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Check out our blog for more information about Zion, from animals to things to do near the park!

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.

Many people are aware of 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. But did you know that those survival periods are based on the weather conditions and activities that you are participating in as well? When you are hiking in thick forest line or when the sun comes out, you usually feel like drinking a lot of water. This is because these activities require a lot of water, because you lose most of your body water through sweating and even breathing. So when you’re visiting Zion National Park, and specifically if you’re going to be doing any hiking in Zion, take note of these hydration tips so you can stay safe and enjoy the park to its fullest.

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Carry Your Own Water

You will want to avoid drinking from streams, rivers, or ponds unless you have a water purification system handy. Even if they look clean, as they can contain bacteria that makes the water unsafe for drinking or even cooking. If you get sick, you can become dehydrated even faster than if you had not drank the contaminated water in the first place. Therefore, it is important to carry plenty of safe drinking water or a water treatment system with you to keep hydrated all through the day.

Take Advantage of Opportunities to Refill

It is important to become familiar with hydration spots prior to starting your hike, if the trail offers them at all. Make sure to refill any empty bottles that you have wherever you find fresh water. Don’t be worried about the weight of carrying the water, as you will be using it at regular intervals and it provides you with energy.

Know the Signs of Dehydration

Dehydration infographicWhile hiking people occasionally get sick due to dehydration. It may surprise you that even in tropical areas hiking that have an abundance of water, people can still become dehydrated. With Zion being a dry, desert landscape, it is even more important to take hydration seriously.

Many people are unaware that feeling thirsty is actually the first sign of dehydration. Once you start to feel thirsty, make sure to start drinking small amounts of water at first. Don’t wait until you are extremely thirsty and then drink a bunch of water, as this can cause stomach discomfort. Your body absorbs the water easier if you can take it in smaller doses.

Conserve Your Drinking Water

One of the easiest ways to conserve your precious water is by taking a look at your meal preparation. While cooking, use minimal water for washing and cooking. If you have to cook, make sure that you choose foods that are easy to cook and don’t require much water. Even making choices like instant noodles instead of rice can make a big difference.

If you are camping and water is scarce at your campsite, only use the minimal amount of water necessary for hygiene. You can conserve water by choosing to use mouthwash instead of brushing your teeth after every meal or swishing with water and then swallowing instead of spitting it out. Carrying baby wipes can help with your desire to feel clean while still helping conserve drinking water.

Eat Snacks to Help with Electrolytes

If you are on a long hike or camping trip, it is helpful to pack some vitamins, protein bars, and salty snacks. These will help keep hunger at bay as well as make sure that you are replenishing any electrolytes that you may be sweating out. If you get limited on your food supply, try chewing your food 20 times before swallowing. You may remember hearing this in elementary school, but this trick can help you feel fuller quicker and help you consume less food.

Water discipline is very important when you are hiking and camping in a place like Zion National Park and it is critical that you stay hydrated. Therefore you should understand clearly how you can save water and consume water only when it is required.

Other Tips For Hiking in Zion

  1. Avoid wearing or packing cotton clothes, as they are bulky and take a good amount of time to dry if you happen to get wet. Polyester clothes are better at wicking water and are more resilient. Consider packing rain gear to help keep you dry.
  2. Microfleece or polarfleece are also suggested as your first choice of cooler weather clothing, however wool can come in handy during an intense survival situation.

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.

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

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. Essentially you hike along the rim of Snow Canyon, the entire way. The hike itself is approximately 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.

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

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.

 

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.

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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

While there may be some good reasons why you want to solo hike in Zion, there are also some things which can make the adventure not so great, or some things which could get you into trouble.

Especially in a place like southern Utah and specifically Zion National Park. Below are few tips that you may find useful when you decide to go for a hike alone.

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  1. Inform your family of your decision to solo hike. Let them know when and where you will be heading to. Leave your travel itinerary to any responsible adult in your home; someone who should know how to analyze when you might need help, and that search and rescue operation should be sent to your way. You can anticipate that scenario, and it is best that you create a trail wherever to wherever you’re going so they know.
  2. If you choose to hike in remote areas, make known of your intention to solo hike by registering a permit. Check out for some advisory if there is any.
  3. Be affable and civilized when you come across other people. Do not fake your being friendly as people can easily sense whether you are telling the truth or not.
  4. If you think something is off and might go wrong, don’t hesitate to inform the tourism office and the park rangers and to get assistance.

