Pictures From a Walk Along the River River in Zion

Posted at July 16th, 2015
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We took stroll down to the Virgin River yesterday and captured some images that we just had to pass along. Zion National Park is so vibrant and fun this time of year. Even the little things like reeds along the banks of the Virgin River make for a fantastic day.

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Benefits to Biking Rather Than Riding a Car or Bus in Zion

Posted at July 10th, 2015
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What is riding a bike for you? If you are a youngster, riding a bike is an inalienable part of your life as you still do not have enough money for your own car. Some young people even reject all the comfort and speed of cars and prefer to continue riding a bike, but they are looking forward to buying a beach cruiser or even a motorbike.

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No one says that biking in a place like Zion is a more comfortable way than riding a car for getting from point A to B, but on a bike you feel that it is actually you whose strength is put into making the wheels drive; nothing else but the work of your muscles. Whereas when you drive a car, you need gas. Moreover, the big plus of cycling is that you are improving your health by making your muscles work, in which you develop your character and health. Plus riding a bike in Zion also offers some of the most fantastic views you can ever see.

Mountain Biking in Zion Benefits

Most mountain bikers ride for the thrill and excitement of it but in addition to that, you will also get health benefits of it as well. Although gashes and bruises are considered part of mountain biking, you should not be discouraged as you will develop your endurance as well as muscle growth. Again mountain biking in Zion National Park offers views of the canyon you just can’t get elsewhere.

Mountain biking is also a great workout for your back especially during ascends. To maximize the exercise on your back, stand up on your pedals as you go up the hill.

It is also a great aerobic exercise which means that you get the same benefits found in running. One advantage of biking to running is that in cycling, the impact is spread to your arms, legs, and buttocks which helps prevent injuries especially on the knees.

Lastly, mountain biking is a great way of meeting new people especially now that mountain biking is getting more popular. You may stop at your local bike shop and inquire on any scheduled group cycling. Joining in this kind of gathering is helpful as you get to share your ideas about biking and other things as well as gain knowledge and advices.

Hiking and Camping – Water Discipline Tips in Zion Canyon

Posted at June 12th, 2015
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Many people know the fact that people can survive without any food for several days and weeks, but without water they cannot survive even for a couple of days. Also the survival period is based on the weather conditions. When you are trekking or trailing in thick forest line, when the sun comes out you feel like drinking a lot of water, as these activities require a lot of water, because you lose most of your body water through breathing out and sweating. So when you’re visiting Zion National Park, and specifically if you’re going to be doing any hiking in Zion, then take note so you can stay safe.

During trekking occasionally people get sick due to dehydration and it may surprise you that even in tropical areas trekking causes severe problems if you do not drink lot of water. You may not be able to get water at regular trails, trekkers who are new to these places are not aware of these facts and you may not find any water ponds in some areas. In some places the stored water or pond water is not good for cooking or drinking.

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Therefore, it is very to carry a lot of water while trekking, to keep hydrated all through the day. Also it is important to get familiar with a place like Zion Canyon before you start venturing out, and find where you can find water sources. So that you will keep you hydrated and you can enjoy the beauties of Zion National park peacefully.

Important tips to follow:

  1. Water preservation can only happen when you are able to conserve water only for purpose, it begins with meal preparation. While cooking use minimal water for washing and cooking, use only the amount of water required for washing vessels.
  2. While you are camping, make sure that to cook easy foods like instant noodles instead of cooking rice and curry. So that you can save time and water as well.
  3. In case there is water scarcity in the route where you choose to trek, then make sure that you carry lot of water in your bag. It is very important for you to drink a lot of water to keep you hydrated till you reach some water source. It is always better to prepare well, than to regret.
  4. Refill all empty bottles where ever you find fresh water, don’t think that you have to carry heavy load, remember it is keeping you safe and giving you energy. So for your wellness you must carry lots of water, especially when you are trekking.
  5. Whenever you are thirsty drink a small glass of water, don’t drink the whole bottle at once, it may cause more discomfort. Drink small amounts of water so that it comes out as sweat, but if you are really thirsty, then you should drink as much as you want.
  6. If you are not having enough water to sustain the entire trip, then trick your brain by swishing small amount of water to freshen your mouth before gulp into, so that your stomach sends signals to the brains that it had enough water for now.
  7. In case of lot of scarcity of water sources in camping sites, then make sure to use minimal water and use paper towels mostly for cleaning purpose.
  8. If you want to brush your teeth after every meal, then instead of brushing use Listerine to clean your mouth. The recent studies suggesting that after rinsing your mouth put some water in your mouth and swish it and swallow the water. This keeps you healthy in many ways and keeps your fit for many reasons and also helps you save water.
  9. When you’ve planned a long trip in Zion, pack some useful vitamins, proteins, and energy drinks so that you will stay fit and also you can stay huger free for longer periods of time. Pack some dry nuts and fruits to keep your huger at bay when you are hiking or trailing. Eat good stuff and stay healthy while you are on trip.
  10. When you are on limited food supply, practice this drill which you might have learned during elementary school years. Chew your food for 20 times before swallowing, this drill can help you consume less food and makes you feel full.
  11. Too keep your cloths dry on rainy day, pack a set of rain-gear cloths to keep you dry and they also require no washing, which helps you save water and time.
  12. Pack cloths that are easy to dry, avoid cottons when you are going for hiking, trekking. Cotton cloths take time to dry and they occupy lots of space.
  13. Pack polyester clothes because they are more resilient and wick better. Use microfleece or polarfleece pants and shirts but pack wools only for survival, to keep you warm during cold days.
  14. Pack lot of energy bars, cereal bars, and energy drink. You must take care of your health while you are on trip.

