If any of you have been to Zion National Park in Utah you will understand why it draws such a crowd. The park is absolutely gorgeous, displaying Nature’s grand beauty in a way that often takes the breath away. The sandstone that dominates the park, in hues from white to fire red, shows itself off in intricate slot canyons, sheer cliff faces, and petrified sand dunes. Much of the beauty of the park can be seen simply by driving through it, but there are so many great hikes in the park that putting on your hiking boots and getting out of the car is definitely worth it. If you are short on time however, there are several great hikes that are short and sweet.
If you are looking for a fun, technical, yet brief hike, Keyhole is one of the best. You need a backcountry permit for this hike, but it usually isn’t too difficult to obtain. This short hike is full of adventure and will only take you an hour or two depending on the size and level of your group. After a quick ascent up a sandstone formation, you will come to the slot canyon, appropriately named the Keyhole. You need a rope and harness to make the first drop which will put you right into the water. While not deep, be prepared to get wet. Several other drops are required in the canyon, although none of them are very long. There is a section at the end of the hike where swimming is usually required through a narrow stretch of canyon. This water never sees sunlight and so it is extremely cold, but you will be out of the canyon and back into the sunlight soon after. This is a great hike to do along with a longer, less technical hike, or great for those who are just passing through and yet want to really experience some canyoneering in Zion.