Zion is stunning, named by the Mormons during their settlement of Utah, calling it their Zion, or promised land, and you can understand why. Unlike the Grand Canyon you enter into the bottom of the canyon, and you look up at the soaring red canyon walls all around you. There are also two tunnels to drive through that were hand cut in the 1930s, one being a mile long! At one, we gave a ride to 3 cyclists (and their bikes!) in the back of the RV because it is too dangerous for them to travel through as there are no lights. They were great guys who gave us lots of travel tips for our upcoming Vegas visit.
To preserve the beauty of Zion you leave your vehicle outside and take shuttle buses to the various trailheads and that does make for a more relaxed feel then other parks. We chose the River Trail that follows the course of the Virgin River and leads to the Narrows trail. The Narrows is pretty infamous because the river has cut a narrow slot canyon (so water and wet feet for the boys!), but is also prone to flash flooding. I chose to keep my feet dry and sit by the river instead. Another trail led us to the Emerald Pools and an overhead waterfall that you walked through, very refreshing after a dusty walk.
Zion has quite a history of fatalities as there are many precarious walks with sheer 1,000 foot drop-offs, as well as floods. Sadly, the last death was only last month when a 34 year old hiker from California was caught in a flash flood in the Narrows – a reminder that even beauty has a bite!! Again, it’s hard to show either the scale or the grandeur on photographs but so far this has been my favourite spot, although Yellowstone still rates higher with the rest of the family.