Kitsch Kanab and Zion

Trip Start Sep 07, 2009
Trip End Nov 17, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Thursday, October 22, 2009

22/10/2009 - We checked out of Goulding's Lodge and headed 200 miles west to our next destination. Jim had picked to head for a place called Kanab in Utah, near to Zion National Park, which we planned to visit the next day. The route took us along a designated scenic highway, and past Lake Powell, a man-made reservoir formed by the damning of the Colorado River. The lake is supposed to be very beautiful and is popular for water sports, but we found it a bit eerie and soulless, although we did spot a real-life chipmunk in the desert when we stopped off to view it (see pic).

We arrived at our motel, Quail Lodge, and we were dead happy with our choice (another tripadvisor favourite). The motel was a very kitsch, 1950's, roadside building that had been recently done-up. The beds were so comfortable and we had one each! We ate out at a really nice 1950's diner too, The Rewind. Kanab seemed like a really great place to stay for a couple of nights and it made a refreshing change be staying in a nice little town away from the dust of the desert.

23/10/2209 - We woke up in the morning and enjoyed the free doughnuts and pastries (and Earl Grey tea!), that the motel provided for breakfast. We had hoped to stay another night at Quail Lodge, but they were fully booked, so we checked out and drove down the road to another 1950s motel, Parry Lodge. We reserved a room and then drove on to Zion National Park. Two couples we had met during our travels had both said we had to visit the park, so we had high expectations. We approached the park from the east along Rroute 9, which has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the states. It was stunning. At the park entrance we had to pay $25.00 to enter, which we thought was s bit steep, but does cover you for 7 days (although we were only visiting for one). Once in the park, you have to park your car and catch a shuttle bus that travels up and down the canyon with various drop off points. At first we thought this was s bit annoying as we had planned to drive around ourselves, but we soon realised it was a great idea. The park receives over 3 million visitors a year, and before the introduction of the shuttle bus, the traffic queues were a nightmare.

As we only had a few hours to capture the best of the park, we took the bus to the top of the canyon, where there was riverside trail. The walk covered a couple of miles along the edge of the Virgin River at the bottom of the canyon. The sun was shining and the bright blue sky against the red rock was stunning. The walk ended at a little sandy beach, where we rested before heading back. We caught the bus back down the canyon and departed at a trail called 'Weeping Rock', where natural spring water continuously cascades down the face of the cliff.

During our walk we saw some rock climbers who were ascending the cliff walls thousands of feet up, what an incredible sight. We also saw lots of deer and even a bald eagle soaring around the canyon (see video). After a few hours, we reluctantly caught the bus back down to the car. There are numerous walks and hikes to be done within the park and you could literally spend a whole week there and still not see all there is to see. It certainly was as beautiful as we had been promised. We returned back to our motel weary, but relaxed by the memories of beautiful Zion Canyon.

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