Zion National Park

I just got back from Zion National Park. We drove there Thursday from Bryce Canyon and came through the East entrance, a winding road with a mile-long tunnel (though it also has 4 “galleries” which are like windows into the canyon, but we weren’t allowed to stop). That road is under construction so they have it down to one lane traffic in several places, including the tunnel. Therefore we were escorted through. It is impressive, but since a lot of the road was torn up, it was also pretty rough.

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We went to the visitor’s center first and it seemed to be chaos, with a lot more people than at Bryce, and a lot higher temperature. The main road is closed to public car traffic, so you have to take a shuttle bus that comes every six minutes. The poor road and everything else made a bad first impression. But we got on the shuttle and went to the museum, looking at exhibits about the park and a 20-minute film. Basically Zion is a canyon with huge nearly vertical sandstone cliffs on each side. These are impressive with giant rough blocks having fallen out of the walls and different colors and layers as you work your way up. It is not as big as the Grand Canyon, but it is narrower, with more vertical faces and more greenery.

We decided to take a shuttle up the canyon just to see everything and wound up taking a walk at the Temple of Sinawava where the surrounding cliffs form a circle around some pillars in the center. From there you can take a nice walk upstream on a paved path until the river comes out of the narrows, though we didn’t make it that far.

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We stopped by the lodge and gift ship before heading out of the park. We returned the next morning around 8:30 AM to try the Angel’s Landing Trail. This trail is mostly uphill and then ends up on top of a thin cliff with 1,000 feet drop-offs on each side. It is crazy and it makes me woozy looking so far down it was like we were in an airplane. Susan continued most of the last half-mile but didn’t make it all the way to the landing itself. She did get some nice pictures.

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Here is a picture going out towards Angel’s Landing, looking down Zion Canyon towards the park entrance.

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Here’s a picture of the top of the knife edge ridge out to Angel’s Landing. Sheer drops on boths sides. The landing is the highest point, so I don’t think you can see it here.

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Here’s a fantastic picture of the dropoff with a bus down on the road. The cliff on the inside of the road curve is like a skyscraper and we’re way, way above that. There is no rail; this is just a picture Susan took at the edge of a 1000-foot cliff.

One thought on “Zion National Park

  1. I went to Zion with my friend Richard (the jewish santa claus) and we hiked the “narrows”. I remember people telling stories of flash-floods catching hikers in the narrows b/c the walls are so steep there’s no where to run. They said it sounds like a train coming – we would stop every now and then thinking that we heard a train. It’s a really beautiful place!

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