Traveler EdgeZion National Park - Zion Canyon
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Last Update : 2008/6/20
Currently 13 visitor(s) on-line
Total visits in past 24 hours : 451
Zion National Park - Zion Canyon
Visits :
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Zion National Park  (Click for enlarged view 51K)
We arrived at Zion East entrance around 6:00 PM. After we checked in to the lodge and got to visitor center for the shuttle, it was already past 7:00 PM. It was late but at least we got the opportunity to do sight-seeing the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive from the shuttle bus before dark.
Zion National Park
We soon realized that there was nothing much we could do (or see) unless hiking. In fact almost everybody we met were hiking. We got off the bus at the last stop, Temple of Sinawava. It was also the trail head of Riverside Walk leading to the Narrows where great pictures can be shot. We hiked a short distance along the river. Although the temperature was very high, it was very comfortable for a night walk.
The Organ  (Click for enlarged view 40K)
One major difference between Zion and its neighboring brothers is that while most parks offer spectacular overlooking view, in Zion you you get bottom-up canyon view.
Zion National Park
Zion Canyon Visitor Center
It became totally dark after we came back to bus stop. We then found out that, by our surprise, there was no fireworks for July Fourth. Town folks told us that they have celebrated a day earlier. Ok, it was time for bed anyway.
Zion National Park 
Zion Canyon Visitor Center
Zion Canyon Visitor Center
The next morning we made a short stop in visitor center for map and information. Due to our intensive plan, we could not visit the Kolob Canyons area. At least it gave us a good reason to visit Zion next time.
Zion National Park 
Checkerboard Mesa
Checkerboard Mesa
After leaving the visitor center we headed east through Zion-Mount Carmel Highway. The whole Zion-Mount Carmel highway, especially the mile-long tunnel winding through the mountain, was quite a wonder of engineering (especially at the time it was built). The only question I had was why it was called a "Highway". It was probably high, but I guess that it was not referring to the speed..

East of the tunnel are naturally sculptured rocks in white, orange and red. One most famous site is Checkboard Mesa. As most of the tourists did, we stopped and take pictures.
Zion National Park 
Checkerboard Mesa
Checkerboard Mesa
Checkerboard Mesa is a unique geological wonder found in east of Zion National Park. The sides are steep and bald with checkerboard like vertical and horizontal lines carved through time.
Range outside Zion off Rt. 9  (Click for enlarged view 37K)
Although we did not really explore the whole Zion National Park, we were truly attracted by the place. Next time we will plan for at least a couple days stay and do some hiking. Comparing to other neiboring National Parks, this is probably the most inviting location for hiking.
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