63°F
weather icon Clear

Workshops great way to experience Zion

Springtime in Zion National Park is all about renewal. The deciduous trees are putting on leaves, the wildflowers are starting to bloom and the usually dry cliff faces have turned into bases for waterfalls. The best aspect of this scenario is that you can see it up close and personally about three hours from Boulder City.

A great way to experience the park, especially if you want a more in-depth understanding of nature and better awareness of your environment, is to take one or more of the workshops that the Zion Canyon Field Institute is offering this spring. In April alone, the institute offers nine such classes.

April 10­ — Thursday Trek. Join a naturalist for an introduction to the geology, flora, fauna and cultural history of the park. Hiking is rated as easy to moderate.

April 11 — Mojave Wildflowers. Meet up and join the man in the know, botanist Dan McConnell in St. George, Utah, area to find the region’s wildflowers at their best.

April 12 — Zion Geology. A short hike and a trailside lecture will show you how geological forces have formed the canyon and are still at work. You will see former landslides and rockfalls and learn about how water continues to reshape the canyon.

April 12 — Zion Canyon’s Cottonwood Trees and the CCC. This class focuses on the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, its work projects along the Virgin River and how they affected the riparian health of the flood plain.

April 17 ­— America’s Wilderness: Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation. Garry Oye, National Park Service chief of wilderness stewardship, gives a talk about the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act.

April 18 — Zion’s Low Desert Flowers. This is the optimal time to see wildflowers in the extreme southwest corner of the park. Join a botanist for an easy-to-moderate hike to see and learn about this area’s annual wildflowers, prickly cacti and flowering shrubs.

April 19-20 — Zion Through The Lens. Zion Canyon Field Institute Director Michael Plyler, who also is a professional photographer, teaches this unique workshop. Learn about the park while you improve your camera skills in areas such as depth of field, exposure control, filters, tripods and composition. Easy-to-moderate hiking.

April 24 — Archaeological Field Day. Learn about Zion and work in the field with an archaeologist. Participants might take part in survey work, cataloging and other tasks. Expect some hiking, hard work and getting dirty.

The institute offers workshops and service projects year-round. The workshops are extremely popular and fill up fast, so if you wish to join one, reserve your spot as soon as possible.

If your time in Zion isn’t when a workshop takes place, you can take part in their “Custom Explore Zion” program. This program offers half-day or full-day guided activities with a naturalist or guide. To make a reservation for a workshop or a custom exploration, contact the Zion Canyon Field Institute at 800-635-3959, 435-772-3264 or www.zionpark.org. Fees vary depending on workshop and some have minimum age restrictions.

Many of Deborah Wall’s columns were recently compiled with new information and photos in “Base Camp Las Vegas” and published by Stephens Press. She is the author of “Great Hikes, a Cerca Country Guide.” Wall can be reached at Deborabus@aol.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Canyon home to many petroglyphs

Grapevine Canyon is one of the finest petroglyph sites in Southern Nevada. It is also one of the easiest to visit on a day trip, located in the southern part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, near Laughlin, and approachable by roads fit for passenger cars. The short hike to the rock art itself is easy.

City Recreation, Nov. 25

Spragno volleyball team nets title

Landscape marked by giant designs

You might have seen aerial photos of geoglyphs in Peru and Chili or even those located in Great Britain and Australia, but here in the United States we also have equivalent cultural treasures.

Varied geology, history evident throughout Death Valley

You could spend months or even years exploring Death Valley National Park in California and never see it all, but for first-time visitors even a day trip can be more than satisfying, and now is a good time to do it.

Picturesque canyons draw visitors, photographers

There are thousands of colorful sandstone slot canyons in the Southwest and because no two are the same, exploring each is a unique experience. Some of the most picturesque canyons are found deep in the wilderness and only seen by those who hike many hours, even days, over rough terrain.

Pioneer spirit lingers in Grafton, Utah

Although Grafton, Utah, is just a few miles off the main road to Zion National Park, it seems worlds removed from the park’s bustle. It’s quite possible you’ll be the only visitor as you stroll among Grafton’s historic buildings, mature deciduous trees and open meadows with views of Zion.

Trip to Banshee Canyon short but adventurous

The Rings Trail to Banshee Canyon is a short but adventurous outing in California’s Mojave National Preserve. It offers the unique challenge of navigating a narrow slot canyon using ring bolts to aid you, on both the descent and the return.

Leaf-peeping opportunities plateau in Utah

A chill is in the air in the Southwest’s high elevations, and fall foliage season is upon us. One of the best ways for Southern Nevadans to enjoy it this month is to head up to the Markagunt Plateau, just east of Cedar City, Utah.

Slot canyons, rock formations highlight visit to Grand Staircase Escalante

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, located in south central Utah, was established in 1996 and currently encompasses about 1 million acres. It boasts some of the Southwest’s most impressive scenery, accessible not only by traveling its scenic byways and backways but also by setting out on foot. Besides its waterways, arches and other fabulous rock formations it is also home to spectacular canyons, including hundreds of slot canyons.

Navajo park provides monumental sights

One of the most picturesque places in the world is practically at our doorstep: the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Located on the border of Utah and Arizona, the park boasts buttes, mesas, spires, pinnacles and arches, arranged in some of the finest panoramic views on Earth.