Showers are wonderful things and when camping for a few days and doing some fairly strenuous hikes, they become even more so. The campgrounds in Zion National Park do no offer showers but in nearby Springdale there are facilities that do. The visitor center can provide the exact locations of current businesses offering them. One was a climber's store which was right on the highway coming into to Zion from the western side. The nice thing about this place for us was there was just one big bathroom and you could go in together, rather than two big different sexed rooms. We saw some small families doing the same. It's best to go in the middle of the day as they can get crowded right before dinner. Other than that, they didn't seem to care how long you took but at the busy times, they wanted you to be out in five minutes. We are pretty quick anyway and don't waste water by turning it off while soaping up/washing hair. This was also the cheapest place at $3 per person.
The very cool and rustic Zion Lodge is worth checking out in its own right but another bonus was free Internet. It's not advertised as generally for people staying in the hotel but they don't seem to mind anyone using it. They are in the lobby in a small cubby hole. You have to queue up and you can only stay on for ten or fifteen minutes if there is a line so be polite. I found if you went early in the morning it wasn't busy. I rarely found time for this but on my last day I went in on the shuttle while D rested after our two night backpacking trip. I got some great early morning shots of the West Temple, some Wild Turkey action, checked my e-mail, and was back at the tent to cook her up some pancakes before 9:00 AM!
Entrance to Zion is $20 per car and $10 per pedestrian (good for seven days).
The National Parks Pass costs $50 and covers admission to national parks for one year from date of purchase.
Zion is participating in a fee demonstration program that allows the park to collect and retain entrance and campground fees primarily for backlogged maintenance and resource protection projects.
The early Mormon settlers set their mark at Zion National Park particularly in naming many of the landforms like: Angels Landing, The Great White Throne, The Three Patriarchs, and nearly every other mountain or landform in the park.
The park gained public appeal for its beautiful landscapes and became a thriving tourist destination. On a visit to the area, Brigham Young (the leader of the Mormon faith), was expecting to find this place to be the "Zion". A heaven on earth was not found by Mr. Young, he found it to be geologically beautiful but found the Mormons living in the valley growing and smoking tobacco.
The act of smoking is strictly forbidden among the Mormon faithful. Brigham Young concluded that the people living here were living with sin and oficially declared the valley "Not Zion" and the name stuck for some time.
Today you will find that, being in Utah, you will be surrounded by members of the LDS Church almost constantly. Your behavior will be watched rather you like it or not. If you do not wish to be sneered upon, try to be on your best behavior.
Utah Picture Stone:
Name given for the beautifully painted Picturerock (specially cut & quarried sandstone) with scenes of nature, the Old West & wildlife. The picturesque designs on this natural sandstone were formed by a mineral spring containing iron oxides 180 to 225 million years ago. Found in Southern Utah, this beautiful stone has not been altered in any way except to be carefully cut & sanded. This is a priceless souvenir, don't you think?
When we drove towards Zion National Park we didn't have the expectation that we would encounter any natural bridges. I guess we didn't see any indeed, but once left the park by car we did witness something strange. Have a look at the picture and maybe you can tell us whether this is a natural bridge or not.
To answer this question we have looked up what a natural bridge is:
"A natural arch or natural bridge is a natural formation (or landform) where a rock arch forms, with a natural passageway through underneath. Most natural arches form as a narrow ridge, walled by cliffs, become narrower from erosion, with a softer rock stratum under the cliff-forming stratum gradually eroding out until the rock shelters thus formed meet underneath the ridge, thus forming the arch. Natural arches commonly form where cliffs are subject to erosion from the sea, rivers or weathering (sub-aerial processes); the processes "find" weaknesses in rocks and work on them, making them bigger until they break through. Source: WikipediA
I think that it's a clear answer ... but still we like to see the picture as a natural arch! Or maybe we should return over about 5000 years? :-)
Standing in front of a the cliffs at Zion makes you very little indeed. But somehow everything seems larger here, because we saw a few enormous acorns lying on the ground. Larger than 30 centimeters were no exeption.
I guess we all agree on this on; there is nothing more exciting than going travelling - exploring another country, experiencing a different culture, travelling around in new ways, sampling the local cuisine and chatting to the local people for a different perspective on life.
However during our travels we learned that there is one certain thing that you should be aware of and prepared for to make sure that the trip is as easy and enjoyable as possible. We always try to see everything once we're there, but this is not always an act of responsible travelling. We always talk to the locals and we know that they have the information about just the right spots to visit and how to undertake them. It will not only enhance your experiences but also avoid any unnecessary hassles.
For us the travel tips we have written in this section made the most of our travel experience and we came home in the same happy, healthy state that we left.
The Mormons discovered & named this Canyon in the 1860s. Zion is carved out of predominantly Navajo sandstone.