Saturday, May 2, 2015

Zion National Park

We left about 7:30am headed for Zion National Park.  We had read that the parking lots are generally full by 10am.  We have heard that many of the National parks are moving toward using Shuttle Buses to reduce the vehicle traffic in the National Parks—to reduce traffic problems, parking issues and pollution.   We get to the park about 8:30am.  We got one of the last parking spaces available…CRAZY!

We hop on a Shuttle Bus to see the sights.  We found out that the Museum doesn’t open for Zion until 10am; so we decided to take the bus to the end and work our way backwards. 

We started at the Riverside Walk viewpoint.  This trail is paved and 2 miles long. Riverside Walk trail runs along the Virgin River at the bottom of a very narrow canyon.  There were short bursts of incline, but they were very easy to manage.  George, of course, had no issues with this trail.  I was really proud of myself; I was able to easily manage the trail.  My challenge was not stopping to visit with everyone on the trail.
Around each bend was a different sight to behold.  Peeking out from the rocks were lush plants that created the hanging gardens along the path.  In several places water trickled down creating a shimmering masterpiece.   The trails ended at the river, where many hikers start the next hike—right down the middle of the river!  As we were walking, we were trying to find out why people were hiking in waders and waterproof shoes—now we know. 

Zion elevation goes from about 3,000 feet to over 8,700 feet—which allowed for a cool day to be walking and hanging out taking in the beauty.

There are multiple viewpoints through Zion; each offering beautiful sandstone formations and lush vegetation.  The rocks are a variety of glorious orange, red and tan.  The landscape and views are amazing. 

Unlike other canyon parks that we have visited; Zion National Park has rim viewpoints AND trails that allowed us to walk along the river at the bottom of the canyon.  The views from the rims are stunning.

Using the Shuttle, we were able to stop at all of the viewpoints.  Each stop offered a unique perspective of the park and the landscape.

We went back to the Visitor Center, found a great spot to enjoy our picnic lunch.  The weather was perfect.  We watched the squirrels, lizards and the people.  (Honestly, not sure which was the most entertaining. J

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