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Best hikes in imperfect weather

California
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Best hikes in imperfect weather

Hello. We'll be arriving in Zion next Friday for three nights. The weather forecast is looking like if will be pretty overcast on one day and possibly some rain on a second day. We were thinking of the Emerald Pools hike., the Riverside walk maybe going into the Narrow for a half mile to Mystery Falls, Canyon Overlook and Checkerboard Mesa, possibly Scouts Landing or more likely driving to Bryce for a day trip. Sometimes views and photos really need a clear day, and sometimes clouds can even enhance the view. Do you have any recommendations on which hikes to make sure to do on a sunny day for the views, and which to save for the more iffy weather?

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Best hikes in imperfect weather

Red rock gets slippery when wet, so I would say no way to Canyon Overlook as it skirts the cliffs very closely at certain points (Checkerboard Mesa is just a photo op to my knowledge, but I get why you added that as it's in East Zion along with the Canyon Overlook). Emerald Pools gives you alot of walking room but there's also nothing stopping your fall if you trip the wrong way, so I'd say use judgement about how slippery the trail is getting. Riverwalk would be fine, but I'd check about flooding possibilities before heading into the Narrows if there's significant rain. Didn't do Scout's Landing, but from what I've read I get the impression that you probably wouldn't want to take a chance on slipping on it.

Of course, if thunder and lightning start get to buildings immediately - that red color in the rock is iron, and you do not want to become an exposed human lightning rod. If it rains heavily, you might want to enjoy the visitor's center, museum, or town of Springdale until the worst weather passes.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: Best hikes in imperfect weather

Bardgirl is right about Canyon Overlook trail when its wet. But most of the other trails in Zion are wide and some are even paved with a really rough surface just so they aren't slippery. The trail to Scout's Lookout is one of the rough paved ones. I wouldn't go past Scouts Lookout to Angels Landing if it was wet tho. You go go toward the West Rim tho. Really spectacular views that way. The trail to Emerald Pools is nice and wide too.

I would definitely be wary of lightening and flash flooding, but I don't think the weather this week is supposed to bring those kinds of storms. Check with the visitor center anyway. The nice thing in Zion when its raining is the waterfalls off the canyon walls.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Best hikes in imperfect weather

I'm not sure I would trust any weather reports for next week. Even if they are correct it could be more localized and what you get in Zion will be different... I know you are thinking ahead and just wondering.

My second trip up Angel's Landing took place the morning after a rainstorm all night. It is the time we saw the waterfalls off all the cliffs. It was fantastic. It was still misty and cloudy as we drove up to the trailhead. By the time we hit Scout's lookout the sky was clear, the rocks were dry and the climb was great. I felt very sorry for all my friends who were staying in the condos in St George and not able to play tennis...they missed out.

California
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4. Re: Best hikes in imperfect weather

Thanks for the great feedback. I'm sure it will be beautiful no matter what the weather.

Medina, Ohio
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5. Re: Best hikes in imperfect weather

1) I must disagree about Canyon Overlook. I've done the trail several times, once in near blizzard conditions, and there is really very little to worry about--and the view is worth it if there is.

2) The Riverside Walk would be great in rainy weather. Even a moderate rainfall produces small waterfalls not normally evident, and, if it rains hard, it can turn into a wonderland of beautiful torrents.

3) There *is* a trail up the east side of Checkerboard Mesa, but it is pretty difficult and would be a real trial in bad weather.

4) The footing for Scout's Lookout/Angel's would not be a problem in rainy weather, but, especially as one apporaches the top, it is likely to be blustery and not very pleasant, especially without a rainsuit.

5) Observation Point might be a good choice at any time. While you encounter some tremendous drop-offs near the top (what difference does it make if you fall 100 or 1,000 ft.?), the path is always wide and, unlike Angel's, has a drop on only one side--being able to have a solid rock wall on one side of the path is very comforting. In any case, the view at the top here is amazing (you actually look *down* on Angel's Landing), and this trail as a whole, with its varying landscapes (you travel through three or four separate ecosystems) and views, is almost certainly one of the greatest short hikes in America--if, that is, you can call four miles due up short.

6. Re: Best hikes in imperfect weather

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