Zion National Park    20 - 22 Sept 1997
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Sat 20th - Springdale/80°F
Soon as we crossed the border into Utah the scenery changed from the desert land to rolling hills of large boulders, a beautiful scene around every corner. Also saw buffalo. Long drive to Zion National Park and through a tunnel (video). Since it was late all of the campgrounds were full. But we were able to get a spot in Zion Canyon Campground ($31.71), which is a private one just outside of the Zion entrance in Springdale. We set up in the darkness, ate in the darkness and went to bed.

Springdale and campground

Wall of Narrows

Angels Landing
 
Sept 20 Diary
 
Sun 21st - Zion/80°F
Moved over to the Watchman Campground, set up the tent. Went on the Emerald Ponds walk (video) and that took 90 minutes up and around past 3 pools (1st) / (2nd) and a falls (video). Offered to take a photo of Japanese fellow at the lower pond and he in turn took the photo of us. Found the place to be crawling with Germans and Italians. Had our lunch in the Grotto (saw wild turkey).

Upper Pool

Good Luck thingies

Virgin River
Drove to Weeping Rock where we were lucky to get a parking space. Went up to see the leaky rock (quite large) from the inside. I guess its not powerful enough to be called a waterfall (video).

view from it

from Hidden Canyon trail
Finally, we took on the more ambitious, steep, long hike up along cliff edge known as the Hidden Canyon Trail. It took us 2½ hours to do it (video). About halfway up we encountered two couples in their 60s-70s on side of trail having lunch with proper silverware! (Weeping Rock). Gail managed a long set of steps (video) and then stopped at a lower level and I continued along to the top via chain hand holds in the side of the cliff and hope that you don't encounter someone coming towards you (video).

looking up

looking down

Great White Throne
When we stayed at the private campground last night we were given tokens for a free shower and we used them today. While not dressed for it and certainly couldn't afford a meal we asked if we could just get dessert at the fancy Shonesburg Restaurant. It was "yes", so we had hot coffee and bumbleberry pie (boysen and blue) with a cheescake. When we got back to the campground a ranger told us to move the tent off of the grass and onto the proper (hard ground) section. Three young German-speaking men set up next to us and in the process of making a meal managed to set their Coleman fuel can on fire and in the panic it spread to the very dry grass. Good thing we moved our tent. My immediate reaction was to to move our car and while I did that several other campers calmly brought their water supplies and managed to douse the flames. Unpreturbed by all this, the boys continued making a meal, only now in the dark with their headlights on, and as we tried to sleep one of them strummed a guitar until very late.
 
Sept 21 Diary
Mon 22nd - Zion/80s°F
We did the Watchman Trail, going up for 90 minutes, stopped for lunch and then back down. Nice views (video). We went into the visitor center, along with 100 or so French people.

Visitor Center on left

The Watchman
 
Sept 22 Diary
All Albums 1997 Trip Albums