Biking Utah

A week across Iowa wasn’t enough for team member Kathy. This week, she’s spending 10 days biking through the state parks of Utah. Kathy arrived Tuesday and immediately set off to do some hiking in Kolob Canyon, northwest of Zion National Park.

She also watched the sunrise in Kolob Canyon on her pre-ride day before taking off. She spent the pre-ride day in Cedar City, before catching the shuttle to Moab, where the ride begins on Thursday.

Of course one hike wasn’t enough. Kathy reports she’s also hiked to Angel’s Landing. The hike is five miles round trip, and is one of the more strenuous hikes in Zion. You literally have vertical red cliffs of sandstone to one side, and vertical drops to the other. Kathy took the photo below looking back down from about half-way up. You can see a few of the switchbacks she traveled to get to that point. The trail is not recommended if you have a fear of heights because they say you need a strong body and nerves – and some might even say faith. Kathy agrees and adds, “sometimes when you looked back or down to where you had been, it was a little unnerving but definitely inspiring.”

The next photo is from the same spot as the one above, but looking to the right instead. As the climb continues, Kathy reports you end up going between two sandstone cliffs. Eventually you climb something like 20 short, steep switchbacks to the final assent. What a view! Kathy says she spent about 20 minutes just relaxing and looking at this 360-degree view – and could have sat for hours but wanted to hike a few more trails before heading back.

Kathy also hiked by the Temple of Sinawava. This was on a trail called the Narrows. The trail goes about a mile on a nice hard surface, and then you for the Virgin River and make your own trail. A permit is required to do the full 16 miles.

The final trails Kathy hiked were to Emeralds Pools. These are little green oasis’ with little waterfalls.

Her last adventure, for the time being, was to drive through the mile long tunnel that leads to the east entrance. You are in total darkness except for four cutouts in the side of the tunnel letting in natural light. The tunnel is so narrow that only cars and trucks are allowed through without an escort. Kathy says it was worth the extra time to go through. In fact, she went through twice!

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