Hiking Zion

Picture 036It’s time to explore. I’ve posted about Zion before (because it’s one of my favorite places on earth), and thought I’d explore this place some more with you (since it’s cold outside and I’d like to dream of warmer places).

I’ve hiked Zion before in the winter, but it can get a little bit of snow and always ice. That, combined with the slick red rock, can make hiking treacherous. It’s still doable…but I usually do the flatter trails (like the Temple of Sinawava trail) because it’s hard to climb upward when your feet can’t gain any traction.

These pictures are from early summer a few years ago. Aren’t they beautiful? Have I mentioned I LOVE Zion?

I’m not going to go into a travelogue of my hike to Observation Point. You can read about it by clicking the link if you’re interested and want to make plans to hike it someday. I’m just going to meander Continue reading

The Narrows – Zion

DSC02411Here’s another hike my family did back in June. I couldn’t go since I was handicapped with my fractured arm, but I did this hike with my husband back when we were engaged, so I remember it. This is another amazing hike that touches the soul because it’s like you’re viewing a piece of heaven you never get to see in normal life.

My in-laws were beyond kind and drove my family 2-1/2 hours to the drop off point at some ranch outside of Zion National Park. You should have a big stick for support; this helps to check the river depth and gives you an ‘extra leg’ when hiking through the river (which you have to do a LOT on this hike since it’s in the narrow slot canyons).

This year was a low water year, so the water didn’t get above their waists, but on high water years, be prepared to swim many parts of this hike (waterproof your belongings either way). The river is full of slippery, mossy rocks, so wear sturdy shoes with good ankle support and carry a big stick (I sound like Teddy Roosevelt). Continue reading

Angel’s Landing – Zion

DSC02262Back in June, my family did some amazing hikes. This is the first hike they did. I didn’t get to do this with them since I was still in a sling, but I’ve hiked this many times since my Grandma lives only about 40 minutes away. These pictures took me back to my young, spry days when I hiked like a mountain goat and ran down switchbacks without my knees screaming at me. Now that I’m older, I hike more like a dairy cow (Moooo! Give me a snack.) Continue reading

Olympic Park Greats: 6-4

DSC01190Last week I promised to tell you about my near-death experience in the Olympic National Park. It had nothing to do with this buck in this picture. He was quite kind and very accommodating though while I took his picture (so I decided to reward him by making him famous on my blog; ha!). But my near-death experience did have to do with wildlife.

So here I go…continuing with my Olympic countdown. Continue reading

Hiking Happiness

H is for Hiking…and Happiness. The two go together unless you wear sandals, forget to bring water and snacks, or get lost. All three of those mishaps can turn Hiking Happiness into Hiking Hell. But that’s a post for another time. Trust me about being prepared for hikes though. I prefer heaven to hell any old hiking day.

Here are some Happy Hiking Hieroglyphs (just pretend). Continue reading

Look Up!

P1010478Fall weather is the best. The temperatures are cooler and all the trees and plants put their energy into one last dazzling show before winter. It’s the perfect time to hike.  As a kid, my dad took us on random hikes all the time.  Some were half hour jaunts at Red Rock Canyon, where we did more climbing than hiking. Some were long—half a day or more.  When we visited my grandparents in southern Utah, we’d hike trails in Zion National Park (heaven on Earth).

To some, hiking might seem the epitome of pointlessness.  Why work so hard to get up to a ridge, just to come down again? And your feet hurt! If you feel that way, maybe you just haven’t gone on the right hikes…or gone prepared with the right equipment and attitude. Continue reading

Hikes around Redfish–That’s Heaven

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I’m excited for school to get out for my kids…because then we can get back to the Sawtooths and hike through some pretty country.  I’m loving my backyard right now with all the irises bursting out, but it still doesn’t compare to the mountains.

These next few pictures are of hikes near Redfish Lake in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountain Range.  The best thing about hiking these trails is that when you’re done and worn out, you just go sit on the beach and look out across the lake at the jagged peaks.  It’s Heaven! Continue reading

Iron Man—My version (Iron Creek Trail)

P1010458I haven’t done an Iron Man Race, and don’t plan on ever doing one…and this is why!  I’ve got my own IRON MAN I do…the Iron Creek Trail in the Sawtooth Mountains outside of Stanley, Idaho (hey, it’s got IRON in the name—so it counts).

We hiked it last year, and I fell in love!  I’d even go so far to say it’s my favorite hike ever (not counting Angel’s Landing in Zion).  This trail held my interest from start to finish!

We hiked this trail as far as Sawtooth Lake.  That was long enough for one day (4-5 miles one way, and I didn’t think any view would top Sawtooth Lake…so why bother?).  I knew going back down the trail, my feet would probably feel it, so I didn’t want to add extra miles.

This wins for awesome hikes because of the spectacular scenery–from pine forests to meadows to rugged mountains… Continue reading

Why I love Hiking

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I love hiking because I get to see new things, be in the wild outdoors, and enjoy God’s creations.  Since I’ve been focusing on the Sawtooth Wilderness in the last two exploring posts, I thought I would continue on that theme (I have lots of pretty pictures I have to use, right?).

Hiking clears your mind.  It is a great way to unwind and get back on track.  As a teen, I remember doing little lessons in my mind as I trudged along.  It was easy to do, seeing symbolism in every small flower or rock I passed.  God’s hand is visible in everything. Continue reading

Sawtooth Range–Camping in Heaven

RedFish Lake 010Spring fever is kicking in big time.  With everything finally getting green and temperatures warming up, I am growing very excited for summer camping.  One of my favorite places to go is the Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho.

This is a picture of Redfish Lake.  The campgrounds here are so serene and quiet.   Get up in the early morning so that you can get perfect reflection pictures before the breeze picks up and makes the lake more rippled. Continue reading