Monday, March 29, 2010

Zion National Park, Utah

Looking out the window of the car you can see the clouds covering the top of the mountains, as we begin our tour of Zion National Park. Zion was Utah's first park. Cold misty snow covers the trees, the peaks, and the roadways. You might want to keep this picture handy when you're complaining about being hot in the middle of August. I think seeing it will help to cool you down. lol. Seriously folks can you feel the cold from you sit?

cloud covered peaks at ZionPut on coat, hiking boats, hat, and mittens and come along with hubby and I for a winter hike. Regardless of the season you must come prepared at Zion. Elevations vary from 3,666 to 8,726 feet. With that much elevation change you can have a 30 degree temperature swing in any one day.
Zion trailKeep your eyes peeled though, it's getting late and some of the animals are out looking for food. Even when they're on the path give them the right away. Don't run! Be still, or move slowly to get out of their way. Running is never good. Firstly, they move a whole faster then we do. Running get's their attention and they to give chase; plus you risk falling...particularly when it's slippery.
bull on Zion trailWe scrambled as best we could off the trail up the hill a bit. I was holding onto a tree, pulling my sister-in-law up after me. Her hubby, my brother and my hubby we're fast behind us. We had a hard time holding on while we waited for it to leave. I tried to use my zoom with one cold hand to get the picture. Which is why it's not very good. It was a good size bull and it stared at us for what seemed like a long time. Then he started towards us. We remained quiet and motionless; finally he lost interest and went the other direction. We made out way quickly back to the visitors center; as we were almost done with our hike when this occurred. It was getting late, and we were all cold.
crevasses I suggest you eat light if you want to squeeze through. Some of these crevasses are pretty tight. Sandcastles in desert canyons in every direction will keep you snapping pictures constantly. So much to see. Zion rests on the border of the Mojave Desert and is part of the Colorado Plateau. Many different weather zones produce a big variety in animal, and plant life. The area was once home to Ancestral Puebloans, The Anasazi.

snow covered cliffsEven with snow you can see how red and pretty the cliffs are at Zion National Park. No wonder visitors has grown from 3,692 in 1920 to 2.5 million by 1996.

sun setting at Zion
Just as we headed back to our cars the sun began to set, look at the beautiful color even in the dead of winter. This is January in Zion National Park. Perhaps someday we'll return for a tour during warmer months. You can rest assured though if you tour, as we did during the winter months, you see different sites than the average visitor; and it's not crowded!

The park is open all year, except Christmas Day. Some area's maybe restricted if unsafe due to weather in the winter months. Hours vary too by the seasons, open from 8 A.M. to 5 in Spring and Winter, 6 in Fall, and 8 P.M. in Summer.

Jr. Ranger Programs exist, so please get the kids signed up if you have young ones in your group. Bikes and pets are permitted on certain trails. Truly something for everyone, almost everyday of the year.

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  1. Zion National Park is very beautiful with it's towering cliffs. It looks even more beautiful in winter with the snow. My family and I visited Zion in the summer last year, and it was incredible. It was extremely hot though, so I'd suggest bringing lots of water! Although Zion is amazing, my favorite place in southern Utah is Bryce Canyon!

  2. Amazing! I get to travel for free!

  3. So pretty there! I've only driven by on the interstate, one of these days I need to take the exit!

  4. Hey Sandy,
    Don't make it out west too often but this would be one of my stops if and when we travel that way. I know you thoroughly enjoyed & I hope you get to go back when it's somewhat warmer. Thanks again!

    Friends 4 Life!

  5. I would love to go to Utah one day and Zion looks gorgeous. I think I would try to visit in the summer months though - I love mountainous regions in summer.

  6. Zion is one of my favorite parks in the park system. I hope you will also consider visiting the other 4 parks since you will be in southern Utah: Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Arches. These are 5 of the most spectacular parks in the entire system!!

    As far as wildlife in Zion, I have seen:
    Mule Deer
    Quail (Gambels)
    Mountain Lion (from a long distance with my binoculars - I did get a picture with my zoom lens)
    Fox (Gray)

    Have fun!

  7. Been to all but Capital Reef David, such spectacular areas. Visited some of the parks during summer months camping years ago.


  8. Stopped over to see the pics again. Have you been to Hawii? SP?

  9. How many of you have been to Zion's National Park.For those who have not been there, it is a very spiritual place. Where is your spiritual place?

  10. It's not the most of spiritual places I've been too, but pretty awesome just the same. David

    We all get different things from different place. I remember being really touched when we visited The Medicine Wheel.


  11. I am already feeling very cold by just merely gazing at the first photo! LOL

    Surely going to high places is amusing. From your presentation, I could already tell that the two things that would interest me a lot of Zion National Park would be the wild life and the trail. ^_^

  12. I admire you very much for your passion, courage and commitment to live your dream! Someday I might do the same!


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