Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Zion National Park, UT

From Wiki:  Zion National Park is located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229 square miles (590 km2) park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) at Horse Ranch Mountain. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park's unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity.

This was taken in front of the visitor's center.

This too was directly in front of the visitor's center from the Saint George side of the park.

It was about a 40 mile drive up the mountain to Zion NP, but it was worth it.  Only downside to the day was the fact that it was a free week in all NPs, spring break, and Easter week.  Yep, it was a little crowded.  Kids everywhere, and all their parents who just let them run wild.  Oh well, guess they need to run wild sometimes.  I'm glad I wasn't like that when I was a teenager trying to figure out what to do with my hormones.  :-)

Waiting for the tunnel to clear for RVs.  There is this tunnel you have to go through, over a mile long, and it has an arched ceiling and is only 12' high, in the middle.  And there was a lot of RVs in the park. 
This one of the three "vents" out the side of the tunnel.
Hard to believe we had the technology and wherewithall to accomplish such a feat back in the twentys.  Guess if they could build a marvel like the Hoover Dam, this was a piece of cake, er, mountain.  :-)
All the little creeks were up and running briskly.  They had the neatest sound of babbling brooks.







Come back in about a thousand years and this will be an awesome "arch".  This is the before picture.  Not sure if I'll be able to catch the after.  :-)
The interpretive plaques said this pattern was rare in the park.  They called it "Checker Board Mountain".




The mountains were just awesome here in the Zion NP.  Notice here that it is very cloudy.  It actually is the next morning and we drove through Zion to go to Bryce, which from Saint George is the closest route.  It was pretty messy, but not raining, yet!



A tiny mesa on the side of this colorful mountain.

Check out the "Hoodoo's".  More on Hoodoo's in our next blog.  Bryce NP is famous for their Hoodoo's.
With the showers we had and the coming of spring's warmer temps, this little prickly pear cactus will soon show it's colors in blooms.

Looks like a pile of pudding.  We visited Zion on Friday, 4/22 after driving down from Moab on Thursday, via UT-191, I-40 & I-15.  About 340 miles and very windy with 60 mph gusts.  Trees were snapped all over the middle of Utah.  We just took our time and stayed safe in our rolling billboard in the wind.  Saturday we went Bryce, and that'll be the subject in our next blog.  Till then, Joe & Nancy.