As I arrived in San Francisco two weeks before the starting date of my contract at UCSF (18th of November vs 1st of December 2006), I decided to spend part of that time traveling. I went to visit Jochen in Salt Lake City and from there we drove together first to Zion, and then to Bryce National Parks. Although Zion NP was truly impressive we did not enjoy it much. It was overcrowded with tourists and there were no reasonably long hiking trails. We ended up sticking together four 2-3h trails, but that was far from satisfying. If any of you ever goes there, I would strongly recommend to apply beforehand to the park headquarters for the backpacking permit and do one of their overnight trails.
Zion NP as seen from the car:
The Lower Emerald Pool trail follows a picturesque river:
Spectacular rock formations on the way to Angels Landing:
One of many arch rock formations in Zion:
The power of erosion:
On the way back from Emerald pools: