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A photoblog sharing our discoveries as we explore America on the open road!

Zion National Park

Zion National Park
Leaving from Ruby’s Inn Campground in Bryce City, we headed for the 1-1/2 hour drive to majestic Zion National Park. I had seen photos of the beautiful formations that were once inhabited by mammoths, Native Americans, and of course the Mormons. There were beautiful sights to see on the journey to the park as well, especially on Mt Carmel Rd. We passed a herd of Bison on Zion Mountain Ranch, a historic ranch just 5 miles from Zion NP. We no sooner entered the park when 3 Desert Bighorn sheep came running out to the road in front of us, butting heads in play. A ewe with its baby moved along while a ram stayed behind for me to get a good photograph. The designs on some of the formations were like architectural works of art with lines zigging and zagging, and many like a checkerboard. This cross-bedding is from erosion. We came to the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, which has strict restrictions for oversized vehicles including a fee to be escorted if your rig falls within certain heights and widths. There are also certain dates and times thru the year for access. Be sure to check out the website before going to the park. After driving thru the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel for a mile, we came to several switchbacks with amazing, massive formations, towering above us. Turning left onto Highway 9, we missed the Visitors Center and ended up in Springdale. 

We turned around and found the very full parking lot at the Visitors Center. We were lucky to find a spot in the dirt to fit our 4WD beast on. The only way to see the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is by shuttle through October 25 and on weekends in November. We boarded the shuttle and were on our way! The shuttle stops at all the places of interest and I was able to get a few snapshots thru the open windows on our way to each stop. The average wait is only 15 minutes when you are ready to get back on to see the next sight or trail.


 

"For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken," Says the LORD who has compassion on you. -Isaiah 54:10

The first place we stopped was The Grotto. We did not hike to Emerald Pools but just took photos of the formations around us before getting on the shuttle and heading to Weeping Rock. It was pretty cool seeing the water dripping from the rocks. It was even cooler feeling it, as I ducked into the alcove over flowing with water, as it was a scorching hot day. We passed around Big Bend and on to Temple of Sinawava where the Riverside Walk begins. I spotted a little lizard who paused just long enough for a portrait, then scuttled away. There were many people in the Virgin River, cooling off and enjoying family time together. Walking along the trail, we witnessed squirrels playing and a mule deer doe within a few yards of the trail. She paid no mind to all the tourists delighted to see her munching on the bushes. The path led to The Narrows, which is a stunning gorge with thousand feet tall walls that you have to go thru river to reach. Not being that adventurous, we turned around and

headed back to the shuttle stop.One place I just had to stop at was the Court Of The Patriarchs. These three fascinating sandstone formations were named by the Mormons to represent Abraham, Isaac and Jacob from the Bible. Jerry went down to the Virgin River to see how cold it was. Very! What we didn’t expect to see was a tree that had obviously been gnawed away at by a beaver. There were no dams that we could see, but it looked like pretty recent activity. Calling it a day and knowing Baxley had been home alone for quite some time, we caught the next shuttle and headed back to the visitors’ center. I bought my traditional magnet, filled up our water bottle, and headed to the truck. If you are a hiker, there is much more to see than we did. Be sure to check out all the trail information and be aware of the weather conditions to avoid dangerous flash floods. What a lovely venture we enjoyed, in one of God’s most wondrous creations!

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