We’re marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion (Isaac Watts). That would describe the place that we encountered on Saturday, March 13. Somehow these words and “a spiritual place” seem to reverberate in my mind as I remember this day. We arose early and had a filling breakfast at the Victorian Inn. Little did we know the experience that we were about to encounter. We drove into Zion National Park
early in the day. Established as a national monument under President William Howard Taft, it was declared a national park in 1956. What a beautiful ride up to the actual gate.
The most famous part of the ride is the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, a 1.1-mile tunnel, completed in 1930, with six large windows cut out of the sandstone walls. Due to the size of the tunnel, we were restricted to one-way traffic through the tunnel. Still, it was a good think we arrived at the visitors’ center early and found parking. This sign was displayed shortly after we parked and had a quick sandwich.
Much of the park is only accessible via the free park shuttle from early April – late October. We found it very convenient as one could hop on and off at the various stops. While the photos can hardly do it justice, they tell the story.
Arriving at the Temple of Sinawava, we hiked the 2-mile round trip Riverside Trail to The Narrows, a point at which the canyon narrows significantly. Beyond this point, one must wade or swim in short sections of the Virgin River in order to reach the other end.
After helping the local economy by purchasing a DVD and other souvenirs, we departed the park around 4:00 PM, not knowing where we would spend the night.
As luck would have it (once again) I spotted a sign for a Best Western in Beaver, Utah, just up the road. They had a room. The receptionist could not have been more helpful at the Best Western Paradise Inn. We had a ground floor room, adjoining restaurant, The Crazy Cow, and a heated swimming pool and hot tub.
Needless to say, it suited us just fine. I gave them a good review on Trip Advisor, which I have started using with great care.
We traveled 151 miles by way of HWY 89 and I-15 on this day.
October 13, 2012