What are the essentials that you need to bring if you are solo hiking?

1. First Aid Kit

In case of accidents like cuts and burns among others, you need to have a first aid kit to treat your injury. Your first aid could include alcohol, medicines, bandages, pain killers and antibiotics among many others.

2. Food and water requirements

Make sure to bring food and water suitable for your needs, considering the number of days that the hike takes to complete. Make sure that you bring a little more than enough than what you actually need for the number of days that you plan to hike.

3. Bring some clothes and extra pair of slippers

You will have to bring some clothes and slippers so you could change your clothes when the need arises.

4. Mobile Phone (one that is fully charged)

This is important so you could inform your family in case something happens to you, somehow they will know where to find you. Or you may also make use of a tracking device where you can inform your family where you are and allow you to send messages in case you are in trouble.

5. Always waterproof your belongings

Try putting your belongings in a water proof container to prevent from getting wet.

Solo Hiking in Zion and Elsewhere Conclusion

If you’re inexperienced and it’s your first time solo hiking, then be careful. Make certain you familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of hiking before you actually go on hiking on your own. Having someone to talk to during the hike is nice; you can discuss any matter that will make the hike more fun.

When I was a kid, I would get so excited about going out of town that I would pack my bag weeks in advance. As I grow up, weeks dwindled into days, with more thought being put into what I should and shouldn’t bring. This is especially true when coming to visit Zion National Park and Bumbleberry Inn.

Of course, that never really stopped me from over-packing. All the what-if question runs through my head, prompting me to bring one more extra shirt, and extra pair of jeans and maybe a couple more underwear. My toiletry bag takes up as much space as my pair of trainers. And don’t get me started on my little plastic containers.

Travel Kit
Photo Credit: Richard Moross

It amuses me when they show people on TV just throwing their closet into their luggage and sitting on it, in a vain attempt to zip it close. Though I find it silly and impractical to just throw your clothes into your luggage, deep down I realize it hits a nerve. They’re over-packing, and so do I. What makes it worse in over-packing is that I sometimes don’t have enough room for the things I should be taking along, and end up with things I never get to use.

And so I’ll share with you some tips that I found useful when packing for a trip:

Roll, not fold. This advice is pretty much a staple in every article about packing. It really is effective in decreasing creases in your clothes. Also, it leaves you with more space for all your clothes (a double-edged sword, actually, since more space tempts you to fill in said space).

Don’t pack new things. Whether it’s a year-long trip or a weekend getaway (or an overnight field trip), there’s always an urge to buy new things that we believe would make this trip better. Like a new pair of hiking shoes for when you go trekking, a pair of goggles for swimming, or those top of the line travel pants the every travel article said you absolutely must have. There’s nothing wrong with buying those things, but if you plan on taking those with you, make sure to break them in before putting it inside your luggage. There’s nothing worse than wearing uncomfortable clothes and shoes while traveling.

Make a packing list. Whenever you go shopping, it’s essential to make a shopping list so you’d know what to buy, and not end up buying the same things that are already in your pantry and neglecting to buy what you really need. It’s the same with packing. You need to come up with a list of the things you need to bring. Once you’ve drawn up your packing list, check each item if you really need to bring it along. Last year, before I went on my Zion National Park trip, I came up with my own packing list. I used this to check and double check the contents of my backpack before I left. When I got back, I reviewed each item, and made a note on how often I used it, if I used it at all. It’s enlightening to see how much stuff I could’ve done without. The great thing about making your own packing list is that it is tailored to your needs and preferences. In evaluating each item after a trip, you get ideas on how to make your list better.

Put your “must haves” in your carry-on. Except if it’s liquid and more than 100ml. We’ve all heard of horror stories of missing luggage. I’ve never had the misfortune to experience that but I always try to prepare myself for the worst. I make sure my travel insurance covers lost luggage. Also, I make sure I only put the stuff I wouldn’t mind losing in my check-in luggage. Of course I don’t want to lose anything, but taking a proactive step in avoiding a major loss is necessary.