Category Archives: Spring

Prepare Yourself for Spring Break Bustle in Zion

Easter Break is ALWAYS an exciting time at Zion Adventure Company, as Training Season transitions to Busy Season and the quiet season official ends. It always feel a little crazy, but it’s also a lot of fun. We love it when Easter falls a little later (anytime in April, really), as it gives us an extra week or two to get new staff up to speed before they jump into the fire. If YOU are visiting this week or next, you can help us make your ZAC visit really smooth by doing a few easy things: 1. Set your watch! If you are coming from Las Vegas or Arizona, Zion (and Utah) is one hour ahead of those time zones. Many visitors are disappointed when they arrive “on time,” only to discover they are actually one hour late. Oops! 2. Note our hours. We are open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM. Sometime folks see people walking in and out before 8 AM: these are guided trip clients, who we try to depart with before things get busy at 8 AM. If you arrive before we open, please wait outside patiently while we get the store in order. Thanks … Continue reading

Posted in Getting Here, Seasonal, Spring, Zion National Park | Comments Off

Is The Zion Narrows Hike Open? A DIY Guide

Every day now, we hear one question more than any other: “Is The Narrows hike open?” We are always happy to answer this question for our store visitors, but we’d also like to help you answer this yourself at home, on the road, or wherever you may be. If you want to see whether The Narrows is open, just check the USGS website. The data you’re looking for is in the areas highlighted in the red boxes below: USGS Narrows Stream Flow Data for the Virgin River Narrows The upper red box (the graph) usually shows continuous cubic feet/second (CFS) data. (For some reason, the data has large gaps over the last few days; this is not normal.) The Narrows is OPEN, if the CFS level has not exceed 150 CFS for the past 24 hours. Even with the gaps in this current graph, we can see the CFS level was around 165 yesterday morning, so The Narrows is closed today. The lower red box indicates the current CFS level. While the data is current listed as “unavailable,” there is typically a CFS number here indicating current conditions. Remember, however, that the current CFS level is less important than the 24-hour … Continue reading

Posted in Canyoneering, Seasonal, Spring, The Narrows, Zion, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Interesting Weather Coming to Zion This Weekend

The National Weather Service is predicting some interesting weather in Southern Utah this weekend, including: • Record-breaking warm temperatures on Saturday • Strong winds, with 40 – 65 MPH wind gusts Saturday afternoon/evening • A drastic (25 – 40 degrees F) drop in temperature overnight, with valley rain and mountain snow on Sunday If you are thinking, “Oh no… Looks like a horrible weekend in Zion,” think again! Zion is often at it’s best during turbulent weather, and this weekend looks like a fantastic opportunity to see Zion in full splendor. Interesting weather is great for photography, especially if Zion Canyons gets iced with snow on Sunday morning, which dramatically accents all the cliffs and crags. And Saturday looks like it will be BEAUTIFUL, full-on shorts-and-tshirts weather. So come up or down or however YOU get to Zion, and we’ll be happy to greet you for the natural festivities, whatever they are!

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Zion Narrows Forecast for Spring 2012

The Zion Narrows closed last weekend for the first time in 2012; the hike is open again now, but will certainly close a few more times throughout spring. Since we are pretty big Narrows Nerds here at ZAC, I thought it might be fun to provide some “big picture” background info for those  eager to know if The Narrows and other technical canyons will be closed during YOUR visit. Like all things in The Nature, a wide variety of factors influence Spring flooding. But for the most part, spring water volume is determined by three primary factors: Snowpack – The snowpack on the Markagunt Plateau (elevation 8000 ft.) north of Zion feeds the Virgin River as it melts, contributing significant water volume to the North Fork watershed each spring. One year ago today, the snowpack was 112″, while today, the snowpack is only 54″. That’s a big difference. Drive up to Cedar Breaks along Highway 14, and you can see the snowpack for yourself. Daily High Temperatures – When temperatures are really warm, you can almost SEE the snow pack shriveling on the Plateau. Moderate temperatures, however, melt snow slowly, causing a slower, more gradual melt. If you watch the … Continue reading

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Spring Flowers Beginning to Bloom in Zion

Went up Angels Landing twice this last week, so I thought I’d report on how spring is coming along in Zion Canyon. From a bloom point of view, things are getting ready to start. A few plants are currently flowering, but not too many. On the lower switchbacks, I saw a few flowers including: • Zion Milkvetch (purple pea-type flowers, low to the ground, most prominent flower at the moment) • Western Wallflower (cluster of yellow, four-petaled flowers, mostly isolated individuals, some in clumps, second-most prominent at the moment) • Slickrock Paintbrush (red paintbrush, close to the ground. A few here and there) • Yellow sweet clover (I think. Spreading leaves, small yellow flowers pea-like) Driving, on the side of the road near the Museum, there was: • Cliffrose (flowering bush, LOTs of white blooms. Very strong “rose” smell). Then it snowed on Sunday evening, so… Tom

