A few months ago i posted on this forum about which of the above parks was preferred and the general consensus was that they were about equal with many qualities each.
I came to Zion for the first time last year and loved it, in fact it was the best scenery i had ever seen and promised to come back.
I did and am priveliged to say i have done both parks this visit. The fantastic weather helped. Im currently at Oakhurst have just visited Wawona and Mariposa Grove.
I just want to give my views on both parks.
Zion was everything i remembered. I was excited this time just as i was last time and it lived up to my expectations. I redid Angels Landing and Observation Point which (apart from the narrows) are the iconic hikes.
Now, i loved Yosemite, in fact was in awe of it. I did a relaxing day around the village and just strolling and manage to see every corner.
However everything revolves around the 2 main iconic views of Half Dome and El Capitan. I managed to get the view in 30 minutes of arriving. During my stay, i passed them/saw them 20+ times.
The next day i did my hike. Boy was i scared as i left the trailhead for the 4-mile at 7.30am and by the time i reached Glacier Point 2 hrs later, i had not seen a soul. The trail went through woodland for
the best part and the view remained the same until about half way, until Half Dome was standing there before me. Every shadow on the rock looked like a bear and i was nervous throughout, nevertheless, i would never see a bear during my stay. Until then, due to the scarceness of people, i found it very intimidating and somewhat boring at the same time. Half hr stop at the top of G.P then i decided to head down Panorama. First 2hrs, never saw a soul again and once again was quite boring, just walking through forest expecting a bear to jump out. Finally saw some human beings at Nevada and Vernal fall which were great (the falls that is).
6hrs on these trails and the waterfalls will be best remembered.
I found the trails during my stay very difficult to follow, except at Mariposa Grove. The stencilled signage, which i appreciate dates way back. is so difficult to read. You have to tilt your head, close one eye and stand on one leg to read what it says and only then if the sun is shining in the right direction. I found it very frustrating.
Would i go back to Zion. Yes. I would happily do A.L and O.P many more times againdue to the fact that there is something to see around every corner, but would not see myself coming back to Yosemite, even though it might be hard to believe that i actually loved it. Ill do T.R and you'll see what else i covered, so i gave it a fair chance.
So, for me Zion pips Yosemite. Hovever, it is not Zion that is my favourite during my trip.
Death Valley is the most awesome, contrasting, contradicting, colourful place i have ever had the pleasure to visit.
I dont wish to be hard on Yosemite. I think my fault is that i plan too much, so much so that i know what im doing pretty much all day, each day. I had read forums, you-tubed and googled. I was probably expecting too much rather than just going with the flow.
I would appreciate comments to see if im being harsh or where ive gone wrong. Ive come with my mother this trip, but plan on coming with my family next visit to the parks.