Zion National Park has been on my "to-do" list ever since we moved here. (#76 on my 101 in 1001 list) It's about 3 hours away (with Scott in the driver's seat), so a little bit farther than you would want for a day trip. Every few months I would browse the website, look up the route and distance on google maps, but an opportunity never really came up for us to actually go.
Then Scott's brother and sister-in-law went to Zion's. And again a second time. I followed their instagram feeds and ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the beautiful scenery. I want to go toooo!! So finally we made it happen a couple weeks ago. And with some great hotel, hiking, and dining recommendations from Randy & Kate we were in the know. (thanks, guys!)
We drove there on a Friday -- we left home a little bit later than we had anticipated and we had to make a highly-recommended stop at Swig in St. George for soda & sugar cookies. Yum.
As we drove closer and closer to Springdale the landscape started to change and these brilliant yellow trees began appearing more and more. Oh beautiful fall! I was so giddy and excited. This is just what I wanted -- I needed a "fall fix" and this trip definitely provided that for me.
After checking into our hotel we finally made it into the park at about 2pm. Day 1 in the park was all about getting the lay of the land, checking out a few quick & easy spots, and fitting in a good walk. Here's a little look at what we explored that day,
First up, Court of the Patriarchs. There are 3 peaks that are named after biblical prophets - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Although, on the right there is a smaller peak that partially blocks the view of Jacob Peak. The one in front is called Mount Moroni.
The thing that's so amazing about this park is being surrounded by these huge mountain peaks on every side. They are just massive.
Waiting at the shuttle stop. The shuttle system in the park is fantastic. You park at the Visitor's Center or park at your hotel and take the Springdale shuttle to the Visitor's Center, and then hop on the park shuttle to get pretty much every where in the park. While riding, the shuttle plays an audio commentary on the history of the park and the landmarks that you are seeing.
and the right
Just so many beautiful things everywhere you look.
There was a short, steep walk up to Weeping Rock
Boy, we are colorful today!
The view out to the canyon from Weeping Rock
On the walk down I started geeking out at all the beautiful fall colors. Seriously, just look at this!
It was on this walk that Scott coined my favorite quote of the trip, "It smells like trees." Yes, yes it does! It's funny how you are able to notice small things like the smell of trees (real, forest trees) when you have been in the absence of them for so long!
Not really a hike, this is more of a walking trail. It is long, mostly straight, it crosses the river a few times, and is paved for bicyclists. Kate suggested that we take this trail in the late afternoon or early evening. We did and the light was beautiful!
We are sure to obey all posted signs
But there were no signs about throwing sticks in the river. We may have gone a little too far.
I won't share the shot where Scott is licking my face. (Are we really going to make this a regular thing, dear?)
The kids were excited because these rocks reminded them of a Pokemon character. Anna voted for Stunfisk. Payton voted for Gabite.
And that's a wrap for Day 1! Isn't the park just gorgeous? The weather was perfect - mid-70's. Just a beautiful, beautiful day.