Driving approx. 42 miles to Zion National Park; approximately 1 hour. Hiking 2-3 miles total for the day; mostly paved trails, some uneven and slippery terrain. Lower Emerald Pools is 1.2 miles round trip on a groomed trail with 70 foot elevation change; Riverwalk Walk is a 2 mile round trip on a paved trail, mostly flat. Elevation of the park is approximately 4,000 feet.
At the University Inn, the breakfast buffet includes hard boiled eggs, hot oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, milk, juice, coffee and tea.
After checking out of the Inn, we will travel by motorcoach to Zion National Park where we will transfer to the park shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava, a natural amphitheater, which is the trailhead for the Riverside Walk. From here, we’ll walk on a fairly level, paved trail that follows the course of the Virgin River deep into the heart of Zion Canyon, viewing spring lines that provide water for lush hanging gardens and the home of the endangered Zion snail. Our Instructor will provide information about the Virgin River and Zion Canyon’s geology and plant habitat along the way. We will then go to Zion Lodge for lunch.
On the lawn of the lodge, we’ll have boxed lunches that include a sandwich, chips, cookie and fruit.
Next, we'll hike from the lodge to Lower Emerald Pools to view waterfalls cascading over sandstone cliffs to shallow green pools. This trail also offers views of breathtaking scenery of the Virgin River and sandstone monoliths of Zion Canyon. At the end of our hike, we will return to the motorcoach and transfer to the Zion Human History Museum to learn from self-guided interactive exhibits and an award-winning video about Zion Canyon’s historic pioneer settlement and Native American Indians that called this area home and helped shape its history. We’ll then check into our hotel in Springdale.
At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal that includes coffee, iced tea, soda and water; other beverages available for purchase.
In the hotel classroom, our instructor will present a lecture on the geology, ecology, flora and fauna of Southern Utah. We’ll gain a greater understanding of the incredible formations of Zion and Bryce Canyons. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.