a VirtualTourist member from Toronto
I will be visiting Zion this upcoming March and was wondering if anybody has been there this time of year? i visited the park last May and loved it. hopefully somebody can help becasue there are a few questions i can't seem to find answers to.
1)I know the shuttle bus doesn't operate at this time of year so does that mean that you can drive you car into the canyon itself and if so, where do you park?
2)We'd really like to do some more hiking, like angels landing and/or the hidden canyon and were also wondering what the trail conditions would be like this time of year.
I imagine the temperatures will be somewhere in the 60's (?)
Any help/advice that can be offered will be greatly appreciated.
March should be a great time of year but you can still have ice and snow on the trails. You'll find this mostly in shaded areas but it could make hikes like Angels Landing or Hidden Canyon interesting.
This is a great time to visit and you'll really enjoy the solitude. Parking will not be a problem and there are spots all along the inner canyon. I highly recommend looking into the East side of Zion. This is my favorite area and there are outstanding day hikes!
March will be great. Spring in the desert is wonderful and you'll find pleasant warm days and cool evenings. I suppose is possible, as suggested, that you might encounter ice or snow but I doubt it any elevation below 7000 ft and few places inside the park are that high.
My favorite trail in Zion, OK, other than Angel's Landing, is Observation Point. It's the same steep start as Hidden Canyon but it goes back through a slot to a completely diffrent environment and climbs through subtle changes in color of rock and different plants to absolutely the best view of Zion Canyon. You look right down on top of the folks on top of Angel's Landing from the rim about 1,000 feet up and to the East.
Any of the hikes with water should be superb, such as Emeral Pools. Inquire about the Narrows hike. The water might be too cold for comfort at that time.
I think a great hike would be a one-way from the East entrance station to Weeping Rock, the same trailhead as Hidden Canyon. Of course, you'd have to arrange for a drop-off or pick-up. You can easily hire someone in town to do this for you. Inquire at a locally-owned shop, such as the Mean Bean coffee shop across from the Pioneer Lodge in mid-Sringfield.
The thing I love about Zion's in March is spring. The cottonwoods and willows have the new spring green and it is such a welcome sign of hope for anyone coming from the north. Can't tell you how many times I went down over Spring Break, and I always wore jackets. One year we were camping in the park and it rained, I've never seen the canyon look so beautiful with all the waterfalls coming over the edges, truly awesome.
As far as parking you will park where the cars always parked before the shuttle started. There are turn offs at every trailhead and view point.
St George has become something of a Spring Break mecca. Next year public schools aren't out till the last week of March and state college breaks are Mar 19-24. It really shouldn't be a problem, it will still be quieter than summer, but just something for you to consider.