The awesome Zion National Park…

*Somewhere for the weekend* Taking a virtual adventure around Zion National Park…

In this week’s edition of *Somewhere for the weekend* we’re taking a look at some of the amazing Geocaches around Zion National Park in Utah. Packed with ‘Earthcache’s’ and ‘Virtual’s’, if you love geology and don’t mind a bit of hiking then this unique landscape could be perfect for your next Geocaching adventure. With secret waterfalls, earthquake faults, beautiful rivers, deep canyons, unusual wildlife and a huge range of terrain levels suitable for every type of hiker. Could this be a Geocacher’s paradise?

Zion National Park Utah #dailyshoot CC2013 Les Haines

Zion National Park Utah #dailyshoot CC2013 Les Haines

Travelling on a coach from Barcelona up to Arinsal in Andorra this week I couldn’t help but notice the crazy rock formations along the way. The road up to our resort was carved between gigantic rock faces with each layer of the Earth’s history proudly on display and it reminded me of a drive I took with my family when I was younger which started in San Diego went up to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, through Death Valley and Yosemite and all the way to San Francisco. 

At the time I was really into geology so it was a pretty fascinating trip and I even ended up buying a pack of rocks in Death Valley to add to my collection back at home. I distinctly remember one called ‘Desert Rose‘ being my favourite (although I later discovered that the Desert Rose isn’t actually found in Death Valley – it’s mainly found in Tunisia but it’s still pretty!).

*Please be aware that you can not collect rocks from Death Valley without a permit, I imagine that Zion National Park has similar laws so check before you go!*

Zion NP CC2013 Jose Hidalgo

Zion NP CC2013 Jose Hidalgo

I decided to choose Zion National Park for the amount of unusual geocaches scattered around some of its beauty spots. Most of the geocaches are Earthcache’s and highlight areas of specific scientific interest around the National Park. Some are Virtual’s and were placed before Virtual’s became a ‘grandfathered’ cache type. They are a much rarer find so it’s nice to see so many dotted around the park, some of them even have very high terrain ratings as they’re placed in difficult to reach areas. Know what you’re letting yourself in for before you plan your Geocaching adventure here.

To get there…

Bus tours make regular trips to Zion National Park and although you can drive to the park yourself these tours are recommended. Check out the National Park Service website for more details on how to get there. Who knows you might even bump into a few other Geocacher’s on your tour!

Without further ado let’s go check out the geocaches…

The Geocaches…

Angel’s Landing – GCG2ZP by Iskander De Toquerville, Pipeline & Percible 

Cache Type: Virtual

Difficulty 1 – Terrain 4

Number of favourite points: 232 

BRING PLENTY OF WATER! This is a strenuous hike which when completed provides outstanding views into the heart of the Zion Canyon. The views are ridiculous, check out the cache page to have a look for yourself.

Zion Narrows – GCZ5YD by The NightFox (adopted from Coach Steve) 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 1 – Terrain 2

Number of favourite points: 216 

The narrows form a tight impasse through some stunning rock faces which make it  easy to see why this cache has picked up so many favourite points.

Blind Arch – Great Arch of Zion – GCZ5Z2 by TerryDad2 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 1 – Terrain 1

Number of favourite points: 150 

I enjoyed reading the comments on the cache page of this one, it seems everyone is a bit taken aback with Zion National Park, comments about its colours and vistas seem to be the norm. This cache highlights one of the parks famous arches. Read the cache page for a description on how these are formed.

Zion National Park- Checkerboard Mesa – GCHQMK by Team Family Affair 

Cache Type: Virtual

Difficulty 1.5 – Terrain 1.5

Number of favourite points: 128 

There’s a little bit of history as to why the park is called Zion here, an interesting cache in another nice spot.

Zion Mists CC2012 John Fowler

Zion Mists CC2012 John Fowler

Weeping Rock – Zion NP – GCZ5YB by The NightFox (adopted from Coach Steve) 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 1.5 – Terrain 2.5

Number of favourite points: 116 

Here you can admire one of Zion’s natural hanging gardens, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most famous spots in Zion National Park.

