Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Red Cliffs of Zion National Park

We pull into Watchman Campground, one of the three(one only 6 sites) where we have a full hookup site. It is a beautiful campground and also wet as it starts raining as we are setting up. Unfortunately it is not the only rain we have in our four nights here.


Note the satellite dish. We are surrounded by trees but managed to get a signal. Hey, its the Stanley Club Playoffs. GO DUCKS!!!!!


We have been here a couple of times before but first time actually camping in the Park itself and we love it. I forgot how beautiful it is with the tall red cliffs surrounding you where ever you look.

Wednesday we wake up to a cool morning but it ends up being a gorgeous day. Just right, not too hot for hiking but not too cold either. And hiking is what we did. We first took Savannah for a walk around the campground as she can't come on any of the trails except one which we will take later in the week. We walk over to the visitor center which isn't far from the campground and get on a shuttle. The shuttle is the only way to get around on the Zion Scenic Drive to see most of the beautiful views and trails. If you stayed on the shuttle, it would be around a 80 minute drive. It is a great system. The shuttle makes stops at all the trails and you can get off and then back on another bus when you are done with your hike. Unlike Bryce, where you start at the top of the rim and head down, in Zion you start at the bottom of the canyon and hike up. We have been on a number of the trails before and decided to do the Emerald Pools trail which is a little over a mile uphill from the Zion Lodge, which is on the shuttle run.


We start by going across a footbridge and by the Virgin River, We stopped to watch some horseback riders cross the river.



The Park elevations range from 3,500 to 8,700 feet. The lower levels have trees such as white piƱon and mequite, more desert like plants, and fir, ponderosa pine and aspen in the higher elevations.



We reach the lower Emerald Pool. It doesn't look green right now, more muddy brown but prettier are the two waterfalls that come down over an alcove we walk under.



The park is already very busy and lots of people on the trail. Summer must be crazy.





We stop and sit on some rocks admiring the view while we have a snack. Some people go back the way we came up but we decide to continue and head down the Kayenta Trail which ends up back down at the Grotto Trail.




See the small cairn someone created shown above and a closer look below.

Joe in his man cave.


And me.



There were a number of flowers along the way including a blooming cactus.









Hey we are suppose to be going down. What's with the stairs going up. This side is steeper going up, glad it is mostly down hill.


We get down and cross another foot bridge and walk the short 1/2 mile trail back to the Zion Lodge.





We split a sandwich and some coleslaw at the small cafe at the Lodge and then caught the shuttle back to the Visitor Center. Another great day in one of our beautiful National Parks.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic pictures, i really love the beauty of this place more fun and excitement.

    RV Park in Zion