Zion National Park. Can you even put it into words? Massive canyon walls, sandstone cliffs brown, pink, white and red. Rushing river, pools to swim in, waterfalls and frogs. Desert and meadows mixed in one. If i could be a bird perched atop a cliff in Zion I would be in heaven.
Zion has a bus system that runs on propane that will shuttle you for FREE throughout the canyon of the park with stops at all trail heads. You can also take it into the town of Springdale, just outside of Zion. I'm a huge fan and believe that all National Parks should find the funding for this transportation. The shuttle system eliminates traffic and parking problems, protect vegetation, and restore tranquility to Zion Canyon. For us it meant setting up camp and not having to move/drive anywhere for a week.
What do you do in Zion? Hike, bike, hike, read, hike, climb, hike, swim, hike, eat ice cream, hike, laugh with new friends and hike some more.
Our first night we took the shuttle to the top of the canyon and did The River Hike. We watched the walls change color with the setting sun, spyed on deer eating, played in small waterfalls and loved on where we we were.
Then came Angels Landing........
When you first start exploring options within the park you hear over and over again about the hike Angels Landing. Chains? Cliff drop offs? Sounds scary???!!! YES! Of course we had to do it! We decided it best to leave wild Avery at home. That meant that Jay and I would take turns with the kids. Jason and Ani went up one morning. We received a call from them that they were at Scouts Landing, almost at the top, but starring at the chains and cliffs and would have to chicken out on going to the "very top". That put the pressure on Kaleb and I. We would have to finish this.
Kaleb and I made it to the same spot as Jason and Ani and had to stop and stare for awhile. Goosebumps rose from our toes. It was indeed SCARY!! We decided to sit and watch others scramble up the cliff sides. After 10 minutes we put our brave faces on and slowly made our way. I won't lie, I was a nervous wreck. Kaleb remained calm and did Awesome. At the top we made our bragging phone calls, enjoyed the few and hid our snacks from the unashamed chipmunks. We then triumphantly made our way down!
A friend of ours we met in Joshua Tree, Leon, had written that he would be in Zion during the same week. Leon is a mountain guide at places like Mt. Rainer and Denali. He is also an avid sport climber. (rope). This would allow us to have the opportunity to go up some routes on famous walls known in the climbing world. Zion is just behind Yosemite when it comes to "big wall climbing". If you get the chance to go make sure and look UP while riding the shuttle. You will be sure to see climbers setting up camp high on these walls. Headlamps glow above at night.
We also celebrated Earth Day and Ani's 8th birthday in Zion. Springdale held a great little Earth Day festival with lots of booths, local produce and live music. Here we met Sean and Emily who are traveling in a vegi-oil fueled bus. We've learned lots from them and become good friends. We are still traveling with them today, 3 weeks later. Ani requested pizza for her birthday. We found a great little pizza parlor that served her favorite, Hawaiian. She was smile from ear to ear while opening her presents. Books, crafts and earrings. And all she wanted was dye to color eggs since we skipped that on Easter. Chocolate from Leon completed the celebration.
We also met Henk and Denise from Amsterdam. They camped next to us and sang and told stories with us around the fire every night. Henk has story after story after story and you laugh at sometime during everyone.