Conclusion: Water discipline is very important when you are trekking and camping in a place like Zion National Park. You should also drink lot of water to keep you hydrated. Therefore you should understand clearly how you can save water and consume water only when it is required.

Incredible Weekend Biking Experience in Zion

Posted at April 23rd, 2015
Posted by Zion Bumbleberry Hotel
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Biking in Zion National park is one of my favorite things to do. You don’t think there are many places to go, but allow me to tell you about my experience biking Zion a couple of weeks ago.

We started biking right in the middle of Springdale, about where the park is. Our goal was to have the entire experience not just the in the park experience. We wanted to ride by the shops and stores outside of the park grounds. There’s just something fun about biking in Springdale. People are so happy and excited to be there. And as we kept getting closer to the park entrance we only got more and more excited to be there.

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We took the east walking bridge entrance and began our journey along the Pa Rus trail that first goes through the campgrounds, and then heads up along the Virgin River. They’ve added some fantastic bridges that cross over the Virgin that really makes for a fantastic time as you ride. The Virgin River is a very pretty river, so biking along its banks makes for a beautiful ride.

There’s one point along the Pa Rus trail where you can easily get off the trail and go down by the river to soak in the setting. The river here cascades down some boulders that make for a really pretty place to stop, and take in the beauty of the scene.

We continued riding up the trail, and couldn’t help but love the bridges along the way. They really make for a great ride, to give you that birds eye view of the Virgin below you.

Before long the Pa Rus trail ends and that’s when we jumped on board the shuttles. The shuttles have 4 bike racks you can use to take you right to the top (of the Temple of Sinawa aka the Narrows). Once here we began the most exciting aspect of our biking in Zion journey, and started down the road.

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Since there are no cars then you have the road almost all to yourself, except for the occasional shuttle that passes by you. There’s just something amazing about riding a bike down Zion Canyon. Seeing her walls from your bike as you go wizzing by. Big Bend, the Patriachs, all of them are just so beautiful when you’re riding a bike.

You can even stop, and take a quick break at the Lodge like we did before our journey continued down the road. It really is an incredible experience to ride a bike in Zion.

Zion Fee Free Day This Weekend

Posted at April 17th, 2015
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This weekend is opening week for National Parks and to celebrate they’re offering fee free access on Saturday and Sunday April 18th and 19th.

Fee Free Day: NPS

Places Near Zion to See – Red Mountain Trail

Posted at March 6th, 2015
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If you’re coming to Zion and maybe looking to expand your reach slightly, then here’s a place near Zion to see that definitely worth your time. Now don’t get us wrong, there’s enough in Zion to see that it would take you several years to see it all, but every once and awhile you might was a taste of something else, well the Red Mountain Trail next to St George is definitely a must!

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What is the Red Mountain Trail?

If you’re familiar with Snow Canyon State Park then you’ll quickly know why it’s such a fantastic hike. Esentially you hike along the rim of Snow Canyon, the entire way. The hike itself is app 10 miles, and offers views upon views, upon views. You’ll look down into greater Snow Canyon, then at times you’ll be looking westward into the Kayenta valley, and finally you’ll have a stunning view down into Ivins and St George.

The hike begins right by a city called Dammeron Valley, and then ends up in Ivins (there are several ways to access it, but this is the most prevalent). Now we do have to give a warning here, there have been a handful of search and rescue missions on this very trail, and that’s primarily due to people thinking it’s easy and can be done in 5 hours, so they head out without lights or knowing where they’re going. This is backcountry so after awhile the trail disappears and you’re on your own. So if you’re going to hike it, make sure you’re prepared and start in the morning.

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After starting out you’ll hike for about an hour or so until you’re greeted with a fork in the road (go right), then after another 30 minutes or so you’ll get a different vantage point of the Snow Canyon Overlook that most don’t see, and it’s wonderful but in reality just the beginning of the views you’ll be greeted with.

