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Published: November 8th 2017
Off to Zion...Hwy 12W thru Red Canyon and red rock tunnels...89S Scenic Byway 🌄
Signs - frequent wildlife crossings next 10 miles 👀 Mt. Carmel Junction UT, home of the ho-made pies 😜🎂
Driving Hwy 9, Zion-Mount Carmel Hwy, into Zion National Park is a must - all of a sudden the road turns to a red color as you come upon the entrance. The rocks are massive...hard to fathom unless you see in person. A hiker and rock climber’s playground ⛰ A long tunnel thru huge red rocks!!
According to Google, Zion is both the oldest and the oldest
national park in Utah. Zion means “the heavenly 👼🏻city” and the park’s Kolob Canyons are named after a place described in Mormon scripture as being near God’s throne. There are no churches in Zion National Park, but there’s plenty to inspire reverence 💒🙏🏻
We pull into the South Campground and meet the camp hosts, Carroll and Betty Davis 👫. They take their job very seriously and provide us our camp ⛺️ site options...we pick our site and come back to pay💰- $20/night 🤑we will stay 3 nights, as we have lots to explore 😉 and the weather
is fabulous! We setup camp and then walk around to check everything out. The Campground is next to the Virgin River and a beautiful location. Trees with gold leaves and mule deer 🦌 and turkeys 🦃 everywhere! We can walk to the visitor center as well as the town of Springdale, which has lodging and restaurants, and can also access trails - woohoo! Zion has a free shuttle 🚋 service that we can take on the scenic drive for additional views/hikes. Time to make dinner - vegetarian chili 🌶 and for Karen to plan our hikes.
We both sleep 😴 like babies - it is so much warmer here. The bathrooms at the visitor center are much nicer, so we decide to walk there and get some coffee ☕️ and use their 🚽😁 We get back to camp ⛺️ and cook scrambled eggs with toasted bagels...we will need our energy for hiking 👩🏻🌾👩🏻🌾. Our plan is to check out the town of Springdale and then hike the Watchman Trail, ~ 10 miles for the day. Zion reminds us of the first time we came out west to ski 🎿 in Breckenridge CO. We fell in love 😍 then and
now here in Zion ❤️. Springdale is a really cute and quaint place...feels good 😊 We check it all out, including our restaurant options and then head on our hike. I have taken so many photos, hopefully a few will be frame worthy 🖼. The views are stunning and we are having so much fun 😄 Temperatures during the day upper 60s and nights low 40s...perfect! Our second day of hiking, the Pa’rus Trail which follows the Virgin River to Canyon Junction; this is where we plan to hop on the shuttle to the top of the scenic drive and then work our way down. We begin at the Temple of Sinawava and the Riverside Trail which leads to the beginning of the Narrows Trail, one of the most popular hikes. We are not able to do the Narrows as you need an entire day, it is an 8-hr hike, and wetsuits since much of the hike is thru waist deep water 💦. Next time! The Riverside Trail was awesome 👏 Great start to the day! Angels Landing, another popular hike - not for the faint at heart (very difficult), was closed. There are 2 toilets 🚽🚽 at the top
and they extract the waste 💩once a year by helicopter 🚁, and it happened to be the day we were there 😷 So, on to Weeping Rock, The Grotto and the Kayenta Trail to the Emerald Pools. We hiked and hiked and hiked...we were tired 😓, but fulfilled. No energy to cook👨🍳, so we enjoyed a great meal at Oscar’s in Springdale - highly recommend 😋 As mentioned before, Karen’s goal is to keep me busy. She wins 🥇we hiked more than 12 miles and we, yes we, are exhausted. On the way back from dinner we stop at the shower 🚿 in town - 4 dollars 💵 for 5 minutes. It’s been several days, so we cannot wait to get clean and crash in Spa Haven. I remember climbing the ladder and crawling into my sleeping bag and well...that’s it. Well done Karen 👍🏻 We wake up to faint squeaky/squabble sounds and unzip the window - we are surrounded by wild turkeys 🦃🦃🦃 so cool 😎 We met more happy 😃 campers during our visit to Zion...a honeymoon couple from British Columbia, a rock climber from Ohio, and the parents of the Goose IPA brewmaster (he offered us a
beer 🍻 but his wife said ‘we drank it all’) ☹️
We are now on our way 🛣 to Los Angeles. Get ready Val, here we come!
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