Thursday, October 15, 2009

A few days in Zion

Wow. Now I get why they put a National Park at Zion. I've seen the pictures but they just don't convey the overwhelming size. You hear descriptions like "sanctuary" and "cathedral". They fit. It's hard to sit and look at your surroundings without a feeling of reverence.

This was the view from the balcony of our hotel room. The Watchman is 2800 feet high. Huge. Majestic. And just right there.

Julie, with a fairly dramatic background. This was at the end of the Canyon Overlook Trail. It isn't part of the main tour path, but was one of our favorites.

The paths on some of the trails get a bit hairy. There are huge drop-offs if you screw up. Fortunately they bolt chains to the wall to give you some help. This is near the top of the Hidden Valley trail.

It's tough to imagine that the little Virgin River could carve out so much rock. I guess you can do it slowly when you have millions of years. They say that over a year, the erosion is equivalent to 4 dump trucks loads an hour, 7x24.

The two lane road gives you some perspective on the size of the rock formations.

On Tuesday morning, it was mostly cloudy, but the sun would pop out for a minute here and there. The next half dozen pictures are all ones I liked because of their interesting lighting.

You can see one bright red tree at the bottom of the picture. I think in 10-14 days, Zion Canyon will be full of bright, colorful trees. Timing for another year?

Just awesome!

It is so easy to get sucked into the enormity of the canyon, you don't pay enough attention to the details. They are everywhere though. Look at how the rock has layer upon layer, but the layers have been shifted and twisted over the years.

Similar layers, but this time laid out as flooring.

This is from the Watchman Trail, right behind our hotel. There were lots of interesting trees on the hill, both dead and alive. I would like to get back there for a clear sunrise or sunset.

One last shot, on our last full day. Like the first picture, this one was taken from our balcony!

A wonderful trip.

I would recommend the Cable Mountain Lodge to anyone going to Zion. It's a two minute walk to the entrance and the shuttle buses. Rooms have small kitchens, which is nice when you're there for a while.

Our best meals were the Spotted Dog for breakfast, and Oscar's and Parallel 88 for dinner.
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