Zion National Park

Some people love Vegas. They love the hustle-bustle and the thrill of gambling. They love the elaborate shows. The Strip is bathed in a spectacle of man-made neon lights every night. The people-watching is fascinating, for sure.

But it’s not us. We’ve been twice to Vegas….in June…when the temps are a balmy 105F. Sure, Vegas has it’s draw, but for us it’s not why you think. We use Vegas as base camp and venture out to surrounding areas and attractions. Last time, we used Vegas to take a trip to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and drive on the iconic Route 66. This time, we met friends from California and used Vegas as a launch pad to two national  parks in Utah; Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

Both outshone the lights of Vegas, hands down. First up was Zion National Park. Zion is part of the “Grand Staircase”; a series of sedimentary rock layers that extend from Bryce Canyon National Park (the highest point) through the canyon cliffs of Zion National Park, and ends by dropping off into the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

The sandstone cliffs  of Zion boasts the thickest rock layers in the staircase that extend up to a half mile in height. The Virgin River runs through the canyon’s Aspen forests and eventually meets up with the mighty Colorado River. The sedimentation layers are estimated to be 150 million years old and the earth’s “uplift” that created the Colorado Plateau lifted this area 10,000 feet (3,000 m) 13 million years ago.

There are many trailheads along the 15-mile Zion Canyon. We chose one called The Narrows. This is, obviously, named because this is the narrowest part of the canyon. Beginning at the trailhead, you hike a gradual incline for a mile on a paved path. At the end of that path,  there is the option of continuing on for another mile or so to the narrowest point where the views are said to be spectacular…but the hike is through the waters of the Virgin River, which include rocks the size of bowling balls under your feet. We all made the one-mile trek just fine. The day was only in the 90sF. After the paved path ran out, Entrepreneur was done and needed to rest. I, along with our friends’ daughter who served as our tour guide, went another quarter to half mile in the water before the clouds began to look sketchy and I started to worry about the time it might take to get back. Flash flooding is normal for The Narrows and it was “probable” on this day.

We headed back to the group and descended back down the path in the intermittent rain. The rest of this post is scenery along the trail that led to The Narrows. Enjoy.

Walking in the center of the canyon put a lot into perspective. It drives home just how small we are compared to the majesty of God’s creation.

This is as far as I got into The Narrows. I’d love to have gone further, but the river was up to my knees, and I needed more time and could have really used walking stick poles to get to the end. But for an old girl in her mid-60s, I think I did pretty well.

We only did one trailhead before Entrepreneur got tired. I believe to do Zion justice, one would need to stay for a few days and explore the gems all the trailheads have to offer. If you are interested in seeing the sheer awe and majesty of this area, check out this LINK.

Up next, Bryce Canyon National Park.

8 thoughts on “Zion National Park

  1. Pingback: Bryce Canyon National Park | Peripheral Perceptions

  2. Lisa, I lived in Vegas for a summer and have to agree with you. I much preferred the Lake Tahoe area. My parents both loved Vegas and would go twice a year to gamble at the casinos, however, I’m not a gambler. To me, Vegas is a lifestyle. And it either clicks with you or it doesn’t. I was glad for the experience of working there over a summer, but I was glad to leave too.

    Your photographs of the Zion Canyon are stunning! It’s magnificent! Such grandeur!

    Hope you’re having a faaaaabulous week, my friend! X

    Liked by 1 person

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