Thursday, July 12, 2012


July 7th, Saturday

Zion Park is a very popular destination. This being a Saturday, the Park was packed. There are limited parking areas in the park itself, but there is a shuttle bus that will take you up the scenic drive and drop you off and pick you up at most of the various overlooks and all of the trailheads.

We were camped at the Watchman Campground which is just next to the Visitor Center and the shuttle bus stop. Behind the campground runs the Virgin River where the kids were having a great time floating a short ways down the river on their tubes, getting out, running up the bank and doing it all over again.

We decided to take the shuttle to the top of the scenic drive and work our way back down to different stops/overlooks and trails that we wanted to see/hike.

The stop at the top was the Temple of Sinawava where there is an easy one mile riverside walk on a paved trail along the Virgin River that leads you to the trailhead for the Narrows. The Narrows is a strenuous hike through the river and up in to the narrow slot canyon for over fifteen miles round trip with an estimated time of eight hours. It's also a very dangerous one as you have to watch for flash floods from storms that might come through . They can turn this narrow passage from two feet of depth to ten feet of depth in a matter of  minutes. The park monitors the weather very closely and, in fact, this trail was closed the day before.  Needless to say, we didn't do that one, but we did venture into the river for a short walk to see where the Narrows started. It wasn't our intention to do any of it at all so we didn't have our water shoes on. We had our hiking boots on and we did have our walking sticks. This water was very cold and the rocks were a bit slippery but the walking sticks saved the day more than once so that we didn't end up totally drenched. We walked up the river until we were midthigh in water. When we looked up and saw the folks ahead of us up to their waists, we turned around and headed back out of the river.  We had to cross the river six times on the way up and so we had to cross it six times on the way back down. Each step was an opportunity for total dunking, but thankfully, that didn't happen.
Tim Doing The Second Crossing
View Up The Canyon

Kate Catching Up
Squishy Shoes!
 It really was a fun, unexpected event for the day. There were people everywhere.. in the water, up the river, getting off the shuttle in expectations of doing part of the trail as we did and some saying, "never, not me, too cold."

We sloshed our way to the shuttle stop and took the shuttle all the way back to the RV. We changed into our dry shoes and socks and got back on the shuttle to continue our tour of the park.

Our next stop was the Weeping Rock. The trail up was a short  one, but very steep and honestly wasn't worth the hike. Basically, the rock had the water seeping through it so that there were some flowers growing all around it. Not as many as we thought there would be and not one of the most impressive sights we have seen.

Back on the shuttle and off at the Grotto. We wanted to hike to the Emerald Pool, but the trail was closed for repairs. The other trails from here were very strenuous and with the heat, we opted to skip them.  Instead, we walked the half mile Grotto trail down to the Lodge where we had a late lunch and hid from the sun for a while. The temperatures today were 104 and we found the shade as often as we could. Late afternoon found us back at the RV. Since we had electricity here, we were able to use our air conditioning. What a blessing.

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