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Zion -vs- Yosemite

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Zion -vs- Yosemite

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.

I then came to Yosemite for a stay of about 3.5 days. Fabulous granite scenery, just as i expected. I decided on doing the 4 mile trail up and Panorama down taking in Nevada and Vernal falls.

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.

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11. Re: Zion -vs- Yosemite

This post made me look up my old reports of our visits. To perpetuate my own longings/vanity/whatever I will list links here:

Yosemite in winter of 2010


Death Valley National park in October 2010


Zion National Park


I think I have some pictures too under photos in profile. I love these trips so much: the challenging hikes, the weather, pretty stuff, spooking ourselves with worries of bears, snakes etc...were so fun!

I have been to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons 3 times in different seasons so I guess that is my favorite. Grand Canyon I think makes a lot more impact if you can hike down. I will have to give it another chance soon.

So many places, so little time. Thanks for letting me walk back on memory lane. Looking forward to your report.

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12. Re: Zion -vs- Yosemite

I like very much what you wrote about Death Valley. I feel sorry that due to its extreme weather, people dont visit it as often as other parks. But. its like no where else in the world. I love Death Valley even if I was there in the summer. Yellow Stone in late falls and early winter is also a place like no where else on the earth.

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13. Re: Zion -vs- Yosemite

I also share some of your views, but have my own perspective to add. We spent a week in Yosemite last year and very much enjoyed it. I cannot say we covered the whole park but we did get around. We were there in August, and for us the great frustration and disappointment was the crowds. Only in Hetch Hetchy were we alone on any trail (though we perhaps sometimes started later than you did) and thus we encountered very little wildlife. I also share the view that most people only visit the main valley and while those views are wonderful, they are also well known from so many photos and paintings going a long way back. Other parts of Yosemite do merit exploration, too.

We enjoyed Zion, but have not explored it as much. We encountered poor weather there so found our hiking rather curtailed, but it has some very scenic parts.

Death Valley is wonderful as it really is like no other area, those huge vistas from Zabriskie Point or Dante's View, the contrasts of Artists Drive and the sand dunes. However, as it was too hot on 2 of our 3 visits, we have not done as much hiking as we would have liked.

There are perhaps other parks that we prefer: Glacier and Yellowstone to name two, the former for hiking and the latter for so much to see and do. For just being photogenic, I think Arches and Bryce Canyon take a lot of beating, too.


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14. Re: Zion -vs- Yosemite

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