Utah – Zion National Park

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It took us over two hours to drive to Zion National Park.  We were prepared to do some hiking.  The park is so busy that they don’t allow many cars into the park.  You must park your vehicle at the visitor center and take the buses.  Fortunately, the buses run so often that wait times are measured in minutes and many times there are multiple buses pulling up at a stop to pickup and drop off people.  Some of the hiking trails connect between bus stops so we skipped a few stops.  We started with the water filling station at the visitor center then we caught the bus to the second stop and walked the horse trial.  The horse trail is a bit boring to walk along and I would recommend skipping it, but the scenery is nice:

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Emerald Pools Trail

We walked to all three Emerald Pools.  Then we continued the trail that ended up at the next bus stop.  Don’t let the photos fool you, there were a lot of people on these trails.  Even the rock scramble part was crowded and that was every bit as treacherous as it looks (but fun).

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Weeping Rock

Our next stop was at weeping rock.  This is a short but steep paved trail up to the rocky cliff where water cascades off the rocky surface.

Big Bend

There is a bus stop at Big Bend and we took a few pictures at this stop and moved on.  Notice the people on top of the cliff?  They are walking the West Rim Trail.

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Temple of Sinawava

This is the last stop for the buses.  There is the narrows trail that starts at the river.  To get to the trail there is a paved trail (the riverside walk) that leads through the valley.  We walked as far as the river and returned.  The trail to the river is flat and very easy to walk.  I think half of the population of Utah was there that day.

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Kolob Canyons

This is the Northern part of Zion National park.  We returned to our car (using the bus) and drove out and around to this park.  The park is practically deserted and there are several pullouts and parking lots where you can take pictures or go hiking.  By the time we reached this park it was late in the day and we had already hiked more than nine miles.

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