Thursday, July 5, 2012

Road Trip Day 5: Zion National Park

Zion National Park
We woke up really early today, knowing that we might lose an hour because of time zones and headed out to Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah. We had to drive around the canyon via state highways, which was pretty. Arizona has some cool landscapes when you drive away from the cities, a drive that I would encourage people to take up route 89. We entered on the East side of Zion and drove the 12 miles to the south gate. This is a park that I have wanted to visit for years and the scenery did not disappoint. We made our first stop at the campground to grab a site. There were plenty available at this time of the morning, so we found one that we liked, got settled and then headed out to do some hiking.

Zion N. P.
Zion N.P.
Zion doesn’t allow anyone to drive their car to the trailheads, so that definitely eases congestion. They had shuttles running often from many points along the main access road in the park. We went to the visitors center and grabbed a shuttle up to Weeping Rock. It was a short (1 mile round trip hike), up a fairly gentle slope to an inlet in the canyon wall where water drips down slowly and constantly. We got some pictures and headed back down the trail. We then decided to head up to Hidden Canyon, which was a 2 mile round trip hike, but considered strenuous because it was straight uphill the entire way. When you make it near the top, you are walking around the canyon wall at a high altitude, and there are chains attached to the wall for safety. Not a good hike for people afraid of heights. This hike definitely liver up to the “strenuous” reputation. With the temperature over 100 degrees and the constant uphill climb, it definitely gave us a workout and some great views of the park. We headed down and took the shuttle back to the visitors center, and then headed back to the campground to clean up.
Zion N.P.

For dinner, we headed into Springdale, just outside the park and about 5 minutes from our campsite, and went to Zion Pizza and Noodles. We shared a pizza and had some beer. By that time we were pretty worn out, so we grabbed a couple beers and a new bag of ice, and went back to relax.

Hidden Canton Hike at Zion N. P.
Another early night, turned into some good sleep for a couple for hours before the crazy wind started. There wasn’t a storm, but the wind was wicked for the rest of the night. Because it continued into the morning, we altered our plans for hiking. No big deal!

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