Zion kann man nur so zusammenfassen: "Der Park zum Wandern!" Man(n) muss sich hier einfach bewegen und die einmaligen Pfade erkunden, die oft extrem nah am Fels verlaufen und wunderbare Blicke ins Zion Valley freigeben. Unvergessen bleibt so die Wanderung zum "Angels Landing", aber auch der Trail "The Subway from the bottom" - einem Slot Canyon im unerschlossenen Teil des Parks, für den eine spezielle Genehmigung erforderlich ist (normalerweise werden die Plätze weit im voraus verlost, doch das Glück war am Tag meiner Anreise wohl auf meiner Seite und so konnte ich spontan noch eine der heiß begehrten Permits bekommen)...
Not the official Emerald Pools in the park - which I didn't see as I had to make my choices - yet the three smaller pools in "the Subway". Luckily the weather was perfect so that the water level was just about right - no flooding and very clear (showers in many cases add some brownish milkiness).
I was so lucky to get to this place. A special permit is required which you usually have to play the lottery for to grab a space - an this in fact has to coincide with your travel plans so people try to "reserve" half a year in advance. In my case I just showed up at the parks visitor center and asked if a free slot was available and was lucky as someone seemed to have cancelled on short notice. Truly a very unique atmosphere is this place, which I tried to capture with this shot.
This was basically my first view of Zion National Park. Luckily I decided to exit at Canyon Overlook just after entering East ad crossing the tunnel to the valley. Not covered by the frame, but in fact youstand on top of the dome formed by the rock closing the side canyon to its backside.
Great view almost arriving "The Subway" in Zion National Park. Despite some detours and corrections It took us about 3 hours of hiking the "from the bottom" trail through the river bed up to the famous slot canyon.
I was absolutely not sure if I would go on this certainly unique hike in Zion when watching some youtube videos upfront and it was quite a mental exercise to in the end make it to the top. The tour was super rewarding though and met some great people on the way up and down, which helped to avoid to constantly think about the near and steep cliffs.
Leaving Angels Landing in the afternoon presented this great view into Zion valley about an hour before sunset.
I didn't plan for a stop at Canyon Junction, but the group of photographers 'meeting' at the bridge over Virgin River told me about the popularity of this place.
The chipmunks were basically all over the place at Observation Point, jumping into your backpacks and every second trying to join your deserved lunch break in the middle of the hike. Mr. Chip here certainly took thinks to the next level ...
An even better view into Zion Valley offered Observation Point, which you reach after a 'short' 550 m ascent. To picture also nicely shows the narrow rim you walk along to reach Angels Landing - my previous day's hike.