Friday, May 7, 2010

May 5, 2010 - Zion National Park

We have had great weather here in Zion National Park.  Its been great to get outside and hike around the beautiful canyon and the Virgin River.

Our first full day here, Wednesday May 5, we spent exploring the park and getting familiar with it.  We started out by figuring out the shuttle system.  Due to limited parking within the park, the park and the town of Springdale, UT have a great coordinating shuttle system.  We catch the Springdale shuttle right outside of our campground and it will take us all the way to the Visitors Center at the park entrance.  A short walk across the river and we catch the park's shuttle that will take us up the Zion Canyon so we can explore the canyon area of the park.

We first got off the shuttle at the Zion Lodge stop so that we could hike to the Emerald Pools.  We did the hike to the lower, middle and upper Emerald Pools.  They were beautiful small waterfalls cascading into pools of water made green with all the growth around them.  This is the Upper Emerald Pool.

After the hike, we had lunch under an enormous tree on the front lawn of the Zion Lodge.  We even found ice cream for dessert in the lodge's cafe.

We then got back on the shuttle and road it all the way to the end of the Canyon, the Temple of Sinawava.  Here we started on the short but beautiful Riverside Walk that went from the end of the road and into the canyon that was becoming narrower and narrower.

We had wanted to do a hike at the end of this one that is called the Narrows which involves hiking in the Virgin River as the canyon walls continue to narrow.  Unfortunately, it is still spring snow run off and the river is running at over 600cfs and the narrows are closed until the water level reaches around 160cfs.  We are tentatively planning on swinging back here on our way south next fall/winter to do the hike then. 

After dinner and a very short rest at the RV, we went back into the park to do a sunset shoot of the famous Watchman rock formation.

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