The Zion Run-Down

Zion has been one of my favorite campgrounds — huge spot (with electricity) on the Virgin River. In the morning we can look out one window and see the lights on the canyon wall for sunrise. And in the early evening, on the other side, the lights of the setting sun. The cottonwoods all around us, lining the river were a brilliant yellow and as the week went on, more and more of them fell, leaving bare tree limbs as we take off today.

Bryce and Grand Canyon were eye candy, but made up mostly of overlooks, positioning you to step out, peer over, and recede. Yet in Zion, you exist in the canyon. You can’t open your eyes and not see the splendor all around. You are constantly surrounded by canyon walls all the time and as the light evolves throughout the day, the spectacle shifts in its illumination constantly.

  • We stayed: Watchman Campground (five stars)
  • We hiked: Watchman Trail, Riverside Trail, Upper/Lower Pools Trails, the Grotto Trail
  • We biked: Pa’rus Trail
  • We also: drove the East entrance along the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, went to Bryce Canyon for the night, learned rappelling through a canyoneering adventure with Red Desert Adventures on the Koloa Canyon side of the park, around Lamb’s Knoll (five stars)
  • We enjoyed: Thai Sapa, Spotted Dog Cafe, Bit & Spur

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