areas have vulcanic history.

* Although the porous top layer holds an enormous amount of water, Zion is categoryced as desert because of its rainfall cyclus.

* Therefore Zion is seen as an outlet of the Mojave Desert;

* The lowest part of Zion is Coalpits Wash (1128 m) in the southwest corner;

* Highest part is Horse Ranch Mountain (2660 m) in the Kolob Canyons Section;

* Kolob Arch is the world largest arch, with a span that measures 94,5 metres;

* The fossils and sendiments exposed tell the geological history of Mesozoic Period - halfway between the ancienst history of The Grand Canyon and the more recent Juriassic Period of the Bryce Canyon;

* Animal life 75 pecies of mammals, 271 birds, 32 reptiles and amphibians and 8 fish.

Hiking through Zion

Also known as the 'Land of the Rainbow Canyons', Zion is famous for its bright red-orange sandstone canyons that merge in shades of white, pruple, pink and yellow to create some of the most brilliantly coloured rockface in the world. Here the Virgin River has cut through a high plateau to create a geological marvel. If you want to see these colourful sandstone canyons, hot rocky deserts and cool forested plateaus the right way you must definately hike.

The park is devided in diffirent sections. East of the Zion-Mt. tunnel, you can see fascinating shapes and patterns at the top of the sandstone layers. The southern part of the park is a lower, desert area. Here, colourful mesas are bordered by rocky canyons and washes. The western sections of the park are from volcanoes and petrified wood from ancient forests. The northern sections of the park are higher plateaus. The cool, green forests overlook broad panoramas of rugged canyon country.

One hour or less (round trip)

- Weeping Rock: self guiding walk to a spring and 'hanging garden';

- Canyon Overlook: self guiding walk to a canyon viewpoint;

- Lower Emerald Pools: easy walk to a waterfall.

One-two hours (round trip)

- Riverside Walk: easy walk along the Virgin River;

- Middle Emerald Pool: moderate walk to pools and waterfalls;

- Watchman: moderate walk to viewpoint of lower Zion Canyon.

Three-four hours (round trip)

- Hidden Canyon: fairly strenuous hike to a hanging canyon;

- Angels Landing: strenuous hike to the top of Angels Landing.

Zion National Park - My Way / Slot Canyon

Colossal mass of rocks stand out as geological temples against the clear blue sky. Age-long streams of mineral waters have colourfully covered the faces of the mountains. Zion, it's a fitting name for a solemn area where nature shows it's awe-inspiring shape as a supreme creator. Protected within Zion National Park's 593,1 square kilometres and esspecially this slot canyon hike is a spectacular cliff-and-canyon landscape and wilderness full of the unexpected.

We went for a nice hike by the name 'My Way', which was selected by our guide. During this hike we noticed the capriousness of nature by all the horizontal and vertical shuffled lines in the rocks. Differences in elevation, sunlight, water and temperature created 'microenvioronments' like hanging gardens, forested side canyons and islolated mesas that lend to this diversity. It is a beautiful sight.

The hike took us to a slot canyon which means that the high canyon walls come together untill you're almost unable to walk over the path anymore. Able to touch both sides of the canyons by hand! It was quite spectaculor.

The path we took was a riverbed and was dried out because of the summer period, but be aware during other seasons, because you might get cought by a tidal wave because of heavy rain or water of melting glaciers.
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