Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The end of my second (traveling) season with the Forest Service couldn't have been more perfect. I had one last trip to make to Pine Valley Recreation Area in Dixie National Forest, so we made a long weekend out of it and stayed two nights in cozy Springdale, Utah right outside Zion National Park. We hiked, we soaked up the last of the late autumn sunshine, we ate good food, and we saw Zion like we'd never seen it before.
Usually when we venture down to the park, it's May, but this was our first time there in the fall, and I can say with 100% confidence that I never want to go again in May. Fall is the time to be in Zion. It was like seeing the place with new eyes. The autumn leaves were spectacular and I will happily trade summer wildflowers for buttery yellow cottonwood leaves any day.
We hiked to Scout Lookout together, and that's where I stop. My husband continued on to Angel's Landing for his fourth time on top, and as always, he says it was exhilarating. I sprawled out in the sunshine and wasted some film in my Great Wall and K1000 while I waited for him. I chatted with a few other hikers, shooed away about 20 chipmunks, and had a wonderful time just hanging out. There's always great people-watching at the lookout.
Taylor Creek Trail in the Kolob Canyons section of the park is on our must-hike list when we go to Zion, and hike it we did. The sun was out but it was windy and cold, but it couldn't have been nicer. There was snow on the ground here and there, and we saw lots of deer tracks and a few other critters. This trail, just like all others in Zion, is one where you can't help but trip all over yourself because you're constantly trying to look up at the canyon walls. The scenery is stunning, jaw-dropping. Just like the rest of Zion. A fitting end to another great season.