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Old 12-19-2017, 01:31 PM
 
Location: near LA, Calif
172 posts, read 129,918 times
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booked two nights of lodging for Hurricane, UT. would like to spend 2 days in Zion national Park and then maybe 3rd day in Sand Hallow state park. 1st time doing this trip, got couple questions

1. is the drive from Hurricane to Zion snowy? do I need snow chain?
2. what hiking trails do you recommend? We're family of 4, (kids 14 and 16), beginner level. Is it too cold to do the riverside trail? I read they rent some waterproof pants pkg but not sure if the neoprene boots can really help.

thx
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Old 12-19-2017, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,881 posts, read 22,015,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_water View Post
booked two nights of lodging for Hurricane, UT. would like to spend 2 days in Zion national Park and then maybe 3rd day in Sand Hallow state park. 1st time doing this trip, got couple questions

1. is the drive from Hurricane to Zion snowy? do I need snow chain?
2. what hiking trails do you recommend? We're family of 4, (kids 14 and 16), beginner level. Is it too cold to do the riverside trail? I read they rent some waterproof pants pkg but not sure if the neoprene boots can really help.

thx
1. The drive will be an easy one and the chances of snow are probably around 0%.

2. If you're actually talking about the "Riverside Walk," it would be as warm as anywhere else in the Park. It's not a hike, really; it's more like a "walk" on pretty much flat ground, on the banks of the Virgin River. If you are talking about "The Narrows," you'd be walking in water -- cold water. I would definitely rent equipment to do so, especially in the winter. As for other hikes, I'd suggest: The Emerald Pools and the Canyon Overlook. The Emerald Pools hike is considered a "moderate" hike (probably even an "easy" hike for a young family). It's a 2 1/2-mile loop with an elevation gain of 350 feet. The Canyon Overlook Trail is also a great, easy but beautiful hike, right at the entrance of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. The rangers at the park could also give you some good ideas.
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:01 AM
 
Location: near LA, Calif
172 posts, read 129,918 times
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is it crowded this time of the year?
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:37 PM
 
306 posts, read 469,175 times
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Zion is now crowded at all times of year compared to just a few years ago, but winter is not as bad as summer, when it can become like Disneyland, packed and jammed with people everywhere.

In winter, once the temperatures are low enough, trail choices may be dependent upon the amount of ice. When the seeps that make the hanging gardens in summer freeze along the Riverside walk, it may be closed at a point where you can't even reach the official start of the narrows because the danger presented by possible ice fall. Emerald pools trails can be closed after a certain point because of ice, but even then you can usually see the lower pool which gets an ice buildup and big icicles that are scenic. I haven't been over there recently enough to know what's opened and what's closed, but the visitor center should have that info. Be flexible, whatever you do will be great.

There is a storm blowing in so there may be a bit of snow. It usually is just a dusting at that low of an elevation when it happens. You may not be able to do as many trails, but the sight of snowy canyons is pretty spectacular so you should have a treat either way.
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