Zion, UTMar 2nd, 2018 to Mar 10th, 2018
On Friday afternoon, we’ll be driving up to Washington to spend the night, before taking an early flight out of Dulles/Reagan early Saturday morning. We’ll land in Las Vegas, where we will rent a van to use for the entire week. From there, we’ll get on the road to Zion, which is only a couple hours from Vegas. Throughout the week, we’ll be staying in tents at a campground in the park and cooking all of our meals on stoves or around the campfire. After an awesome week, we’ll hop in the van on Saturday morning and drive back to Las Vegas to catch our flight back home, returning to Charlottesville on Saturday night!
Our service activities will all be centered around helping the park rangers keep Zion running smoothly. The exact work we’ll be doing won’t be narrowed down until closer to the spring, but will most likely involve trail maintenance, vegetation removal, or other conservation efforts. Each day we’ll begin our service in the morning and continue to the early afternoon, giving us time to explore the park after we’ve finished.
Zion was one of the earliest national parks to be designated in the United States and will turn 100 years old in 2019. The park consists of desert mountains, valleys, canyons, and rivers, and has been continually inhabited by humans for over 8,000 years. The Anasazi tribe of Native Americans were the primary inhabitants until Mormon settlers entered the area in the 1800’s, using the land for mining and ranching (and being the first to call the area Zion). President Taft finally placed the area under federal protection in 1909 as a national monument until it was designated a national park ten years later.
Today, Zion is one of the nation’s most popular national parks, attracting around 4 million visitors per year! Each of these visitors contributes to wear on the park’s trail systems, brings in waste that isn’t always brought back out, and generally makes it more difficult to maintain the park’s conditions. Consequently, Zion has a great need for volunteers like us to help keep the park a wonderful place to visit.
For recreation time, we’ll be taking as many opportunities as possible to explore what Zion has to offer. From the instantly-recognizable hikes like Angel’s Landing and Observation Point to a variety of others that could be completed in a short afternoon, we’ll be hiking up and down canyon walls all over Zion. In addition to a full day off during the week, we’ll have afternoons available for hiking once we wrap up our service work every day! Participants on this trip should definitely have a desire to do a ton of hiking!
About the Site Leaders:
Jackson is a 3rd year computer science major with a minor in business. Around Charlottesville he enjoys backpacking and rock climbing, playing tennis, and throwing his hammock up in the gardens. Last year he led the ASB trip to Guadalupe Mountains and is pumped to get back to the wild west!
Bay is a 3rd year student with a double major in Statistics and Economics. Bay is active in Greek Life and ULink on grounds and enjoys spending time fishing and studying in the Gardens. Over the summer Bay works at Keewaydin Wilderness Canoeing camp in Middlebury VT. Last year he went on the Anza-Borrego ASB trip and is excited to work in and explore Zion.