Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Zion Definitely Deserves to be a National Park

I'm writing this post from Zion National Park where we've spent the last two days being wowed by the incredible scenery. I know that all the National Parks have something unique and wonderful to offer, but this one is awe-inspiring in the truest sense of the word "awe". So many sheer cliffs and beautiful canyon walls in so many colors!

When we arrived Monday afternoon we took the Watchman trail right near our campground for a "quick warm-up" (as Jeff pitched it to me), then on Tuesday we really explored the rest of the park. We hiked the Riverside trail at the end of the canyon, then a nice loop of 3 trails together: Kayenta, Emerald Pools and The Grotto [click here if you'd like to see a map of Zion's trails]. We rounded out the end of the day with a quick trek on the Archaeological trail near our campground. All in all I think we covered close to 8 miles and every step of the way was gorgeous. If you haven't been here, plan to make the trip - it's worth it.

When we drive out on Wednesday we're paying $15 for a permit which will allow us to travel through the tunnel on Hwy 9 with Audrey. You can get the scoop here, but basically the tunnel was built in the 1920s and wasn't meant for large vehicles, so today they stop traffic and let you go through the tunnel on your own, taking up both lanes. Should be interesting!!

This was too short of a visit to this great park, but the good news is that it's only a 3-hour drive from our house which makes it easy to come back to. Next stop: Page, Arizona. We'll be boondocking again while we see Antelope Canyon, Lone Rock Beach, and Horseshoe Bend - I can't wait!

Watchman peak, right next to our campground

The Virgin River as seen from the Riverside trail

The Emerald Pools Trail. After I snapped this, we were then one of those tiny people you see on the trail.

Now here we are beneath the waterfall.

Audrey had a great campsite!

View from Kayenta trail

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