"STOP NUMBER TWO ON THE GREAT CIRCLE TOUR" Zion National Park by mtncorg
Zion National Park Travel Guide: 572 reviews and 1,249 photos
An old Mormon hymn intones, ‘Come to Zion, Come to Zion!’ And once you have been here you might know what all of the singing is about. Zion is more than Zion Canyon, but he Canyon is truly at the heart of matters. Rock walls tower almost four thousand feet above the valley floor. Many of the formations reveal the religious nature of the pioneers who named the rocks - the Three Patriarchs, West and Easst Temples, the Pulpit, Mount Moroni, Angels Landing, and my favorite, the Great White Throne.
Zion Canyon is a narrow affair and overcrowding is a fact of life. The Park allows entrance into the Park for much of the year only by shuttle buses which make there way up and down the Valley from the visitor center - there is a separate system of shuttles that go south to the neighbor town of Springdale. If you have a car, you should try and be at the large visitor center parking lot before 10 am as it fills up fast. Having been to the Park earlier when you could still drive into the Canyon - which you still can in late fall through early spring - I must say that the shuttle is a great way to restore some of the serenity to the Park. Before it was always a question of whether you could park at the next turnout and now you can even walk along the Canyon Road in relative peace. Take heed Bryce, Grand Canyon and Yosemite Valley!!
There is a lodge within the Canyon and two campgrounds near the visitor center. There are several trails - both day and overnight varieties, though for overnight excursions, you will need to pick up backcountry permits from the Backcountry Desk at the visitor center. The best day trails for me are the East Rim trail to Observation Point (early in the morning), the Angels Landing trail and the trail to the Narrows from the end of Zion Canyon road. The Narrows trail - much of the time is spent in the waters of the East Virgin River - along with the West Rim and the Kolob Arch trails are more geared towards the backpacker.
In Mormon theology, Zion is Heaven on Earth and a visit here can show you why early setlers so-named the area this. Beyond the Canyon, UT 9 provides a grand road with plenty more to see off its twists and tunnels. To the northeast, off I-15, Kolob - "the brightest Star next to the Seat of God" - offers wonderous backcountry hiking and the World's largest rock arch.
- Pros:Amazing canyons, fantastic hiking, grandeur that changes with the seasons
- Cons:Amazing crowds, hot summer weather, potential flash floods
- In a nutshell:A True World Wonder
With 2000 foot cliffs all around you, you have a multitude of choices for your next rock blast. Most of the routes are... more travel advice
One of the World's grandest rock monoliths, the Great White Throne towers over 2500 feet above the North Fork of the... more travel advice
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