5/29/15 Friday in Hurricane,UT (St. George RV Resort-RPI/KOA/$14/night)
On our way to Zion National Park, South Entrance. Zion is from the Bible, meaning “place of refuge or sanctuary”. This place was all that and more. While our Grand Canyon experience was primarily at the top, on the rim, here your experience is down in the canyon. Similar to Yosemite. The majesty surrounding you is awe inspiring.
Having left early, we arrived at 8. Thanks heavens, because there weren’t a lot of parking spaces left even then. They’d collected fees ($25 or Senior Pass) at the entrance gate. Apparently, even though they say the park opens at 8, the shuttles start at 6, so you must be able get in then. We jumped onto the shuttle as soon as we arrived. We hiked the Grotto Trail, thinking it would lead to a grotto. It just lead to the next shuttle stop. So we took the shuttle on to the Weeping Rock.
Then we stopped at Big Bend, where we saw these mountains: Organ, White Throne (image on the left) and Angel’s Landing (on the right). The last is so named because “only angels could land there”. Naturally it’s a big draw for hikers and climbers.
Then on to the last stop: Temple of Sinawava.
This is where we walked along the Riverwalk, the beautiful easy hike to The Narrows. These Narrows are a number of canyons which are really close, slot canyons. The challenge is that you need to walk in the Virgin River to get to the Narrows. We learned that proper attire is water shoes, a walking stick to check for boulders and drops in the river and possibly pants that will wick the water away when you get out. Note the young men all set to hike to the Narrows, where the Riverside Walk ends.
Now that we were back to the shuttle stop, very tired and hungry, we took the shuttle to the Lodge, where we enjoyed our picnic lunch, then we went on the Emerald Pools Trail. By now it was pretty hot and this trail was mostly up for about a half mile. It felt like a mile. The water at the end was worth it and at least our trek back was largely downhill. This shuttle stop was where we went on that Grotto hike. We certainly should have gone on the Emerald Pools Trail then, in the cool of the morning.
Next shuttle stop, Court of the Patriarchs. There is a short steep trail to an observation site of these three mountains: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Time for a rest, so we stopped at the Zion Human History Museum, where we watched the park film and enjoyed a ranger talk on petroglyphs and pictographs.
Some fond memories of Zion below. The mule deer was pregnant, the golden mantle ground squirrel just loved to pose. All the animals we encountered were not afraid of us and best of all were not attracted to us (for food). The perfect combination.
Because we were so weary and it was so hot, we went to St. George to have dinner at Pancho and Lefty’s Mexican Restaurant. Fabulous food and great prices. We took half home.
We got home in time to watch a couple deliver a cabin to the site near us, which was pretty tight, so it was pretty exciting. A young German couple had to wait before setting up in the site between the cabin and us. They’d just rented their Cruise American RV, to explore the California coast with relatives.
We had great times spending the rest of our evening with Larry and Doris.