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Published: March 25th 2020
March 20, 2020 we left Page and drove to Glendale, UT. We had a good drive but did experience 2 snow squalls. Our first time driving in the snow with the RV. We were happy it was short lived and we were not in a curvy/hilly area. The landscape changed again becoming vast grass lands with red/pink mountains in the background. Crossing the Glen Canyon Dam in Page was also very pretty revealing views of Lake Powell.
We plan to be in Glendale for a week. After our first trip into Zion, I realized quickly this "stop" will have 2 posts. One for Zion National Park and the other for Bryce Canyon National Park(visited March 22, posted March 23).
Our first visit to Zion(3/21) we stopped along the way to take many pictures. Every turn was another jaw dropping WOW! The rocks are HUGE. They are all etched in different ways that give them all their own beauty. Some are high enough to have snow on the tops making them a spectacular site! Red Rock, Green Pines, White Snow. Winding through lower Zion Canyon on our drive into the main part of the park the rocks looked different from
the many angles as well. We also thought it was fitting the road was brown instead of black asphalt.
We drove into Zion from the East along Rt. 9. It goes through some ranching areas with long canyon views of their own. We passed many camping areas that are not open yet for the season as well as some ranch style cabin rental areas and horse farms for trail riding rentals. This route in has 2 tunnels. One is short but the other is 1.1 miles long and if we would have driven the RV in we would have had to get a permit and have an escort to take us through the center while they halt oncoming traffic. I was so glad I learned that while researching the trip. Staying away and driving the car in was much more enjoyable. The road winds down into the canyon after you pass through the long tunnel. We could see some of the archway openings along the cliff where the tunnel is. We also got to see way up high the view point for the Canyon Overlook Trail that we took on our way out in the afternoon.
scenic drive for Zion is usually only accessible by a shuttle. With the Corona Virus Precautions the shuttle was not running (the visitor centers/concessions are also closed; thankfully trails and drives are still open). We enjoyed that we could take our own vehicle in. They did however have rangers at several check points and if parking lots at trail heads and overlooks were full, they did not let cars in until one came out. Fortunately we got there early in the day.
It was a partially sunny day and in the low to mid 40s. We had a few layers on and did warm up by the afternoon. We drove to the end of the scenic drive and walked a little over 3 miles along the Riverside Walk. It is a paved trail that follows the Virgin River. This is the River that flows through Zion creating the Canyon. At the end of the walk the trail continues in the water, called the Narrows, through some slot canyons. We actually saw 2 couples start up that way. They had special shoes and waterproof pants on. Almost like "hip boots" but the shoe part was more like a sneaker. But,
Road between Glendale to Zion RT. 9
I imagine it was still quite chilly even if they stayed dry! On the way back to the car we saw a squirrel. They are pretty aggressive and not shy. We saw a couple of signs saying it is $100 fine if you feed them! You'll see a picture of one with Mike.
We continued on to the southern entrance of the park and walked another 3 mile trail also paved called the Pa'Rus Trail. It also went along the river, a meadow, and one of the campgrounds. The campground looked so inviting, wooded, nice big sites and along the river. There were people tenting as well as small RVs, and trailers. Along the trail we saw some prints that we think belong to a big cat, and 2 groups of deer. One was of a small buck and 4 does. We saw them again when we got back grazing through the campground. In the meadow we saw another group of 9 deer. When we went by again they were laying down and you could just see their ears sticking up out of the grass. It made me think they were rabbits😊. I noticed here as well as on
the other trail some holly bushes and on this trail they were huge some of them trees.
As we headed back to Glendale we stopped to climb the Canyon Overlook Trail. That one is about a mile. It is steep in areas and some drop offs. Many people were walking it with their kids...I was so nervous for them. The views as we climbed were of some small slot canyons formed by the run off, the cliffside of the tunnel and then at the end we got to look down into the canyon we had driven through after the tunnel.
As we say at the end of most days, "we filled another day honey!" We decided we will go back to Zion in a few days to hike Angels Landing. The weather has been variable and we planned to see Bryce the next day as it was supposed to be sunny....It was, we did, and yes, we filled another day😊
Today, March 24, we went back to Zion and hiked Angels Landing. Well that was our intent. The trail leading to Angels Landing is actually called The West Rim Trail and it comes to a high overlook,
Scout Overlook. At this point you can hold onto a chain mounted to the rocky cliffside to Angels Landing. It was "technically" closed due to the Corona Virus Precautions (all the people touching the chain) but many went up anyway until a ranger arrived. Mike had intended to go up despite the precautions as he had gloves but once he saw it, his fear of heights kicked in and he decided the hike we did was satisfying enough. It really was! I was tearful actually as the beauty was so moving to me. The hike was 4 miles round trip. It was quite steep in the beginning with many switch backs overlooking the river and the scenic road. It then leveled out taking us between 2 towering rocks along a nice run off stream. The water was so clear. That stretch was cool and I imagine well welcomed on a hot day. We then climbed another set of steeper shorter switch backs to Scout Lookout. That is where the picture of the 2 of us was taken. From here we could look down at another area of the park road and scenic parking area.
We rewarded ourselves with an
ice cream in the town of Springdale that is at the southern entrance to Zion. We had such an awesome day! It was sunny and warmed up to the high 50s. Big difference from yesterday when we had snow again.
Zion is a beautiful National Park and we recommend if you have the chance to see either of the parks in this area take it! It is worth it! Zion reminded us so much of our beloved Yosemite. It is much smaller but the towering rocks was the same.
Our plans after seeing Zion and Bryce were to head to the eastern part of Utah to see Arches and Canyonlands. However the 3 counties surrounding that park have closed all of the hotels and campgrounds except for people working in the area. So we are leaving Glendale a day early(tomorrow) and planning to drive a couple of long days and get to the other side of the Rockies. Being in the mountains has been pretty chilly living in an RV and we had our water hose freeze up one night. We hope on the other side of the mountains it will be a little warmer. We are not
sure where we will be able to stay so are prepared to "boondocks" at WalMart or Truck Stops if necessary and will see anything that we are able to along the way.
So for now I probably won't have much to blog about! Thank you again for following along, it has been fun to share our stories and pictures with you.
Take care until next time😊
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