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Zion National Park in Utah

Zion National Park, located in the southwest corner of Utah is nature at its best. The fee to enter the park is 25 dollars (as of summer 2010) which is a pass to enter the park for a week. It is really not possible to see all of the sights in one day, especially if you like to take time to hike some of the many trails found at the park so you may like to plan more time for this particular place.

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At this location you see on the image above you have a fantastic view of the famous mountain group of the Zion National Park. There is a trail leading you from the bus stop with the same name to a higher location to take unforgettable pictures of this park highlight.




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During the summer, the road driving through the north-south connection of the park are closed to automobiles. There are anyway very limited parking spots throughout the park and the conjestion of cars and RV’s would only destroy the nature of the park anyway. The park offers shuttle busses which are free to ride. It is just a hop-on and hop off situation and very uncomplicated to use.

On the shuttle, the driver informs you about the park and interesting tips and suggestions about each stop. Also if the driver sees any interesting wildlife, he or she also slows down and gives the visitors a chance to see them as well. The shuttles stop at every stop (also for both directions) and no one ever really has to wait more than 5 or 6 minutes at a bus stop for the next shuttle to arrive in either direction. This way you can take as much time as you like at any particular stopping point and when finished, just wait on the next bus to take you further.

Each stop is a highlight in itself and worth getting out at. The stops are: The Zion Canyon Visitor Center, the Zion Human History Museum, Canyon Junction (cars can also drive to this point from the main entrance if needing to use the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway to head east and to the Checkerboard Mesa), Court of the Patriarchs, The Zion Lodge, The Grotto, Weaping Rock and the Temple of Sinawava.


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First of all, the Zion Lodge area is great for relaxing in the green and also has restrooms and a restaurant to refresh you. Kids can take horseback rides from here as well. And there is also a possibility to fill your bottles with natural water (no cost).

A highly recommended trail is the Emerald Pools Trails (there is an easier trail for elderly or children and a more strenuous trail for others). These can be accessed from the Zion Lodge busstop and signs will direct you to them.

The more steep trail leads you into a landscape full of interesting flora, water pools caused by dripping waterfalls and breathtaking overviews of the park. This journey requires some time but is worth the effort.


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From “The Grotto” brave hikers can access the famous “Angel’s Landing”. This strenuous tour will lead you to probably one of the most spectacular views of the park. It is not recommended for those with a fear of heights as the last section of the hike is narrow and steep.


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Along the walking trails you will find small waterfalls, streams and rivers that look so inviting and refreshing.


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No matter which bus stop you get off at or which trail you decide to walk and explore, the scenery at this park is amazing. Each attraction is worth spending several hours at and the beauty of nature can really be enjoyed here. It is a great retreat for those wishing to get away from it all.


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Especially on hot days this last bus stop is the best - “The Temple of Sinawava”. The trail here leading to the Virgin River where you can then take the river walk, is full of lovely sights and amazing vista points.

Because Zion is so amazingly full of attractions, it is best to spend at least two days at the park. On the second day, we took the shuttle bus right away to the “Temple of Sinawava” stop. From here you can take the riverside walk along the Virgin River. Bring extra water shoes for better traction. Some rocks in the river seems quite slippery, even with the shoes on.

A long pole or branch is also wise to have along. Some are at the beginning of the river, left over by past tourists. It just makes the walking through the river seem easier. We were there in the month of July and never did the river go above our knees. We continued until we reached a point where it seemed good to turn around but other tourists coming from the opposite direction informed us that you can really continue to walk for miles through the Virgin River. Maybe one day we will head back and do just that. The experience was fantastic, just the same! And so refreshing on that hot summer day.

All along the trail you can enter the river at different points. Once you reach the end of the trail, you can take the famous river walk in the Virgin River. The river bed is full of rocks and quite uneven and more easy to walk if you have water shoes on. A walking stick is also recommended for added walking support. At some points the water gets as high as your knees (at least during the summer).


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A week at this park would still not enough to see all it has to offer. There are so many trails and possibilities to explore at this beautiful Utah location.


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Zion hat lots of adorable squirrels! At the beginning you may only notice one or two of the furry critters. But at some points it seems like a whole clan of them are around. If you have food in your backpack, be careful of just placing the backpack on the ground. The squirrels seem to know there are goodies in it and will actually go inside your backpack to get them.

Also if your have any kind of foil such as wrapping for cookies or such, they hear the rustling and come out of hiding and beg for the food. It looks cute but one should not feed them even though it seems so tempting when they look up with their cute faces (it is forbidden anyway). By not feeding them they will again learn to search for their food in their natural habitat and depend less on the tourists for food.


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This unique natural formation found at Zion National Park sandstone hill is one of the many highlights of the park. The checkerboard pattern found on this sandstone was formed through weather and erosion and shows the force of nature at its best. If you visit the park and arrive at the east entrance, this will be one of the first attractions you will see.






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