Cities Journal

Wild Wading In Utah

If you don’t mind a hint of danger, Zion National Park offers the ideal hike for a scorching summer afternoon.

You will need a bathing suit and waterproof sandals, because much of the hike is spent wading, and several spots are deep enough for swimming. Rock walls, carved by water over millions of years, tower 2,000 feet above you and the canyon is only 20 feet wide in places.

Most hikers start at the south end, walk upstream a mile or two and then go back. But if you get up early and arrange a drop-off, you can hike the whole length in just one day. Or even better, get a permit to camp. Just don’t go if thunderstorms are threatening, because flash floods can be a real hazard.

Gaze up at sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. Experience wilderness and let Zion’s unique array of plants and animals to enchant you as you absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures.

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