Nature is full of surprises. Although I’ve seen a relatively good sampling of National Parks in the United States, once again, I was humbled by another phenomenon I had yet to experience… a weeping wall.
The Riverside Walk in Zion National Park, Utah is a path that winds along the North Fork Virgin River. As you begin the trail, to the left is the river, with a the steep canyon wall just beyond, to the right, another steep wall. As you continue down the trail, the canyon continues to narrow– ending in another trail, appropriately named, The Narrows.
Along the way, I kept looking at the canyon wall to my right, and wondered why it was wet? Was there a waterfall above? Where was the water coming from? The wall was also covered with a beautiful hanging garden, very popular these days in urban areas. I had to find out the source of the water, and this is where I learned what a weeping wall is.
The sandstone rock in the canyon walls are very porous. When the snow melts and rain falls at the top of the canyon, the water seeps into the sandstone. At one point in the wall (towards the bottom of the canyon) the sandstone changes to a less porous rock. The water has no where to go but out… and the wall begins to weep. One fun fact I read is that it takes the water 1,000 years to filter through. Wow!
Note: Riverside Walk is an easy trail that was perfect for our kids. There is actually an even more impressive hike called Weeping Rock in Zion that comes highly recommended.
- Zion National Park Website
- Map of Zion National Park
- Weeping Rock Trail Information
- Riverside Walk Information
- The Narrows