Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hike 2016.042B -- Pa 'Rus Trail, Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, UT

Hiked Saturday, September 10. 1.7 miles. The signs on the ground give the distance for this trail as 1.5 miles, but the National Geographic / Trails Illustrated map for Zion National Park gives the distance as 1.7 miles.

This trail runs from the Visitor Center to Canyon Junction, along (and crossing) the Virgin River, and parallel to highway UT-9. It's wide and paved, and intended for both bikes and hikers. It's also mostly unshaded, which makes it more of an afternoon or morning hike, or a spring or fall hike. If hiked in the middle of a summer day, it's hot, and the shadows make photographing the canyon difficult.
Nonetheless, having taken the short hike to Northgate Peaks the day before, then the still relatively short (though, admittedly, steep) trail to Angels Landing earlier, and intending to return towards Las Vegas later in the day, but still not having met my fitbit step total, I wanted a short additional hike, so this was it.
Once back at the visitor center, I observed the lines for the canyon shuttle bus was pretty long, possibly more than could fit in one shuttle. That would mean a longer wait. Moot point for me, as I was already back to near my car.
As I headed through the visitor center area and towards my car, I passed a statue of a ringtailed cat. I have a soft spot for them, having seen a whole lot of them in my long-ago backpacking trip down along La Verkin Creek, way back when.

My car was just outside the national park boundary. When I arrived that morning, the line entering the park was slow, and the parking was reported to be full. So I walked the additional 1/2 mile or so to my car, then headed back towards I-15.

It was still only early afternoon, and plenty of daylight remained. But it was also a hot summer day, and I didn't want to be getting into Las Vegas too late, so I called it a day.

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