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September 7, 2006
From journal On the Plateau, Part I: The Canyons of Zion
Rodeo, New Mexico
December 7, 2005
Weeping Rock parking lot is a trailhead for numerous hikes. Besides the quickie hike to Weeping Rock itself, from the same trailhead, one can access Hidden Canyon, Echo Canyon, and Observation Point, all strenuous uphill treks with long dizzying dropoffs. Yellowing Fremont cottonwoods, velvet ash, and occasional red big-leaf maple line the stream draining from Weeping Rock; informational signs along this short nature trail allow for breathers. Two kinds of columbine flourish trailside, one adapted to moist, the other dryer (canyon wall) environment.
Suddenly it’s shower time. Drops splash my face as I crane my neck backwards to gaze up at the source of the water, a fluted, mossy wall with clumps of fern growing from the recesses. Steps to the left lead to an imposing rock overhang, where it’s a bit drier. Down the steps hop a couple of little boys who’ve found the wettest place, right on the steps, and are lingering long enough to get sopping wet.
The bulging out part of the overhang resembles a mushroom cap embedded into the cliff wall, with shaded gills underneath blending into the wall. A concrete platform and waist high brick wall have been built into this natural overhang. Stripes of white, tan, green and reddish-brown intermingle on the back wall of the overhang, combinations of sandstone, minerals, and mosses. After climbing the steps to the highest portion, the Great White Throne, impressive in its magnitude, is partially visible from Weeping Rock overlook. It was named by Reverend Frederick Vining Fisher during his naming expedition to Zion in 1916. Stunned by its majesty, he named it after the Throne of God.
Springs such as Weeping Rock occur when water-saturated Navajo sandstone, the predominant geologic feature in Zion, meet with older less permeable Kayenta clay-based siltstone or mudstone. Millions of years ago, streambeds were covered with blowing desert sand. Over time, both layers solidified into a thin shale (Kayenta) and thick sandstone (Navajo sandstone). Rain and snowmelt from the 7500 foot high Colorado Plateau soak into the sandstone, moving sideways when reaching the hard shale, then emerging as springs and seeps in the canyons.
Weeping Rock is a favorite for Zion visitors of all ages. Kids love taking a shower in the middle of a hike, especially refreshing on hot days. Vegetation is lush year round, and the glistening wetness, multi-colored rocks, and viewpoint of nearby monoliths are always beautiful.
From journal Mukuntuweap – Splendors of Zion
July 2, 2001
We hiked up to Weeping Rock at midday, but the path is shaded, so it wasn't too hot. Josie managed to walk the whole way up and back by herself, so this is a good walk for little kids that aren't used to hiking. The mist coming off of weeping rock at the top of the path was quite refreshing.
To get to the start of the trail, get off at the Weeping Rock stop and walk
through the parking lot, following the signs.
From journal Day Trip to Zion National Park