I visited Zion National Park last week. While I was there, I hiked off-trail to the rim of Parunuweap Canyon. This is on the east side of the park. At higher altitude, making it a little cooler than the over 100 deg heat of the main park canyon. It was a lot of fun. I've tried this hike a couple times already and this is the first time I've completed it. It was fun. It was far less exhausting than I expected. I certainly am not in better shape than previously. I think I was more prepared for the conditions and the landscape. Here's a link to a Google Map that I created showing my route and a few photos I took. If you click on the KML link above the map, then it will download a file that, when opened (double-clicked), will launch Google Earth and show the same route and phot balloons. It's neat.
Later, I'll take more time and blog more about it. I took many photos, and I should share more of them. I think I now have enough familiarity with the terrain, and have found a sufficiently easy route, that I can bring others to this place.
If it doesn't show: I like Zion.
ps: no muscle cramps. very little soreness. a few insect bites. i seem to be getting better at hiking in the desert.