Unveiling the Geological Wonders: A Personal Journey Through Zion National Park
My exploration of Zion National Park began with an early morning arrival at the visitor centre's parking lot. With a limited 2.5-hour window to explore this geological wonderland, I quickly studied the available routes and settled on the Emerald Pools Trail, a 1.5-mile journey from the park lodge.
To reach the trailhead, I boarded one of the park's shuttle buses. Despite the throngs of visitors, the shuttles moved with impressive efficiency, completing their loops in forty minutes. Twenty minutes later, I disembarked and eagerly set off along the winding path through the red rocks. Though the walk was not particularly challenging, the closer I got to the waterfalls and streams at the trail's end, the more the path resembled a muddy, puddle-filled playground that even Peppa Pig would have approved of.
At this point, the main trail branched off into several separate paths leading to the lower, middle, and upper pools. I spent about forty minutes exploring the area before reluctantly deciding it was time to move on.
As I ventured deeper into the park, the landscapes became increasingly diverse. Though the person who named these lakes "emerald" might have suffered from a unique form of colour blindness or visited at a different time of the year, the red-grey rocks adorned with greenish vegetation inlays undoubtedly possessed their charm.
The red rocks surrounding the road on both sides evoked memories of views I had seen in Corsica the previous summer, but their structure was different. These rocks resembled red snapper fish scales, layered one atop the other. Mountain streams freely penetrated under the "fish scales," only to emerge from them a little further down, creating the impression that someone had spilled a bucket of fish on the mountain slopes, leaving wet spots on the rocks.
Zion slowly disappeared in the rearview mirror, replaced by anticipation for the next park – Bryce Canyon. The journey would take another two hours, during which time the red rocks retreated to the horizon, replaced by greenish prairies reminiscent of dried swamp moss. Bison grazed lazily, and occasionally, flocks of turkeys crossed the road.