Thursday, April 2, 2009

Zion's Scenic Drive, Court of the Patriachs & Riverside Walk, Zion NP, Utah

Zion National Park has a six-mile scenic drive road that leads to many of the popular destinations. During the high-season, which begins this Saturday, the only method of transportation along this road is a free shuttle bus (or bicycle), so we decided to take advantage of being able to drive the road, and meandered our way to the end. Along the way we stopped at the Visitor’s Information Center to get some hiking information for later this week, and enjoyed browsing their bookstore. We’ve got to say, however, that actually finding the entrance doors to the Visitor’s Center was cumbersome – we eventually found it - you have to walk around to the back, and there are no signs to help you along your way. (Of course, now you know!)

Our first stop was the Court of the Patriarchs – these are three high peaks named after biblical figures – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (If you weren’t aware, Zion was founded originally as a Mormon settlement.) If you’re so inclined, there is a short, paved yet steep walkway to a viewpoint, which will get you out of the trees for better views of the Court of the Patriarchs.

The Zion Lodge was our next stop – quite honestly, it wasn’t much, so there’s no reason to stop, unless you’re like us and like to check out National Park lodges. They did offer two free computers with Internet access in their lobby, but both were out of order when we tried. There is a restaurant at the lodge if you’re interested in enjoying a meal there.

The scenic drive ends at the Temple of Sinawaya, which is a trailhead for a few hikes, one of the more popular being the Riverside Walk (and it’s a walk, not a hike). We decided to join the crowds and enjoy this 2 mile round-trip, paved, easily accessible walk along the Virgin River within majestic canyon walls. This is also where hikes into The Narrows begins, which requires dry suits and special boots, as much of the trail is in the river. We checked into doing this hike, but were told that the river was high and cold this time of year, so perhaps next time we're in Zion............

1 comment:

Curtis Holloway said...

I am impressed that you have 26 followers. You could start your own cult. I'm still trying to find Brad in the pictures. Is he not allowed in range of the viewfinder?

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