Today would be the shortest drive in our journey’s itinerary; we’d be driving from Bryce to Hurricane (both in Utah) via Zion National Park. Even though it was a short drive we woke up early because we wanted to get the most of the day in Zion. When we woke up, we did our morning rituals and it wasn’t until either one of us checked their phone for the weather, we realized it was snowing. Well, at least according to the app. It had snowed. The car was covered in a (for Dutch standards) decent layer of snow. So after cleaning and packing the car, we were off to go and even before 9 am we were waiting for the Subway to open for our breakfast/lunch combination.
Zion was literally on our way to Hurricane. Even if we didn’t plan to go to Zion, we’d have driven through it because it was the shortest route. The change in the tarmac’s colour is one of the indicators that you are entering Zion. I personally find it very fascinating that even though we visited a few National Park in a short amount of time, they still differ from each other. Bryce and Zion as well, despite them laying very close together. In Zion you’re basically driving through a canyon, while for example in Bryce you’re driving on the rim of a canyon. You feel very tiny in these immense wonders of nature. The UT-9 is the road through Zion from east to south. It’s located in the southern parts of the park. To get this road running, they had to created to immense tunnels through these tough rocks and mountain sides. The first one we passed wasn’t too long. The road also had been temporarily blocked by a few of the native animals living in Zion: the desert big horn sheep. Our first stop for the day in Zion was the Overlook Trail. It wasn’t a long hike, but when you reached the end of the trail, you have this magnificent view over the main canyon of Zion. I’m still amazed by the lack of fences in certain spots in these National Parks. Frankly, it’s quite easy for anyone -adult or kid- drop down and basically die. I reckon I’m especially amazed by this fact because it’s in a country that is known to sue others for the smallest of things. Apparently falling down a cliff because there wasn’t a fence isn’t a reason to sue?
Unfortunately during our hike back to the car, the weather turned and just after we were in our seats, it started to pour; there was snow, hail, rain. I reckon we saw every possible variation of rain in Zion. Before we could get to the main canyon, we first had to go through the second (and longer) tunnel. This tunnel is so narrow, that sides have to take turns going through the tunnel. We we got out to the tunnel, the weather even took a turn for the worse. We had to go down the mountain via these pretty sharp hairpin turns in crappy weather. It wasn’t the most fun thing to do.
When we got to the visitor’s center, we parked our car (you’re not allowed to drive the Canyon Scenic Drive with your own car from Spring to Fall) and found ourselves a loo and a souvenir shop. The weather cleared for a bit, but it’s wasn’t a great day yet. We decided to take the shuttle bus through the canyon and just see what we wanted to do. We were knackered and the weather was iffy. We decided to walked the River Side Trail. When the weather is okay, you can walk into the Narrows, however. It had been raining a lot and the Virgin river was a bit rough and the water level was high. Even if you didn’t care to get wet feet, you weren’t allowed to go in, because of the danger of spring flood due to the enormous amount of water that had fallen down to earth.
We walked back to the bus stop and decided to call it a day. We hadn’t any energy left to walk a trail and prospect of getting soaked by very likely rain storms wasn’t as appealing. I’d love to go back to Zion in the future to walk some of the trails. I reckon it to be awesome when the weather isn’t too bad.
From Zion, it was an half an hour ride to our hotel. Once again was got lucky. Booking.com said the hotel didn’t serve any form of breakfast. Guess what, they did and it was free (it was the Super 8 btw). We turned to Google to find us a good place to eat. It suggested Sonny Boy’s BBQ. According to the review it should be out of this world – so good. We weren’t as enthusiastic as they were, after we finished our dishes. We watched some TV before we called it a night.