Zion National Park — Day Two

We grabbed a quick breakfast in the hotel and drove back to the park. This day was sunny from the start, with temperatures near 60°, and these facts were reflected in the crowds. Right from the start, everything was busier. We got one of the last spots in the visitor center lot. We stayed on the bus to the very last stop to walk the Riverwalk trail. This is the trail everyone has to take to hike the narrows—the walk up the river beyond the trail where you’re actually walking in the water much of the way. Because of this, the trail was crowded. We took our time and enjoyed the beauty.

In many places, the walls at Zion “weep.” This allows ferns and other vegetation to get a hold and grow out of the wall.

A lot of people were gathered where the trail ended. Hikers who were heading up river were preparing and wading. Others were standing around watching and envying. We headed back. When we could, we got off the paved trail and onto a dirt trail that ran right along the river and was far less crowded.

The park was packed by this time. We stopped at the lodge to buy a quick lunch and some stuff in the gift shop, then headed back to the visitor center.

It was about 2:00 p.m.. There was one last thing we wanted to do in the park—drive the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway up out of the canyon. This was a stunning drive with two tunnels, a lot of amazing views in and above the canyon, and some startlingly-vivid fall colors.

When we reached the park boundary, we turned around and drove back down through the canyon again.

On the way back to town, we stopped at a lousy gift shop. The woman behind the counter greeted us with, “Where are you from?” This is actually a standard greeting in Utah. We must have been asked 10 times during the week. Apparently, nobody is actually from there.

We decided on a nice dinner and ended up at the Rib and Chop House in St. George. This turned out to be a huge mistake. For $85, we got decent steaks, but no better than what we could have gotten at Texas Road House for a third the price. I also got an absolutely tasteless lobster tail that I regretted from the first bite.

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