Monday, October 24, 2016

Our 1st Day in Zion NP For This Trip! !st Time Ever for Ernie and Noela!

It was a rather busy morning getting ready to go to Zion National Park which is a 1/2 hour drive from the CG!  We had to pack lunches, cook breakfast, clean up, etc. We were a bit concerned about the weather for they were predicting some thunderstorms after lunch.  But, the 4 of us left the CG at 8:30 and drove through Zion National Park and through the tunnel to the Overlook Canyon Trail! We thought the drive and this trail would be a great introduction to the park for Ernie and Noela!

A mule deer, the 1st wildlife we saw at Zion NP!

1st we drove on the winding road with many switchbacks that lead to the dark and amazing tunnel!  Hard to imagine the work that went into making this tunnel in the 1920's.

This is one of the windows you can see out of when going
through the tunnel!

This is a view of the mountain of rock that the tunnel was
built through!  Crazy!

Here comes an RV!  The tunnel is narrow and only 13 feet
in the center.  RV's and busses need to get a $15.00 pass to
go through the tunnel because they have to stop traffic so
the oversized vehicles can go through the center..

The Overlook Canyon Trail, which Ken and I have hiked 2x's, begins as soon as you depart the tunnel.  It is 1 mile roundtrip and we were thrilled to do it again because it is such a unique trail.  You climb many steps, walk near the edge of the canyon on rocky and sandy terrain, under the overhanging rocks, and the trail ends with a phenomenal view of the canyon and the winding road leading to the 1.1 mile tunnel through the massive rocks.  It is breathtaking!

Gorgeous sights and changing terrain!

Ernie and Noel under the rock overhang.  Great place for cliff
dwellers!  We thought it would be a terrific place to build a fire,
 sit on a chair and watch a thunderstorm!

It got rather narrow.......

and steep at places!

Love the rock formations and the different colors!

We are at the end of the Overlook Canyon Trail.  It is
a relatively high place!

Note the windy, switchback roadway to the tunnel!

Another photo with a view of the road!

Even a wooden bridge/platform that was near the edge
of the canyon!

We left there and went back through the tunnel to the Visitors Center.  Then we ate our picnic lunch before getting on the shuttle.  Because Zion has so many visitors and limited parking, you have to take a shuttle from the Visitors Center to most of the trailheads.  We rode to the very back of the park to the Temple of Sinawava and the Riverside Walk.  This trail is a 2.2 mile roundtrip hike that goes along the Virgin River through the narrow section of the gorge - another beautiful hike!  We got to see views of Angel's Landing, the hike we had taken in the spring of 2015 with Chuck, Melissa, Alan, and his son. What great memories!  We had actually taken all 3 hikes mentioned with Chuck and Melissa!

This is Angel's Landing that we climbed to the top of in the
Spring of 2015!

Just another exceptional view from the shuttle bus!

The beginning of the Riverview Trail!

Can't imagine doing this!!!!

It is a very narrow gorge!

This is the near the end of the trail where you
can hike back to The Narrows!  You have to
go through the water and it can be a very
dangerous hike.  Flash floods happen quickly
in this narrow passageway.  

After the hike, we took the shuttle back to the car.  We had a few drops of rain on the Riverside Walk, but all in all, it was a great day for hiking.  Some sun and clouds and temperatures in the low 60's.

When we returned to the CG we picked up a few things and then drove to St. George, about 15 miles south to go to Costco.  From there we had dinner at Brick Oven, which was great, and then stopped at Wal-Mart.  We only got back to the CG at 8 and we made plans to leave tomorrow morning at 7:30 for the 2 1/2 hour drive to Bryce Canyon National Park.  So, no socializing tonight.  We have plenty to do before going to bed.

It has been a long day but a good one!  You just have to love Zion National Park!

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