Zion National Park
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Zion National Park is quite different from Arches and Canyonlands, but it’s just as spectacular. Maybe more so. It has more trees because the west of the mountains it catches more rain, and it sits in a steep valley with mountains on both sides and a river running through it.
When I arrived, much of the valley was still in shadow because it takes a while for the sun to climb over the top of the steep mountains. I took a modest hike up the base of one of the mountains, the Watchman, as the sunlight gradually moved down the valley.
Later, driving up the valley, I took some pictures of a wonderful cluster of mountains called Court of the Patriarchs. On a couple hikes I saw such animals as wild turkeys and mule deer. It was quite mild at Zion, reaching around 10°C (50°F) during the day. A lot of the trails were quite icy due to the following and freezing.
Later in the afternoon as the sun was going down I took through winding road to the east through a series of long narrow tunnels through the mountains. At last I made it to Kanab, where the previous Thursday I picked up my permit for The Wave. I got a motel, and prepared to set out the next morning for The Wave.