Before long you’ll see a place where you can get off the trail and walk along the white rim of Snow Canyon, and here’s where you’ll first see the rock pools of water that dot the landscape along the top. In truth they were some of the most interesting/beautiful things you’ll see along this hike (aside from the stellar views you’ll have the entire time).

As you continue walking southward soon the rocks change from their drastic white to straight red and orange. so the contrast between the two only adds to the scene.

Before long you’ll come to the end and be given that tremendous view down into Ivins that you’ll want to stop and soak in for a few before you begin your descent and complete the trail.

So that’s it, if you’re looking for things to do near Zion then hiking the Red Mountain trail should definitely be on your list.

Winter in Zion

Posted at February 19th, 2015
Posted by Zion Bumbleberry Hotel
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If you’re wondering if Zion’s worth venturing to during winter then hopefully these images will sway you. When winter comes around Zion in many ways slows down substantially, you aren’t able to access many of the higher elevation areas and hikes of Zion, but in truth Zion doesn’t get a ton of snow usually, which in some ways is regrettable as the snow adds a certain kind of beauty to the canyon.

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These two images were taken off of the Kolob Terrace section of Zion. If you’ve ever hiked the Subway then you’ll know right where they were taken from. The road up to Kolob Reservoir is plowed to a point and then after that you’re on your own.

The views here are dramatic and offer a less viewed section of the park. In fact it’s one of the best and most beautiful drives in all of southern Utah. And here’s proof that venturing up there during winter offers wonderful rewards.

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But the beauty of winter in Zion is the change that comes over it. The whiteness adds just a completely different perspective and view of this amazing place. We’re used to the sheer canyon walls of red and white, but seeing them snow covered just makes for a completely different view.

In truth you’ll be somewhat limited on which hikes you can do, especially right after a big storm. But places like Emerald Pools and Weeping Rock are easy enough and definitely worth the effort to see them in winter. The water flow is usually fairly substantial as well, so the waterfalls are often flowing strong.

Hiking First Aid – An Essential Item for Small Injuries

Posted at January 15th, 2015
Posted by Zion Bumbleberry Hotel
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A first aid kit is one of the essential gears for a hiking trip. However, major injuries are not very common in hiking. But, small injuries can always happen when you are hiking, that is why you should pack a first aid kit along with other items while hiking. You can treat the wound immediately so that it won’t trouble you later. The wound won’t get bigger if it gets the right treatment at the right time. Moreover, you can enjoy your trip to Zion National Park when you keep everything ready and you can also help others when you are prepared properly.

MOUNTAIN RESCUE

Hiking in Zion First-Aid Guidelines:

Taking a first-aid kit with you while hiking can be very useful, for instance if one of the individuals in your group gets injured, then you can give him or her immediate treatment. In case of any life threatening accidents, you should follow these three guidelines:

Stabilize Injury:

Try to stabilize the injury with first-aid. Stop the wound from damaging more. If a member gets hurt then try to stop the bleeding and move him to some other place.
Start Recovery: Make the injured person feel better. Treat the injury and give the first-aid to prevent damage.

It is important to follow the hiking rule of staying calm. In case of any severe issue, take the lead and make others feel secure by being strong and sensible. If any member in your group gets panicked because of injury, then take him or her to a warmer place and help them recover by giving them first-aid treatment. Taking initiative to help people is the bravest thing to do and helping people can also make you feel happy and special.

Zion Hiking Injury Prevention

Sometimes you can’t escape from getting injury especially when you are hiking in a place like Zion Canyon and escaping from weather is sometimes difficult, but when you are prepared well enough you can make things better and at least you can try to prevent additional issues from coming up. Plan it well when you are hiking with a group. Make sure that you carry the necessary things to complete your hiking trip successfully. Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing, drink plenty of water, and take snacks every hour or so.

Learn about preparation for hiking, details on hiking in hot weather, hiking at different altitudes and hiking in cold weather.

Before you go for an adventurous hike in a new area of Zion National Park, you should know about poisonous insects, snakes, plants, dangerous animals, and other reptiles that inhabit this area.

First-Aid Kit

First-aid kits are available in any medical store, where you can get from bigger ones to small travel first-aid kit. Get a travel kit for your personal safety when you are going for a hike with a group. However, in a group one person must carry the bigger first-aid kit so that it can be useful for everyone in the group. Learn a few things about first-aid kits so that you can use it properly when you need it for treatment.

Check your first-aid kit before going for a hiking trip to make sure that you have everything that you required for emergency. Check the date and replace the expired medications and replace the items that are required. Keep the first-aid kit where you can take it easily when required.

