Tony & Judy's Four Corners Trip Summer 2010 travel blog

Park Entrance

Park Entrance (East Side)

At the Visitor Center

Shuttle Bus (No cars allowed in the main canyon)

Beginning of the River Walk trail

Zion Canyon River Walk path

Along the river

Along the River Walk

Virgin River

Greenery hanging from the rocks

On the path

More greenery

Night Lily (poisonous)

Zion Canyon at the end of the River Walk

Virgin River

As far as we go! Have to walk in the water if...

At the end of the River Walk

Zion Canyon

Climbing to Angels Landing. Way up there! (Not us!)

Start of another hike

The falls above Lower Emerald Pool (Not much water this time of...

Judy under the falls

Virgin River from the Pools trail

Footbridge over the river

East Entrance Road

Zion Alcove

Short tunnel on the East Entrance road

Checkerboard Mesa

We drove into Zion National Park by way of the East entrance, which takes you through two tunnels. One, the Mount Zion, is over a mile long and took three years to build, an engineering feat in itself. When completed in 1930, it cut down extensively on the drive from Bryce Canyon. The Visitor’s Center is as far as you are allowed to drive your own car, unless you are staying at The Lodge. Shuttle buses carry tourists out the 7-mile Scenic Drive to the Temple of Sinawava. There are stops along the way for points of interest. For the holiday weekend, shuttles were running three minutes apart, so the flow of visitors was very efficient. The drive goes along the Virgin River, which formed the canyons millions of years ago.

The Riverside Walk begins at the end of the shuttle for a 2.2 mile (round trip) walk along the river and the narrow canyon. At the end of the path, some continue walking in the river in the area called The Narrows. It is possible to walk 9 more miles (one way). Proper foot gear and poles are rented for this purpose. We only walked to the end of the path. There are numerous hiking trails throughout the park, but many are steep and strenuous. The only other hike we took was the Lower Emerald Pool Trail which included a waterfall, although not much this late in the season.

Zion is truly magnificent and attracts the largest visitors of any of the canyons in Utah, some 2.5 million annually. One of the unusual sights at Zion is the “checkerboard” pattern to some of the rock formations. The dramatic effects are from the scouring wind, ice freezing and thawing and from the release of pressures from within.

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