Monday, May 10, 2010

May 9, 2010 - Zion National Park (Utah)

Sunday was our last full day at Zion.  Our original plan was to leave Zion on Tuesday and drive the 2 hours to Bryce National Park, however, they are calling for snow on Tuesday at Bryce so we decided that we will leave Zion a day early.

We spent this last day doing all the things we had not quite done yet.  We started out by driving the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway from the South entrance of the park to the East entrance.  This was the same route that we came in towing the RV so this time was much easier and we didn't have to wait for the tunnel to be shut down for us (although we were required to fold in the truck's mirrors since the tunnel is so skinny). 

We went all the way out to the Checkerboard Mesa's.  I think you can see where they get their name in the photos below.

Our next stop was to do the Canyon Overlook Trail that is located just on the east side of the tunnel.  It was a beautiful 1 mile hike up to an overlook of the valley floor outside Zion Canyon.  Once we reached the top, we hung out to enjoy the beautiful views of the "Towers of the Virgin" across from us.  If you look closely, you can also see the road switchbacking multiple times down to the valley floor.  Yep, same road that we towed the RV into the park and same road we will tow it out of (thank goodness Matt is driving).

We decided to pay one more visit to Zion Canyon.  We parked the truck near the bottom of the canyon and hopped on the shuttle bus to the Grotto stop.  The Grotto stop is the original site of the visitors center, a very small rock building, but today it serves as a great picnic area.  Armed with our cooler, we had a great picnic under the beautiful trees and cliffs.

After our lunch, we exited the park to pay one more visit to the Visitors Center to pick up a few more postcards and then we went to buy our tickets to the Giant Screen Theatre to watch a film on Zion on an IMAX screen.  The film was OK as it seemed they wanted to keep you on the edge of your seat by flying through the canyons instead of showing the sites in detail.  I would not recommend it to anyone who gets motion sickness.  We also walked around a great photo gallery and the Museum of Photography located near the theatre. 

Since we are leaving here on Monday, we spent the evening doing laundry, picking up the RV and getting everything back in its "travel home".

No comments: