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Published: September 7th 2019
After a great nights sleep and a delicious breakfast we headed out to explore Zion, NP. The town of Springdale, in partnership with the park, have a wonderful free shuttle service with stops throughout the town and to the park. Once in the park there is another shuttle service that stops at all of the various trails and scenic areas. This was begun to cut down on the number of vehicles that had previously crowded the park, and to cut down on the pollution caused by them. We decided on the advice of one of the park rangers to ride to the shuttles' last stop, and work our way back. The scenery here is just beautiful. The various shades of red, white and browns, along with the steep slopes through the canyon were breathtaking. Our first hike was called Riverside Walk. This 2.2 mile trail brings you along the Virgin River along the bottom of a narrow canyon. Along the way we were met by many squirrels which had no fear of humans so we figured they must have been fed on occasion by hikers, bad. We also saw a few deer that also showed no fear of us. The view
at the end of the trail was quite lovely and ended down by the river. I walked in to take a clearer shot of the canyon and was surprised to find that the water really wasn't that cold. One could continue on to the Narrow from here where the trail is the river itself, but we all decided not to continue. We had been warned that this is flash flood season and to remain alert if near the rivers. Flash floods are dangerous because it may not be raining at all where you are, but at some other location a long way away. We went back to the shuttle area and headed to "The Grotto" trail which brought us to The Zion Lodge where we decided to have lunch. It felt great to get off our feet for awhile before heading to our next stop which was "The Court of The Patriarchs". This short trail brought us to an unbelievable view of the Abraham, Isaac and Jacob peaks. These peaks were named by the mormons who had fled to this area because of religious persecution. There also was a great view of Mt. Morone and The Sentinel so it was
definitely worth the short steep climb to the viewing area. After a visit to the Zion Museum, we headed back to our rooms for a much needed rest. By the way, it was only 95 degrees today. Zion is a unique place, with unbelievable geology, scenery and peace. One can truly feel close to nature here. Like a lot of the National parks, Zion also is truly enjoyed by the hikers, as there are a myriad of trails to locations that you cannot access by vehicle. Unfortunately our bodies no longer allow us to pursue that activity. After our perfunctory cocktail hour (or hour and a half), we headed to a local Mexican restaurant and stuffed ourselves. Fortunately, there was still room left for an ice cream on the way back to the room. Hitting the sack early in preparation for the drive to Bryce canyon in the morning.
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