Zion National Park, Walking in the Virgin River

Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
Trip End Mar 11, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Sunday, June 27, 2010

The light of the sunrise prying though the half open blinds woke us up this morning. From our room we see the canyon walls (left and right of the giant tree). We woke up early to do some laundry in the Hotel Laundrette. This was quickly done while we watched how England got a beating from Germany.

After our choirs were done we headed out. First a quick bite in a cowboy style Diner. Just some simple eggs and pancakes. It was very odd though that when Linda asked for boiled eggs, they could not make those. How difficult can it be? Anyhow filled with breakfast and our backpack full of bottles of water we headed into the Zion National Park. It was around noon, not the best time to do a Hike in 100+ degrees Fahrenheit (38+ Celcius for us Europeans) but we decided to do so anyway.

We took the park shuttle bus to the last stop of the park the Temple of Sinawava a 40 minute drive. We took a bus as there are no cars allowed in that part of the park. We decided to walk the trail called 'Riverside Walk'. A short and easy walk at the end of the canyon where the walls get closer together. I figured as the walls get closer that provide some shade, and I was right. After about a mile of walking we reached the end of the paved trail. If we would wanted to continue from here, we would have to get wet and walk though the river.

We were totally unprepared for this, we had no booties or water shoes, no walking stick and no towels. And we were dragging along a not so water proof SLR camera. Yet we decided to go for it! And started walking through the river. The water was nice and cool, really refreshing. We headed out a couple of miles loosing most of the other tourists, only a couple of well prepared hikers went out here. When the water became too deep for Linda we turned around and headed back. We were able to make some really nice pictures and had an adventure of a lifetime.

Back at the bus stop we headed back to the entrance where we changed into our flip flops. Our clothes already dried up by the strong sun. We decided that one of these hikes was enough for the day and headed out. We drove out the east entrance over the Zion-Mount-Carmel highway. This highway winds up the canyon through narrow tunnels and gives spectacular views. A bit of a detour to get to Vegas, but well worth it. We drove up to Kanab, and from there down to the Valley of Fire (near Vegas). In Kanab, a small touristic cowboy place, we decided to have a small bite at a BBQ place. Shockingly a slab of baby-back ribs was $30,-! which made it have a bit of an unpleasant taste. Anyhow we enjoyed our overpriced food and headed out to the Valley of Fire.

Our timing could not be better, we reached the valley around sunset which gives the valley awesome colors. When we arrived the visitors center was already closed. We drove around and made some very nice photos. We left the park just before dark, and headed out to Vegas. Arriving from the North is the best as suddenly the city exposes itself after a hill, one big sea of light. We returned the rental at the Hertz dropoff at the airport and took a taxi to our Hotel for the coming nights, the Aria (part of CityCenter). Tomorrow will be a 'rest' day..But you never know what might happen..
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