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Jason H. Friesen, M.D.

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

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Dr. Jason Friesen visits Zion National Park

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Over spring break I had the opportunity to take my family to explore Zion National Park. We love our national parks and have been trying to get to a new one each year. This year we joined a friend in Las Vegas and rented a car to drive the two and a half hours to Zion. We stayed in a villa in Springdale, a small town right outside the park entrance.

The highlight of our trip was hiking to Angel’s Landing, a 1,488-foot rock formation located in the middle of the canyon. It offers a nearly 360-degree view of the park. The hike up to the landing is known for the vertigo it can induce as you go up the last half-mile of the particularly steep ridge of rock, gripping chains to haul you to the top.Climb up to Angel's Landing

Sheer cliffs are found on either side of the ridge. We knew to expect this because of the many times the automatic shuttle bus recording repeated the warning that “fatalities have occurred.” (On the trail, a sign gave us the specific number of six fatalities since 2004). At one point we had second thoughts about taking our children up. Plus, as I have grown older, I have also gained a greater appreciation (to put it nicely) for heights.

But we pressed on and were rewarded with spectacular views at the top. For photographers, the hike offers some wonderful landscape opportunities, if you are willing to haul your gear.

Hidden CanyonAnother highly recommended hike was Hidden Canyon. While it didn’t offer the breathtaking views of some of the other hikes in Zion, it provided a special opportunity to scramble off the trail and hike into a narrowing canyon. The kids loved climbing over the boulders and obstacles that provided challenging tests of skill. Eventually we came to the rock formation on the hike that is impassable, and gladly turned around.

Other highlights of the canyon included a rock formation that looks like a sinking ship and a natural arch that you can climb over.

We plan on returning to Zion when the children are a few years older and better able to take on The Narrows, a spectacular hike done primarily in the river up a narrow canyon. It would have been too much of a challenge for our nine year old, but we definitely want to experience this paradise for photographers in the future.

I would highly recommend Zion National Park for its special natural beauty that our Western landscape has to offer. Next year I hope to offer another report from Yosemite. In the meantime, enjoy some of these pictures I took from Zion.

The Narrows

Tagged in: Excercise Hiking Travel

Board certified in pediatrics, as well as allergy and immunology, Dr. Jason Friesen sees patients of all ages. Caring and bright, he is passionate about finding a balance between the seriousness of food allergies and the importance of leading full and normal lives