Zion National Park

Sunday, Sep 25, 2011 at 17:42

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

TRIP DAY 17
Wednesday 21st September, 2011

Breakfast was included in our accommodation so we gave it a try... first time I've ever seen a waffle maker but whilst David and girls had them I couldn't bring myself to that level of indulgence for they were the size of pizzas!

The dreaded trip backtracking to Zion was quicker than expected just 30mins and we got a carpark despite the warnings of it getting full early. We hoped on the shuttle, got seats and enjoyed a very good commentary all the way to the furthest point in the park - the Riverside walk. This was a fabulous easy walk following the Virgin River all except for the crowds of people on the track. At the end of the trail starts a challenging trek called the Narrows that requires wading and in places swimming in 4.5foot water at 9degree C temps over slippery, mossy rocks and through flowing water. We would loved to have done this but we weren't equipped for it but we noticed hundreds of hikers wearing hired water hiking boots and poles but we figured that would have cost us another $150 so felt content to enjoy what we could. The kids loved the walk as there we found tons of seemingly tame little squirrels so we got very close and got photos. They chirp like birds! We also hiked up to Weeping rock, then hiked out to Emerald Pools and nearly keeled over in the extreme heat - its still 100F ! Finally, we got to the cool of the grassy lawn at Zion Lodge and ate icecreams (I had the strawberry ice-smoothie instead) and waited for the 3pm ranger talk on animals.

The ranger (Jacquline Drake) gave a wonderful presentation and involved Leah and Chardae. They even got to hold and even wear a real mountain lion skin. The helped the kids finish off their workbooks and hoped on the shuttle bus back to the Human History Museum where they had to find more clues to complete some final questions and then they found a ranger who marked their books and swore them in again with the junior ranger oath and they proudly added another badge to their hats.

Back in Hurricane after a fantastic day we all agreed thay Zion is one of the best parks for its the only one with water you can access, ease of getting around, variety of walks many short so you can do quite a lot in one day. The Australian NPWS could learn a lot from the American Department of the Interior.

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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