Zion National Park, Utah

Trip Start Jul 05, 2012
1
18
29
Trip End Aug 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Comfort Inn & Suites Fillmore
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Utah
Sunday, July 22, 2012

This is Day 18 – Very high temps today in the mid 90's. We are headed to Zion National Park today.  We will drive about 200 miles today as well.

We leave Hurricane Utah, heading west for the hour drive to the park. We see an unusual sight on the side of the road as we pass and Art turns around to get a better look at it. And we are not the only ones doing that. There is a tree there where people have left shoes as they travel by. They tie them or hang them on the "shoe tree"  A few are on the ground. It is VERY unique, so we take pictures.

The drive to Zion park is beautiful. We soon arrive and find it very crowded. The ranger tells us that one of the two roads is closed to cars, but we can take a shuttle bus to see it. The other road is open, so we find our way to it (Mt. Carmel Scenic Highway). This road climbs high through Zion with many switchbacks. The mountains that we encounter here are beautiful with their red and tan Navajo sandstone coloring. Even the roads here in Zion are made with red asphalt. You can see that when you are looking at the pictures.  We enjoy the beautiful drive through the switchbacks (a little scary to me as it seems you could drop right off the mountain!) and we drive through the mile long, one way tunnel.  The tunnel has little openings or windows inside it to let in light.  The mountains are incredible! I take a video as we drive through the park and of course lots of pictures. We stop at every turnout. We end our drive at a gift shop/grill with so many interesting things to explore that we spend way too much time here. We buy several items. Then we eat lunch before we return back the way we came, enjoying the drive on the way back down just as much as on the way up.

Next we park and find our way to the (free) shuttle bus. The shuttle is NOT air conditioned and it is 95 degrees. The shuttle stops at different attractions to let people off and pick up passengers.  We skip the first two stops and get off the shuttle at The Lodge. This is a huge Lodge, grill, gift shop, and other buildings. From there we head out on a hike to Emerald Pool. It is very hot (95 degrees here), so we carry water.  We enjoy the hike,despite the temperatures... we are walking along a river in the shade and that helps to keep us cooler.

We finally make it to Emerald Pool. We are a little disappointed because that there is not much water coming over the falls and into the pool due to the drought conditions they have in the area. However, we meet a couple from Switzerland and we really enjoy talking to them. The lady collects sand from everywhere she travels all over the world, so I decide that I will take back some red dirt from Zion. I have an empty water bottle and get enough to fill a vase when I get back home.

We hike back down and get ice cream at the lodge. It is very interesting that they do not sell bottled water here in the park (and we find that to be true at other parks as we travel). They ask that everyone brings their own water bottles and they have refill stations with Zion fresh water. It is not cold, but it tastes great.

We catch a shuttle back down to the Visitor’s  Center where I buy a couple of additional things, including a video of the beautiful park that includes the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon, a park we wanted to see but will not have enough time to do so.

We head out and plan to drive as far as we can tonight. The drive continues to be beautiful.  We almost stop in Beaver, Utah, but need to get closer to Idaho Falls, where we will travel tomorrow night.  So we keep driving well past dark to reach Fillmore, Utah. We check into the Comfort Inn there to spend the night.

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