I could write a lot about Zion National Park, Instead, let me show you pictures.
We entered Zion National Park from the eastern entrance – an awesome area, called the Checkerboard Mesa. The red-and-white mountainscape unfolding around us was breathtaking, and once we passed the narrow tunnel to the main canyon, the mountains turned to almost vertical walls of red sandstone.
The river is the Virgin River, and most of the year it is just a thin rivulet, but when the snow melts, the river swells – as high as the trees in the riverbed – and changes the landscape, it is also the one which has produced the Virgin River Gorge. It is hard to believe a tiny creek like this can move over two million tons of stone and gravel per year, but it does.
Only part of the park is accessible by car; a large part can be explored with shuttle buses. The buses start at the visitor center on the southern entrance; all through Springdale, the tiny village at the National Park, there is another shuttle service, so you can simply leave your car at your lodging, hop on a bus, enter the park, and get into the park on foot, by mule, or by one of the buses (recommended).
On the day of our arrival, we toured the eastern part of the park, then parked our car at the hotel, walked to the park entrance, and hopped on a shuttle bus tour of the canyon, and we found the time for a short walk up the trail to the Weeping Rock.
The info given on the shuttle buses is quite interesting. There are many trails to be explored in Zion, from the easy to the pro-climber level, and the nature is nothing but stunning. Again, we were glad to be traveling in off-season – even now there were many tourists, but when we took the first bus next morning, we were almost on our own on the trail to the Emerald Pools.
Sunset and sunrise are, of course, gorgeous – make sure you get up early to catch a glimpse, and then go hiking. Don’t forget ro refill your water bottles at the park entrance and the refill station at the lodge.
And if you have some more time to spend, go and visit the lesser known parts of Zion: Kolob Terrace and Kolob Canyon.