• Wendell

Day 11 - Zion National Park

Monday - September 16, 2019

Up early (again), lunch packed, breakfast consumed and on the road at 6:45 AM. Our goal was to reach the Visitors Center at Zion early enough to get a parking spot. It was my understanding that if you were later than 9:00 AM, you could forget it. The alternative was to drive into Springdale and catch a shuttle back to the visitor center. We were fortunate, we arrived a little after 8:00 AM after making a couple of photo stops and the parking lots were 95% full.

We entered through the East gate. The surprising thing was, when we reached the park entrance, it was open but there were no rangers at the station checking passes or taking up fees. We just passed through and the drive was beautiful but winding. The 1.1 mile Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel was completed in 1930 to provide a direct route from Zion to Bryce. It is narrow and winding. Vehicles over a certain size must pay a fee for assistance. The traffic is stopped to allow the oversize vehicles to pass.

disclamer - this is a stock photo, I did not take it.

I am just going to post a few of the many photos I took in no particular order. I know, after so much red rock, it begins to all look alike...

The moon is setting, but still pretty high.

The Court of the Patriarchs is a set of sandstone cliffs in Zion. They are named for biblical figures Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

Adventurous hikers starting to hike the Narrows.

Checkerboard Mesa, an unusual pattern...

The next four photos are a sequence. The first is a more or less "natural" view of Angel's Landing, a very popular destination peak for hikers. If you look closely at the two trees in the center, larger on the left, smaller on the right just left of the "crack". The next two photos show that area enlarged.

You can just make out some hikers near the small tree.

Here you can see the hikers plainly and note the chain guide on the right.

No, this isn't me making the final ascent to Angel's Landing, this is a photo I borrowed from the internet. It does show the narrow ridge which must be walked to make it to the top. 20 years ago I would have been game for this!!!

We had an enjoyable day. We hiked a little over 5 miles on three different trails. Unfortunately two of the trails I would have liked to hike were closed due to a rock slide a few weeks ago. It was recorded by a hiker on Angel's Landing. You can view the video below.

After we got back to the hotel, we rested for a while and then walked up the street to Houston's Trails End Restaurant. I had a delicious chicken fried steak, potatoes and fresh steamed vegetables. Kay enjoyed a Taco Salad. A good way to finish off the day.

I called a local Adventure tour company on the off chance that we might get a tour to the Peekaboo Slot canyon tomorrow. We were able to schedule one, but unfortunately it wasn't until 10:00 AM. The light won't be the best, but hey, at least we get to go!

Until tomorrow....

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