Wednesday, June 23, 2021

You will get wet

In 1968 at age 10, with my Mom and brother Mark...

...then in 2021 at age OLD and not very fond of heights!
I couldn't climb up to the upper stone, lol, and had a hard time convincing myself to stand at all. 

The road into Zion is open 24 hours a day.  If there is road construction they work at night and cease at 5 a.m.  The shuttle busses begin operating at 6 a.m.  This is the ONLY way to see the scenic drive.

The large (it has 480 parking spots, with another 200 within a 10 minute walk) parking lot at the visitor's center is the main shuttle boarding area and is said to fill up by 8 a.m.  The wait for the shuttle can vary.  Due to Covid and a rock slide only 5 stops are open. The ride to the last stop, #9 Temple of Sinawava, takes 30-40 mins, and that was where we were headed.

On Monday we were up before 5 a.m.,  Krikkit was fed, walked, and we were out the door by 5:30.  We parked in the visitor's parking lot around 6:15 (the lot was pretty full already), boarded the shuttle near 8:00, and arrived at the Temple of Sinawava at 8:30.  Whereas we stayed away on Sunday, the gentlemen behind us said it was not as busy at this same time on Sunday.  

Shuttle bus line in front of us

and behind us.

When it looked like we had reached the end of the line there were two sets of zig-zags.

Riverside Walk, one of the more popular trails follows the Virgin River and  begins at the Temple of Sinawava.  It is a paved, flat, and a beautiful walk of 2 miles round-trip.  Unlike during a drought, I believe there are several waterfalls on the cliffs! The trail ends where the canyon is so narrow there are no banks of land on either side.  Here begins the mile long Zion Narrows Hike in the Virgin River.  You can then hike to Big Spring, a strenuous 10 mile, all-day hike.

The Virgin River

A Mule Deer, so named for their ears.  He wasn't more than an arms length away and way too use to people.

The rocks in the River are slick so you need wear appropriate shoes. Looked like a lot of people had rented special shoes that included a snug waterproof liner. Our hiking boots/shoes worked well. If you are smart you would bring a hiking pole or even two.  We purposely left ours in the car--guess we weren't smart!  A waterproof bag for cameras and phones would be good and, of course, water and snacks.  It was cooler Monday at 106°, as opposed to the 110° on Sunday.  

We turned back when it went above our knees.

We made it, no falls.  Pat said his boots were definitely waterproof.  After he emptied the water out we headed back.

Where is Waldo, or rather,  Ann?

This little guy posed for me.  Then he headed for me like I was supposed to reward him.  $100 fine for feeding wildlife.

There can be a wait to catch the shuttle but after our hike we got right on a bus.  They were coming every 4 minutes.  Big Bend was stop #8 and we hopped off to get a view of the hikers up on Angel's Landing Trail. 

Angel's Landing Trail, accessible from shuttle stop #6 The Grotto, is one of the world's most renowned hikes and one of the most dangerous in the U.S.  It is also very popular. It is a 5 mile round-trip hike, taking  4-5 hours.  13 people have fallen to their death just since 2000.  Scout's Lookout is a common turn around point. Shortly before that there is Walters Wiggles, consisting of 21 steep zigzags.   If you plan to go all the way to the Landing, up 1488', for views of Zion Canyon you will encounter lots of narrow passages with steep drop-offs on both sides.  The line at the trailhead to take the complete trip can be up to 4 hours. We were tempted to take this trail--NOT!!!

Pat said I needed a picture that wasn't zoomed in to show ho w high it was, because it was very high, but I was too focused (pardon the pun) on trying to find people up there and keep the camera steady enough to capture them.

Condors can often be seen here but I don't think that's what these birds are.

Some areas do have rails.

On Tuesday we traveled over an hour to Cedar City to a grocery store.  We hadn't been near one of any size since we got here,  and won't be near one for another week and a half.  Good news, 90° was the high today.  Also got to zoom with Josh and his kids--always a good time!  Fun watching their artistic talents.  Tomorrow is their last day of school.

Where are the Piepers?  Glendale/Orderville, UT


  1. Does hot feel hotter now than 1968 (without air conditioning in car)?

    1. It was actually cooler down in the shade of the canyon by the water, and we left the park before noon. So, it wasn't bad. although as soon as the sun is out... Without air in the car I would think miserable!