Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Zion Scenery

Zion National Park in the very southwestern corner of Utah is so popular in the summer that visitors are no longer permitted to drive cars on the main park road. Instead, you ride a shuttle from the visitor's center to the end, stopping at each stop along the way. Our destination was at the end, so our ride was the complete loop.  Because we were on a mission to get to the Narrows, we did not get out along the way. There were in fact so many people there that Saturday that there was no park parking available. The overflow plan is that you free park in the small tourist town and free shuttles run a circuit to the park entrance. The system seemed to run smoothly and it was not long before we were on our (hot) way.

I took these pictures out the window of the shuttle as we drove through the park.

Our destination was to hike the Riverwalk and into the Narrows. The first trail follows alongside the Virgin River.

The second trail is hiking IN the river through the ever-narrowing slot canyon. 

Maidenhair fern lines the walls. Brilliant yellow prothonotary warblers flitted from bank to bank.

The cool water is clear and mostly shallow. As the canyon narrows, the current increases.

Here is a shot our son took further up the canyon when he was there a month ahead of us.

We did not hike all that far in the water. This was partially because we were carrying all kinds of electronics on ourselves--How else are you going to take pictures?-- and B's trekking pole was barely wet when it snapped in two.  Dang! We needed it. The smooth, slippery rocks have a way of rolling under foot. And did I mention it was already mid-afternoon and quite hot? We are quite glad we did it, in our own limited way. 

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