Zion National Park


Chris and I went to Zion National Park at the end of May. We just wanted to get out of the city for a long weekend, and I looked at Google Maps for something that was in driving distance, saw Zion, and recalled people telling me good things about it. It was a perfect place for a long weekend. Never thought I would go to Utah, but, then again, never thought I would go to Las Vegas, yet, here we are.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is about a three-and-a-half hour drive. Just to show my ignorance of southwest geography, we had to pass through Arizona to get there, which surprised me. As much as I thought there was a whole lot of nothing between here and Mesa, there’s extra nothing between here and Utah. I’m still amazing at how wide-open this area is.

We originally had reservations at the Canyon Ranch Motel, but the woman from there called us to say she made a mistake and did not have a room for both the nights we needed. She went ahead and secured a room for us at the Terrace Brook Lodge. I was impressed that she didn’t just leave us in a lurch and made sure we had a place to stay. Both places are in Springdale, UT. Route 9, near the park, is a cute area lined with places to stay, restaurants, little art galleries, and other stores. It was a nice change from Vegas.

Wothington Gallery

We drove up on a Friday afternoon and drove back on Sunday. The drive back was tough because of the wind, which was really pushing my poor little car around. I’m also still amazed at how windy it can get here.

One of the nice things about staying in Springdale is that a free shuttle runs along Route 9 to take people back and forth to the park. So, after my long drive, I didn’t have to drive again until we came home.

On Saturday, we went on the Emerald Pools trails. There are three pools, with the largest one being at the high point of the hike. I think the round trip hike was about 3 hours. On Sunday, we took the more leisurely Pa’rus walk, which is a fairly level walk near the main entrance to the park. For the most part, the trail runs along a creek and there are plenty of places to get off the trail and get down by the water. Again, a nice change from desert living.

Emerald Pools

And, of course, we hit a few of the restaurants. Breakfast both mornings at the Bumbleberry Inn. Dinners at Blondie’s Diner and the Spotted Dog Cafe. Lunch at Oscar’s Cafe and Deli. Blondie’s diner has an Elk pen next door, and they serve Elk Burgers. I was a little disconcerted by this and yet still tried an Elk burger.

Future Elk Burger

The trip was a nice getaway, and I would be interested in going back for a longer stay so that we could also drive up to Bryce Canyon, which is about a two-hour drive, so I am told.