Zion National Park in southwestern Utah is about three hour's drive from Las Vegas.
Your author's favorite park, Zion is a land of great heights and amazing canyons.
The most amazing is the narrows of the Virgin River, often called the
Zion Narrows. While the heart of the Narrows is the domain of the sturdy
hiker, there is a paved trail in its lowest mile leading from the main
parking lot. Known as the "Gateway to the Narrows" the trail is the
park's most visited attraction.
We have added three new vertical panorama shots below, scanned from 4"x9" prints.
These images offer an excellent perspective of the dramatic up-and-down
nature of the canyon. In the image, below left, a rare open section of the Narrows
provides a bright and colorful look at the canyon walls. For perspective,
note the hiker who is also taking a picture.
The middle image presents one of the most dramatic aspects of the Narrows,
sections which are "slot" canyons. Here, the river flows through a tiny opening
in the rocks. There are no benches (elevated areas out of the water) or large
boulders for respite. Slots are awe-inspiring but can also be intimidating
because here the river bed always consists of slippery cobbles, and the current
is usually swift. A sturdy walking stick is essential.
Finally, below right, a deep shaded section which is the canyon's most common
environment. There are boulders and benches offering hikers a break from
walking in the river. The water can get quite chilly in the shaded areas.
Note the lush vegetation. Again, note the hikers in the water for perspective.