Sunday, 6 May 2012

Zion National Park, UT

The drive into Zion from the eastern entrance is very windy, tight and narrow. There are a number of tunnels to go through and RV's need to be escorted as the road needs to be blocked off for them to fit through the tunnels. Driving through, we weren't impressed. This is Utah's most popular park. Zion is busy, really busy. We had to share a group site the first night and were ready to leave the next day because it was so horrible. The next morning we found a spot at the Southern campground which is near the river with lovely trees all around us which squirrels run up. The main hike people do here is up the narrows but you need a wet suit as you are walking up the river, so we won’t be doing that one!

What a difference a nice camp site makes. This is really nice, cottonwood trees blow fluff through the air and there is a creek a few hundred metres away. They have an excellent bus service here, so I stop off first at the three Patriarchs which unfortunately are in shade and then head to The Grotto.

the Three Patriarchs
Right next to the bus is a ranger with a group of people and they ask me if I’m joining them on the Kayenta Trail ranger talk. I wasn’t, but I do. The walk takes you along a track to the Emerald pools and back to the Zion Lodge. Along the way we talk about all the plants in the desert, yes this is a desert, but it doesn’t look like one. The river changes everything. It is very interesting and I learn a lot. One problem though, is that Lindsay doesn’t know where I am, so I leave everyone at the lower Emerald pool and head home as fast as I can. The next day Lindsay and I take the Pa’rus trail from the South campground to Canyon Junction which takes you along the river over quite a few bridges. We take the bus to the Patriarchs so that I can get a picture of them in the sunlight and then head to Zion Lodge to get an ice-cream, with the emphasis on ice, they weren’t creamy at all. I want to take Lindsay on the Kayenta trail that I did the afternoon before, which starts at the Grotto bus stop. We take the trail a bit further though, right up to the Upper Emerald Pool, which was a hot uphill jaunt.

The view at the end was worth it and there were quite a few people there sitting around the pool.

As we have a booking at Yosemite NP for the 13 May, we need to start heading west. On our way through Nevada, Lindsay noticed an oil leak when we was filling up with fuel. We got it in time and luckily only had to spend two days in Caliente to have it fixed. It was just a $20 part, which could have turned into a disaster had we not caught it in time.

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