Our 2009 Summer Trip - Arizona and Southern Utah - Part 1
Travelling, Camping and Zion National Park

Driving a day and a half from San Jose, we finally arrived in Arizona. Las Vegas ain't my style, so we didn't tarry there.

I love the Joshua trees as we travel through Nevada and Arizona This sunset in Nevada was beautiful The obligatory "new state" picture. The kids also got to put the Arizona sticker on our map.
Doesn't that sign say "Emergency Parking ONLY"? Must not apply to out-of-state vehicles at the "welcome" sign or maybe women drivers.are exempt!

We wanted to get into a campground in Springdale, just yards from the entrance to Zion Canyon, but that didn't work out. Instead we stayed a couple of miles away at the Zion River Resort in Virgin, UT.

The approach to Springdale and Zion Canyon is spectacular
The Zion River RV Resort has a great playground for the kids
There is a free shuttle with various stops in Springdale to transport tourists from various parking lots to the Zion Canyon National Park entrance. The stop where we waited for the shuttle was directly across from a local gem shop.
Once inside the park, there's a separate, free shuttle system, licensed by the Park Service with service to many of the major spots. Our first stop was the Riverwalk Trail. which we took to the beginning of the narrows. In the left picture are RoseMary, Jaxson, Jeannette and Cassie. The middle picture shows Robbie and Zeke, while Lindsey, Kenny and RoseMary are in the picture on the right, with one of the hanging gardens behind them.. Notice the back-pack and leash on Zeke.

In the picture at the left, from the right, at one of the hanging garden walls, are Ryan, Robbie, Zeke, Jeannette, Cassie and Jaxson. The center picture shows Kenny, Lindsey, Alex and RoseMary. At the left we see Lindsey, RoseMary and Alex.

Hanging gardens form when the porous sandstone absorbs water which "flows" through the stone until it encounters a non-porous layer that forces the moisture out onto the vertical surface of the stone. The life-giving moisture enables grasses, ferns, bushes and even small trees to gain a foot-hold on the vertical cliff.

At the end of the Riverwalk trail, the Zion Narrows begins. In the left picture, some of our group are climbing from the trail to the Virgin River. In the second picture, those who are prepared for it begin their walk into the river and the narrows.

Along the trail were many squirrels, including this scary one at the end of the trail. Cassie, Zeke and Jaxson are protecting their toes by standing on the bench.

Hold tight to the little ones - that's quite a dropoff. Sometimes high on the canyon walls, the riverwalk is beautiful. Alex, watch out for that squirrel behind you, he's about to attack ..... The canyon walls are covered with desert "varnish" Sometimes near the river it was safe to let the little boys walk on the trail edge.
The canyon is the work of the river as well as rain, snow and even glaciers. Could these be future bridges or just fancy filagree in the cliff face? The massive walls rise up several hundered feet above the canyon floor.
Forming part of the canyon floor is an ancient lake bed, left from a time in the far past when a giant landslide blocked the river. View of the valley floor from the Hidden Canyon Trail. This was the only picture I got of this trail before my camera (along with my cell-phone) batteries died. It is a strenuous 2 mile (seems more like 4 or 5) hike that rises nearly 900 feet above the valley floor. To make it more interesting there are 3 or 4 sections of the trail with chains attached to the cliff face where the trail is too narrow or steep for "comfort".

That was our one-day visit to Zion. There was a lot more to see and do, but our time was limited. I have promised some of the grandkids that some day we will return and climb Angels Landing.

Our Grand Canyon visit follows.

San Francisco Bay Area

Part 1 - Parties and Graduation

Part 2 - Jelly Belly, Big Trees and Natural Bridges
Southern Utah and Arizona Part 1 - Travelling, camping and Zion Part 2 - Grand Canyon
Part 3 - Bryce Canyon Part 4 - 3 State Parks
Part 5 - Cove Fort and Manti temple Pageant
Northern Utah Part 1 - Visit to Kayleen and Andy's, Oquirrh temple, Bear Lake and Heritage West Center Part 2 - Fourth of July at Lewiston, other Cache Valley pictures, Saint Anthony Dunes and Idaho Falls wedding

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