« Sedona to Glen Canyon | Main | Hiking Zion, slowly »

Zion National Park, Springdale UT

This morning Emma was pleased to find that her homeschool project of growing some herbs has yielded seedlings, and she insisted I take a picture of them. The desert sun and some nice soil donated by friends in Texas has caused her cilantro and chive to pop up.

Emmas plants.jpg

The drive from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to Zion National Park is all scenic. Along the way, we got glimpses of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Vermillion Cliffs, and passed through the little town of Kanab. The scenery ranges from dunes to "painted desert" to scrubby evergreen forests and finally to red sandstone.

We had heard from friends over the years that Zion was marvelous, but nothing prepared us for how incredible it is. We came in the east entrance, which brings you along an incredible and impossibly winding road and through two tunnels blasted out of the sandstone.

Zion tunnel.jpg

The second tunnel is narrow and for the past decade the park service has required "large vehicles" including all RVs to pay a fee of $15 to go through it. They have rangers stationed at either end who stop traffic so that RVs can go right down the middle. Basically, for the $15 you get to rent the entire tunnel for your private use for a few minutes. We made the most of it, cruising the long (nearly a mile!) and dark tunnel (no lighting at all) at a leisurely 20 MPH.

Zion vista1.jpg

Once arrived in Zion Canyon, you can't help but be absolutely amazed. Every direction is an incredible scenic view of towering sandstone walls, over 1000 feet high. Even though there is only one road leading north-south through the canyon, there is very little traffic because the Park Service instituted a shuttle system back in 2000. It works great. Just hop on the shuttle that runs every 7-10 minutes and you've got a free guided tour of the canyon with stops just about everywhere.

Zion Emma fire.jpg

The weather is superb. It was well into the 90s today but only 36% humidity and it felt much cooler than it was. Our campsite is partially shaded but I expect we will have enough sun to recharge our batteries again. Amazingly, there is cell phone service here, and so we can keep the blog updated every night. So we've got everything we need plus some ... and three nights to enjoy this great park.

Tonight it has dropped into the low 70s, so we can sleep with the windows open, and tomorrow the forecast is for 99 degrees. We plan to spend most of the day hiking some of the park's signature trails in the shady parts of the canyon, near waterfalls and pools.


Hi Emma! Growing those plants is a great math lesson too. Are you charting and graphing their growth rates?? Good choice of plants for traveling, Emma! My fourth graders also did sweet potato vines. Lots of fun for kids! Go, Emma!!!

Dear Emma,
Your chives and cilantro look very healthy--I would look healthy too, if I had all that wonderful sun and warm temperatures--just add water!
Love seeing you on the blog. I've got your picture on my desktop so I know what you look like at 7:30 in the morning.
Love and kisses,

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please enter the security code you see here