Saturday, June 8, 2013
Zion National Park
Since we do not like making reservations, we knew we had to take what was available for camping. It turned out there was a nice campground for our stay in Springdale. It allowed us to walk to the visitor's center and to pick up the shuttle for our ride into the park. The scenic drive can only be accessed by shuttle.
We arrived from the east entrance.
It was good to see a healthy herd of buffalo on the way in.
The rock formations are so unique on the way in.
Sometimes looks like water scrubbed rock and sometimes like a fresh served Dairy Queen.
The road just weaves through the rock formations.
Everyone seems to look for a spot to stop and gawk.
Always an interesting venture to go through tunnels.
Nice and slow!!
We were lucky enough to have a few desert bighorn sheep on the roadside.
They seemed to enjoy watching all the visitors go by.
One tunnel was 1.1 miles long, built in the 1920's. They had indicated that large motorhomes would have to wait for a guide to go through while traffic was stopped. Thought we were small enough, but they said, no, too wide.
Eustis looks nervous as we travel straight down the yellow line.
Don't worry Eustis, traffic is stopped in the other direction.
Vehicles 11'4" tall or taller or 7'10" wide or wider require a $15 fee per vehicle for a one way traffic control through the tunnel.. Two trips are allowed in a 7 day period on the $15 pass. Over 13'1" not allowed. Nice part was the senior national park pass allowed us to enter all the national parks for free.
Coming out of the tunnel the road drops quickly through some hairpin curves.
Exciting driving. Jan tells me, the views were well worth it.!
Let's see, we are how tall?.
Yes, I did crowd the yellow line.
Proud of it!
We've been enjoying some wonderful examples of cactus in bloom.
This cholla was particularly bright in color.
On the shuttle, we could stop at any stop and then reboard another shuttle when we were ready to move on.
We went to the Temple of Sinawava stop at the end and hiked to the end of the canyon section on the Virgin River walk.
On a hot day this was plenty of hiking for us. Those who are interested can hike many more miles on other trails. This trail actually goes on for 16 miles, walking through the river.
As you walk, the canyon walls start to merge together.
This becomes the Narrows.
Not much sun get through at this point.
Lots of people were enjoying the cool river water on this hot day.
At places on the walk, there would be many flowers growing on the vertical rocks. Thet were fed by the dripping water on the rocks.
We understood that this was a columbine.
Even on the way out , we are so impressed by the rock formations on each side.