Photo Credit: Bill Morrow

The Basics of Hydration While Hiking in Zion

Posted at December 5th, 2014
Posted by Zion Bumbleberry Hotel
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When hiking anywhere, especially in an arid place like Zion National Park, the importance of fluids or liquids in the body should not be underestimated. Our body is like a vehicle that needs fluids in order to function efficiently. The state of losing fluids is known as dehydration and the only way to replenish the loss is through hydration.

The Importance of Keeping Your Body Well Hydrated in Zion

  • Enables you to set out faster and farther
  • Enhances your body to work harder resulting to more calories burned
  • Feel better and stay cooler
  • Fuels the body with more endurance, power and energy.
  • Recover in real time so you can repeat the process all over again.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Dehydration starts when there is a feeling of excessive thirst. If this condition persists, it will continue to manifest signs that water percentage in your body is getting low. Decrease in energy and dry mouth are the early signs which can quickly result in headaches, nausea and cramps if not quickly attended to.

Keep your Body from Dehydration

A glass of water is a the best treatment to this unpleasant condition. The following tips are recommended by experts to ensure that your body is well hydrated:

  • Constantly drink fluids rather than seldom but quickly sipping them.
  • Drink fluids as early as 2 hours before exercising.
  • Use energy drinks to easily help restore electrolytes and carbohydrates.
  • Drink water after doing your workouts to help recover the water loss in your back and keeps its level back to normal.
  • Hydrate as quickly as possible if clear signs of dehydration manifest such as urine color changes to darker shade and in lesser volume.
  • Eventually, ensure that fluid is closer at your hand. If you are on a distant hike like in the back-country of Zion, make sure that you can restore the water loss instantly. Check for various hydration systems on how to easily carry your bottles to keep you hydrated.

When Can Over-hydration Occur?

Too much of anything can bring a negative result. Hyponatremia is the opposite of dehydration or over-hydration. This is a rare case which mostly strikes the athlete’s endurance like triathletes and marathon runners. This condition is also described when the levels of sodium in the blood gets diluted that impairs the function of cells. Severe condition may result to coma or even death.

Best Weapon Against this Dilution

Follow the below tips to keep your body always well hydrated.

  • Maintain the balance of salt levels in your body by drinking sports drink with electrolytes rather than plain water or take salty snacks like pretzels.
  • Replenish water while exercising so that you don’t have to take much of it.
  • Try not to sip fluid more than what is loss.
  • The level of water intake can be tested by weighing yourself before and after an extreme body workout. Remember that you should weigh almost the same. You are most likely drinking too much water if you gained weight after your physical activity.

 

What to do if You Get Lost Hiking in Zion Canyon

Posted at October 31st, 2014
Posted by Zion Bumbleberry Hotel
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Every year many hikers get lost in woods or on trails, it usually only happens when the individual aren’t going with other hikers, but not always. Zion National park offers some of the most intense scenery you’ll find anywhere, but you have to hike to it to see it. So here are some hints on what to do if you find yourself lost while hiking in Zion Canyon.

The most important step to remember is, inform your friends or someone about your trip, let them know where you are going and when you are coming back.  Also let them know when and what time you will contact them, so that if you are not back in the specified time your family or the park ranger can send a search troop for you.

Misty morning

How to prepare yourself when you are lost while hiking Zion Canyon:

1. The first and foremost step is following the trial along with other hikers. Don’t wander, in case you are lost, remember to carry map and compass along with you.  Before you go for a hike, look at the map and know the trail, streams, nearby roads, and other areas. Also give your trip plan to your family and friends. Look around while hiking to observe the topography, in case you are lost they could serve as a good navigation points.

2. A compass and map helps you find the familiar landmarks. Don’t forget to keep them in your backpack before leaving for the hiking.  Stay calm, and look at the map with calm mind, you may find the way.

3. In case you are lost in Zion National Park, make sure that you leave a trail mark behind, so that when search team come to rescue you they can see the ribbons on the tree and they can easily rescue you quickly.

4. Remember the magical letters S.T.O.P., when you lost in woods, don’t get panic, remember these letters, ‘S’ is for stay calm, stay cool and contemplate on map and other surroundings. ‘T’ is for Think, think calmly and think how to get out of this mess and reach home safely. ‘O’ is for Observe, look around your surroundings. And finally ‘P’ is for Plan,   eat and take rest before you try to find the way out, plan on how to get out and how to leave hints to the rescuers.

Don’t let fear conquer you, don’t get panicked and restless. Zion National Park is an incredible place to go hiking and to stay, so sit down and look at the beautiful surroundings, just relax. If you are calm and composed, then you can easily find your way to reach your group. Protect yourself and carry lots of water and food before going hiking, that way you don’t need worry about your food.  All of these can happen only when you do not follow your group. So be alert and attentive while hiking.

Photo Credit: John Fowler