Tag Archives: Utah

Western Adventure, Day XXIII – Utah at Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Another nice day in UT. We headed southwest to Zion National Park. If it wasn’t for our wonderful navigator for the day (me), we would have been in Zion much sooner. I sent us on a scenic drive through Dixie National Park on Highway 14 to Cedar City. We spent a lot of time on the road. Oops! All was not lost though. We did get to spend a bit of time at the top of the pass on Highway 14 in the snow at Navajo Lake. At this time, UT was still at 200% on snow totals for the year. Much of the pass was entrenched in deep snow. The dogs and kids loved it.

Interestingly, on this road there were numerous lava fields with no apparent volcano. Our curiosity was solved when we saw signage explaining that at numerous locations in the Dixie there have been recent (in the last 1500 years or so) lava fields formed from lava just coming out of the ground.

In Cedar City, we found a tasty Mexican food restaurant and a health food store that carried goat cheese. Yeah! We were so close to the north entrance of Zion called Kolob Canyon, we headed there first. The entrance is also the exit… a dead end. Not many people were at the this entrance. I imagine most wouldn’t take the time to come here for only a short 15 mile drive. But the views… wow! Most of the views didn’t look real. The roadway was paved neatly in the same color as the rock. Gorgeous.

The South entrance was significantly different from the North. Where you can drive yourself in the North, at the South you have to park and take a shuttle up the canyon. The shuttle is free with your park pass. There were steep cliffs on each side of the South Entrance with the Canyon floor having enough room for a road, the river and a bit of land here and there. Conveniently the bus stops almost everywhere along the way up to the final stop of Temple of Sinawava. At the Temple, there was a nice paved 1.5 mile walk up to the Narrows, which we walked. The trail was full of wildlife.

The Narrows is probably the most famous of trails here. It is the trail that leads into the canyon on the river. Since the river was flowing about 6500 cubic feet per second, the Narrows was closed. Normally it runs under 70. According to the bus driver, he said it flows at the rate of 15 to 50 in the summer. Did you know that last December they had the worst flooding on record? The Virgin River was flowing through the valley at over 60,000 cubic feet per second. It was the first time they had to close the park for flooding.

Returning to the bus stop, after walking the trail, we discovered tons of people. We didn’t feel like waiting for the bus, so we headed down the road on foot. Oddly the canyon got foggier as we walked, and then we came upon our empty bus stopped. The shuttle driver told us a large amount of rock fell right in front of him. He said it was the first time in his twelve years to happen. The boulders were the size of three man rock and there were white marks on the ledges above marking the path the rocks took as they fell.

The driver wouldn’t let us continue on foot, nor did we want to. So we got on the bus and headed back to the truck since it was getting dark. Our last goal of the day was to drive the one mile long tunnel. We managed to get back to the trailer by 11pm. Long day.


Click on any image to enlarge. Or better yet… click on the first photo and scroll through them all.

Posted in United States, Western Adventure 2011 Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Western Adventure, Day XXII, Arizona to Utah at Bryce Canyon with Dirt Bikes

What a dirt bike opportunity! Photo in front of a National Park

What a dirt bike opportunity! Photo in front of a National Park

We survived the winds and headed north to Utah. Our goal was to get to Bryce Canyon City. There’s the Ruby RV Park located just outside the National park and it has motorcycle trails all around it. After getting settled, we got the bikes out and rode around to explore the surrounding area. One of the trails took us right up to the Bryce Canyon National Park rim.

Where Monument Valley was terracotta in color, Bryce was peach, orange and white. Beautiful. We found the Bryce Canyon entrance sign. So we stopped by and got our photo in front of the sign with the bikes. Now that was cool!

Have to share a funny story. Nathan popped a wheelie across the park entry road right in front of a Sheriff. Then he proceeded to make a turn right in front of him in the parking lot. We all thought we were going to be ticketed. Lucky for us, the Sheriff just kept driving on. It’s okay to ride on the roadway in Utah, as long as, you are geared up. Thank goodness! Tomorrow we plan on heading down to Zion National Park.


Click on any image to enlarge. Or better yet… click on the first photo and scroll through them all.

Posted in United States, Western Adventure 2011 Also tagged , , , , |