Menu Falls in Zion – GCHW1X by GeoHawks 

Cache Type: Virtual

Difficulty 1 – Terrain 1

Number of favourite points: 52 

Now it’s time for that secret waterfall I mentioned earlier, it’ll be tricky to find this one but totally worth it when you do.

East Zion Erosion Features – GCZ5YT by TerryDad2 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 2 – Terrain 3

Number of favourite points: 40 

Here you will learn about a rock formation type called ‘hoodos’ and see a jug arch!

Hanging Valleys of Kolob Canyon – GC171QQ by TerryDad2 (adopoted by Supertbone) 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 2 – Terrain 1

Number of favourite points: 39 

Apparently the formation of the rocks here is very similar to that of Yosemite so I’ve got a rough idea of how these ones must look. One day I hope to see Zion’s for myself!

Zion Side Canyon Erosion Features – GCZ5YX by Coach Steve 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 2 – Terrain 4.5

Number of favourite points: 29 

Another tricky climb so take all the necessary precautions with you, be on the look out for some awesome erosion features at this cache.

The Hurricane Fault – GC17E2K by TerryDad2 (adopted by Supertbone) 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 2 – Terrain 1

Number of favourite points: 28 

Think earthquake’s and volcanic eruptions for this one!

The Subway – GC1YH84 by SorensonØ 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 1 – Terrain 5

Number of favourite points: 26 

A one-way hike which you’ll need a permit for, and a lift from one of those shuttle buses.

Canyoneering Cache -Pine Creek Canyon – GCHFFT by Jumar 

Cache Type: Virtual

Difficulty 5 – Terrain 5

Number of favourite points: 13 

Please note the difficulty and terrain rating for this cache. Go prepared, don’t end up being one of those fools that gets stuck and has to be rescued!!

A Zion Earth Cache – GC32V35 by DocDTA 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 2.5 – Terrain 4

Number of favourite points: 10 

This one takes in all of Zion’s natural features, from arches to hoodos. Enjoy!

Double Arch Alcove in Crossbed Sandstone – GC17E2D by TerryDad2 (adopted by Supertbone) 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty: 2 – Terrain 3.5

Number of favourite points: 9 

Check this one out if you want to understand more about the ‘crossbeds’.

Lava Point – Zion NP – GCZ5YM by Coach Steve 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 2.5 – Terrain 2.5

Number of favourite points: 8 

This one’s all about the basalt flow, don’t know what basalt is? Go have a look at the cache page 🙂

Emerald Pools – GC58J2N by Iskander De Toquerville 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 2 – Terrain 2

Number of favourite points: 6 

Winding rivers, waterfalls and green water ponds, what could be more enticing than taking this round trip?

Taylor Creek Folding – GC171QR by TerryDad2 (adopted by Supertbone) 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 2.5 – Terrain 2.5

Number of favourite points: 6 

Time for another lesson on the formation of sedimentary rocks on this one!

Lava Point Overlook – GCZ5YM by Coach Steve 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 1 – Terrain 1

Number of favourite points: 5 

Be careful if you’re driving to this one and it’s wet, it may be inaccessible if you don’t have a 4×4.

Firepit and Spendlove Knolls – GCZ5Z6 by Coach Steve 

Cache Type: Earthcache

Difficulty 1 – Terrain 1.5

Number of favourite points: 4

Ever wanted to see some 200,000 year old cones? Well here’s your chance!! 😉

As you can see for the nature loving hiker Zion National Park delivers. Most of the shuttle bus drivers are now aware of the parks more secret beauty spots because of Geocaching and some will drop you off at some of them if you ask kindly enough but make sure you know where you’ll be getting picked up from. Take plenty of water with you and don’t forget your camera!

Also, watch out for the rock squirrels, there were plenty of these in Yosemite, they might look cute but they only want you for your food!!

Zion National Park CC2012 benito roveran

Zion National Park CC2012 benito roveran

Have you ever visited Zion National Park, if so did you find any of the Geocaches there? I’d also love to hear from you if you’ve ever tried canyoneering, what’s it like? It’s definitely up there on my list of things to try!

Thanks for checking out this post, until next time. Happy caching! 🙂

2 thoughts on “The awesome Zion National Park…

  1. Pingback: Unplanned adventures in Andorra | Travel MzAdventures

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