Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On to Zion

Here's the thing about Zion. If you're heading from Bryce back to Vegas, you must go through it if you don't want to drive the slightly longer route via Kanab. The state road goes right through the park.

And right through a long tunnel, past amazing canyon scenery, and oh, it'll cost ya to go on this road. Twenty-five bucks National Parks fee.

I'd bought an annual pass at my first NPS stop, back at the Grand Canyon. These are worth it if you're going into three National Parks a year, and heck, they're worth it anyway. Support your National Park Service. This is one thing that America has undisputedly done well. A guy I knew last year had driven across the country and said the National Parks were deteriorating due to budget cuts. I don't know what National Parks he was talking about. The ones I've visited on this trip were as deliciously homegrown as always, with dedicated staff and volunteers and the right balance of commerce and nature.


I checked the campgrounds at Zion and both still had room though I'd arrived late in the day. But I'd read that there was a commercial campground in Springdale, just outside the southern entrance, that had showers and wifi. And I like a nice shower in 110+ weather, so I stopped in to check it out.

They offered me a campsite with shade, and the wifi worked. I had to pay five dollars extra for my second shower, but I knew I'd want one to cool down before sleeping as well as having one in the morning, so I forked over the dough.

Back inside Zion, I parked my rental car and got on the shuttle. I rode it all the way to the end of the park and hiked up to the mouth of what's called the Narrows, past rock formations known as Abraham and Isaac. Why, I wonder, did the NPS keep the Mormon names for the Zion rocks but ditch the local name "Indian Dick" for the formation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon? I'll never know.

Here's a look at Zion.


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