Have you heard of Zion National Park?
I had, but had no idea what its claim to fame was.
Fascinating to come here right after Grand Canyon….the two places are almost exactly opposite each other: one is a massive hole in the ground that you view from above, the other is massive rocks piled high that you view from below!
You get up close here…with a walk further up this trail (and across the stream several times) you reach a point where the two mountains come together so close you can touch both sides at once!
Although Ross & Ryan can be quite limiting for hikes in rough country, they have good stamina when the way is smooth. For me to get the photo above, they walked with Robyn, Grandpa Fell, and me for two hours up and two hours back! The path was paved, but it went up, down, and around, and many other people shared it with us.
Very difficult place to shoot….the rocks are hugely different in color, the sun changes their colors, the shade can be nearly black, and many surfaces reflect widely differing tones and colors! I could come here for months and get so many different shots of the same scene!
Nice to have access to the Virgin River that runs through the main canyon. Around the next corner, in the shade….
Notice the people on the right (Ross was off-camera, waiting patiently for me at a railing on the trail). What fun to have the cottonwood trees changing color…we’ve already noticed some progression in them while we’ve been here.
The scale of these mountains is hard to convey in a photo. I hope you click on some of these so they fill your screen. Here’s a clue: find the two climbers in the next photo:
We took the boys on a steep and narrow paved path to see the Emerald Pools. It was 3/4 mile up into a canyon to reach the first pool. What a disappointment…no pool, because its waterfall was nearly dry. But the deciduous tree colors were some consolation!
The park is surprisingly busy for November. We have the good fortune to use the handicapped placard, because no matter how small or full a parking lot might be, there’s nearly always a nice spot for handicapped open near the trailhead. We appreciate the extra space they provide, because staging a run with the boys takes some room: drinks, vests, bookbags, tripod…and one of them won’t stand still (Ryan). We can even discreetly change a diaper right next to the car!
As the sun begins to set…early now!…we can run across some of the most dramatic scenes of the day. This one was right at a parking lot.
Bright sun or not, everywhere we look this place is a beautiful example of God’s handiwork.