The Secrets of Zion are whispered each day in the gentle waters of the Virgin River~~
Excerpts from my travel journal ~~
"Named in the early 1800's by Mormon settlers - Zion is truly a place of incredible sanctuary and beauty. Surrounded by mountains of inexplicable color and form, this place is simply unbelievable."
We began our incredible journey and tour of National Parks in Las Vegas. We packed up our rental car - along with our dearest friends Bob and Jan - and set off to see our National treasures - up close and personal. First stop - Zion National Park. (You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them!)
The soaring mesa tops of Zion are cathedrals that inspire the soul with their beauty.
|Entry to Zion National Park|
The heart and soul of Zion are the enormous cliffs. With Biblical sounding names they evoke the sanctuary that for hundreds of years, people have come here seeking~~ The Great White Throne, The Three Patriarchs- Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, The Alter of Sacrifice, Angel's Landing, Temple, and the Watchman.
Zion National Park is the only National Park to prohibit it's guests from driving into the park. The use of a shuttle system has totally transformed the experience of visiting this great National Park. It's quiet - totally quiet - all you hear is the sound of happy people, the rush of the wind in trees, the gurgling sound of the river, and the "skree" of a red tailed hawk.
From my journal- "Water in all it's forms, has shaped this land. When you walk out here - you walk where the water has been."
"Nothing can exceed the wondrous beauty of Zion... in the nobility and the wondrous beauty of the sculptures." wrote geologist Clarence Dutton, 1880.
So~ we began our first encounters with the magnificent place that is called Zion~~
|Upper Emerald Pool Trail|
|(photo credit - Bob)|
|Weeping Rock Trail|
|(photo credit - Bob)|
|I'm still dripping here!|
A trip like this takes a lot of planning - meet the "planners" ~~ me and Bob.
On Day 2 of our Zion adventure Bob had this
great crazy idea - "lets do the Hidden Canyons Trail", he said~~
No where on that trail description did it say ANYTHING about scaling a slick rock mountain face hanging on to ~~ CHAINS!!!
Feel free to leave comments telling me that I am SO BRAVE!!
The steep trail to Hidden Canyon gains nearly 1000 feet in the first mile. The rough surfaced trail zig zags up the face of Cable Mountain. The drop off is 6,974 feet~~~
In places it is so narrow and steep that you need to steady yourself with CHAINS before reaching the water gorged canyon between Cable Mountain and the Great White Throne. The final entry into the slot canyon is by way of steep steps chiseled into the slick rock~
From my journal- "Inside this secret canyon, I felt as though I was in a place where time stood still. The stone corridor narrows and winds and I find myself fascinated to know - what is on the other side."
I kinda wish I had seen this sign before I started this trail!
Did I earn my badge of courage?
With my feet finally steady on solid ground - we had time for one more hike at the end of the day~
Sunset and the evening glows in Zion National Park~~
My friend Jan - patiently waiting while we hiked. (She is actually the only smart one in the bunch!)
|The magnificent Checkerboard Mesa|
We spent 2 spectacular days in the Zion National Park - not nearly enough! We hiked the following trails:
- the one mile paved path to the Narrows.
- the Weeping Rock trail
- the first section of the Angel's Landing trail
- the Upper Emerald Pools trail
- the Kayenta trail to the Grotto shuttle stop
- the 1.5 mile trail from the Grotto shuttle stop to the Zion lodge
- the Hidden Canyon trail
Next stop on our National Park adventure -Bryce Canyon and those amazing hoodoo formations.
(I'll be back with more unbelievable photos from our travels in a few days~~)