When we first got sight of Zion National Monument a couple of days ago, our jaws all dropped and a series of “wows” came from each of our mouths. We remained pretty much dropped-jawed and in awe for the rest of our visit.
I can’t even begin to describe the beauty of the area. The canyon walls are a mix of creamy white, hypnotic crimson, mystifying black, and calming greys. There are juts, crevices, mounds, and overhangs carved out of the rock. If Red Canyon was almost cartoonish, Zion is perfectly, elegantly chiselled.
Near the entrance, there is a tunnel originally carved when Model –Ts were the norm, and RVs hadn’t yet been thought of. Oversized vehicles, including ours, must pay an escort fee. The ranger shuts down traffic from the other direction so that you can drive through the tunnel safely, straight down the middle. It’s a long tunnel too—it took probably two minutes to get all the way through—and there are no lights, aside from the occasional opening for sunshine.
After supper the first night, we did the leisurely Riverside walk, a paved path that, as you might expect, runs along the river. At the end of the path, we continued on to another trail, The Narrows. This trail isn’t paved. Instead, you must actually walk in the river, sometimes up to knee-deep. The cool water was refreshing, and the canyon walls continued to get closer as we walked further. It was a lot of fun, and a good touch of adventure after the easy paved path.
Yesterday, we did another hike in the morning, this one leading up the canyon walls, with a series of three small pools along the way. The first pool was my favourite, because the path went behind a small waterfall and the mist was refreshingly cool. The other two were also gorgeous, and worth the uphill climb in the heat.
Afternoons here get unbearably hot, perfect for playing in the pool or reading indoors where there’s air conditioning—which is pretty much how we wrapped up our second day in Zion.