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Zion Narrows Hike Limit Raised to 150 CFS

Shelley called the Park this morning and confirmed a rumor that the Bottom-Up Hiking limit for the Zion Narrows has been raised to 150 CFS. Woohoo! That’s a big deal! But what does that mean, exactly? Until the early 2000s, The Narrows was ALWAYS open, making it a do-at-your-own-risk activity: You looked at the river, maybe you got some advice from the rangers, and then you decided to hike or not. About ten years ago, however, the Park’s lawyers decided the liability of this policy was too great, and ZNP should take measures to protect unwitting Narrows hikers. The Park implemented a system that uses Virgin River water volume (measured in cubic feet per second (CFS)) to determine whether the Zion Narrows is open to hiking or not. The Park set the Top-Down limit at 120 CFS, and the Bottom-Down limit at 140 CFS; if the current CFS is ABOVE the limit any time in the last 24 hours, the hikes are closed accordingly. The upside of this closure system is very few people enter The Narrows when it is unsafe. The downside, however, is The Narrows is closed at levels where athletic hikers could have a lot of fun enjoying … Continue reading

Posted in Canyoneering, In the News, Safety, Seasonal, Spring, The Narrows, Zion, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Spring Break Ranger Programs for Kids Visiting Zion

Though Zion National Park staff is still at low-season numbers, the Park has put together a series of programs specifically tailored to kids for Spring Break. If you’re in Zion this week with your kids, check out any (or all) of the three special programs. Canvas of Cliffs Monday, March 12 and Wednesday, March 14 9:30 – 11:30 AM Meet at Big Bend Shuttle Stop Search for peregrine falcons, condors, and climbers and discover their stories Pool Pondering Tuesday, March 13, Thursday, March 15, and Friday, March 16 9:30 -11:30 AM Meet at Emerald Pools Trailhead Uncover unique plant and animal secrets. Stellar Storytellers Monday, March 12 and Thursday, March 15 3:00 – 3:30 PM Meet at the Zion Human History Museum Listen to fun and adventurous stories.

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Mountain Top Reflections: Desert Oasis

My first draft of this blog post was a detailed description of my recent Red Rock climbing trip. The salient points were, a) I am good at climbing rocks, b) I know some good places for Asian cuisine in Las Vegas, and c) I am moderately witty. Realizing I spent far too much time coloring such a story, and valuing your time, dear reader, I will spare you my narrative of rock climbing heroism, and ask you to trust me on these points. What I would rather illustrate is the notion of finding one’s self through suffering. By “one’s self,” I mean some greater understanding of who I am, or what I’m capable of. Whilst climbing last week, on the side of an obscure rock, miles from anybody besides my climbing partner, I found myself fully panicked and hyperventilating. Tiptoeing and thrutching up the face of a mountain, I surprised myself by resisting gravity over and over again. The route (Time’s Up, 5.11d) had an exclamation mark next to it in the guide book; I interpreted this as a sign of exciting climbing, and it certainly delivered. The climbing itself was not unique or terribly difficult, but the protection was … Continue reading

Posted in Autumn, Rock Climbing, Spring, Trip Reports, Uncategorized, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

High Adventure Tubing Season Begins in Springdale

On Friday, the mighty Virgin River slowed enough to commence High Adventure Tubing season. The fast-paced, 2-mile river run is full of unknown thrills and sure to produce memorable stories for anyone willing to take the journey. The trip currently takes just 50 minutes (the same stretch takes 90 – 120 minutes at lower water levels) and reveals a wealth of excitement and refreshingly brisk water. We offer High Adventure Tubing for individuals ages 18+ whom are ready for a wild ride. This is not lazy-day tubing suited for your great-aunt Betty; exposed rocks, roots, and logs create obstacles along the way, making mobility, awareness, and a positive attitude essential skills in navigating the Virgin’s swift flow. The trip is ideal for anyone seeking to cool off from Zion’s scorching rays while enjoying an active, physical, and exciting float on the Virgin through the heart of Springdale. For each of the past several mornings, the tube squad and I have geared up and floated the river to monitor conditions and better learn each twist, turn, and rapid.  Even for us tubing masters (hahaha), it’s difficult to make it down the whole way without at least one or two quick spills into … Continue reading

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Dramatic, Moody Images of Zion’s Wet Spring

Photographer Ara Arlani posted some great Zion Canyon images from her recent May visit. In her images, Arlani illustrates exactly what we encourage Zion’s visitors to do during rare periods of “bad” weather: get out there and see the beauty that water and snow can create in Zion. Thanks to Ara for adapting to the conditions she found here and making some wonderful images that captures Zion’s stormier side.

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