Yesterday was kind of cloudy and cool so we stayed around the RV doing a few chores.
Today’s forecast called for mainly sunny with the chance of a few showers so we decided to do another shorter hike in case we wanted to get out of the rain quickly.
We headed back through the tunnel to the east side of the park to do the Many Pools Trail. It is about a 5 km return trip with around a 700 foot elevation change.
First we stopped to get a view from the valley floor to the Canyon Overlook trail we did the other day. You don’t realize that you are standing on top of a giant arch at the lookout.
There is only one official trail on the east side of the park. You are however allowed to hike just about anywhere as long as you stay on the rock or sand and don’t trample any plants. I found a website that shows all the unofficial trails with the GPS coordinates of the trailheads. There are no markings. You just find the nearest pulloff and then find the trail in the sand down from the road.
This is where our’s started. No markings at all.
The trail follows the path of a stream that only appears when it rains enough. It has hollowed out dozens of pockets in the sandstone to create the many pools. We started out on the sandy creek bed and then started to climb.
In the main Zion Canyon we are awed by the sheer vertical cliffs. In this part of the park it is not the size of things that impresses, although there is that too, but it all the shapes and textures from the wind and water erosion.
There were tall hills on either side of us.
We ran into a few of these drop offs that would be nice waterfalls when the water was flowing. You can barely see me hiding in there.
In each case there was a way around to continue higher.
I always have to play king of the castle.
We love to stare up at these monoliths.
There were lots of crazy patterns on the rocks.
Little bunches of flowers would poke up out of nowhere.
Ever upwards past more and more pools.
This one narrow section was really carved up by the water. Jennie turned her jacket inside out so we could see her better.
Continuing on into this valley.
The end of the road for us. The guidebook said that if you liked scrambling over boulders and through the brush you could continue but we turned back.
Our lunch and rest spot.
Back down we go.
It was a horribly busy trail. We saw 5 other people the entire time.
The guidebook said it should take 2 hours, we took 3 mainly because we did a lot of staring and exploring the nooks and crannies.
We headed back to the RV for a nap. While we were laying there we heard a bit of rain on the roof. It would not have been enough to really bother us but it was nice to be inside instead.