“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before” – Anonymous
Hey y’all! Can you tell that I had to break out the dictionary for that title? I needed something that started with Z that would adequately convey my emotion for Zion National Park. Oh, there are plenty of adjectives to describe the appeal of that bewitching, resplendent locale, but how many start with Z?
Anyhow, on our recent jaunt to southern Utah, Zion National Park was at the top of my list. As I mentioned in a previous post, even though I didn’t really know exactly what to expect, I knew by reputation that it is supposed to be beautiful. As I prepared for our trip, I started searching Google images for some ideas of what we would be seeing and I was amazed. I called my husband over to the computer while he was watching a basketball game or something, and I was actually able to grab his attention away from the tube while we oohed and ahhed at all of the lovely pictures.
But, let me tell you, pictures never do a place as majestic as Zion any justice. And, even though I just said that, I am compelled to share pictures with you. Below are a few pictures from the Canyon Overlook Trail.
By the way, there are hanging gardens in quite a few places in the park. They are formed when water drips down through the rock and creates a wet environment for plants to grow. You can see some of that in the picture above, left.
My favorite views in Zion National Park were seen as we departed the long tunnel and entered the canyon in the eastern part of the park. The cliffs were massive and soared above our heads in beautiful hues of red and cream with the contrasting green of the vegetation.
I found it interesting that the views east of the long tunnel were somewhat different from the main canyon.
And, part of those views were big horn sheep! We were all so excited to see them, although they only showed themselves to us once. Tip – look around the east side of the long tunnel close to dusk.
And while I will be sharing more pictures of individual hikes inside Zion in future posts, the last thing I would like to highlight today is the amazing petroglyphs that we found inside Zion National Park. It’s actually really amazing that we found these ancient creations at all. There’s no sign on the road letting you know that they exist (that I could see, anyway), and no parking area for them. The tour guide from Mild to Wild Rhino Tours is the one who told us about them and how to see them. Even with his directions, we were pretty unsure as we picked our way through a wash and under a road.
Seeing the petroglyphs was one of the items on my own personal “bucket list” for our vacation, and even though we were at the end of a long day that had been full of activity, and even though it was starting to get a little dark, my family humored me and went along for the journey. I am so thankful!
While I am talking about Zion, I would like to point out that May is a fabulous month to visit the park. Unless, that is, you want to hike the Narrows. Usually, during the month of May, the Virgin River runs too high due to snow melt, and the park closes the Narrows hike. But the temperatures are really nice for hiking most of the month – not too cold, not too hot, and you don’t have to worry much about flash flooding in the slot canyons because it is not the rainy season. Of course, you always have to watch the weather, because with mother nature, anything can happen, but the odds are in your favor in May. We were there May 20th – 27th and had absolutely gorgeous weather, although it was getting pretty warm at the end of our trip. Also, the kids aren’t out of school yet, so it’s less crowded than the summer months. If you can get there in May, it’s a great time to go!
So, if Zion National Park isn’t on your list, then get your pencil out right now and write it down! Make plans to visit. You won’t regret it!
Until next time – happy traveling!