This year I went on an Alternative Break trip to Zion National Park. I spent the week doing service alongside the park rangers and 9 other volunteers. It was AWESOME. I worked in the park’s greenhouse, planted native species and helped eliminate social trails in the campgrounds, eradicated Russian Olives along the river, cleaned the museum, stuffed mailers, and provided a trail count for Angel’s Landing. I loved being able to step back at the end of the day and see the results of my work. Also, working with the rangers was such an enlightening experience. Every single one of them was so positive, friendly, knowledgeable, and hardworking. I highly recommend volunteering with the park if you get a chance. You can check out opportunities here.
While there, I was also able to go on a plethora of hikes. The following are must-do’s if you visit:
Angel’s Landing– This is one of Zion’s most popular trails. It is not for the faint of heart as the last part of the trail requires holding onto a chain with drop offs on either side; however, the view is worth it. Just take your time, look where you’re walking, and go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Watchman Trail– This trail is located near the campgrounds. It is absolutely breathtaking, with small waterfalls along the way and a great view of the canyon at the top.
Canyon Overlook Trail– This is a short but steep hike just off the road after going through the tunnel. Another stunning view provides for great photos!
Kayenta Trail (to the Upper Emerald Pool)- There had been a rock slide which closed the trail to the Lower Emerald Pool; however, the Kayenta trail takes you to the pools as well. The picture of this magnificent waterfall does not do it justice.
The rangers also recommended Weeping Rock Trail, Observation Point, and The Narrows (when open). Definitely put Zion on your list of places to visit. Your jaw will hit the floor everywhere you look.