|Zion National Park is a 'look up' kind of place, as the road into the park is entirely along
the Virgin River in the bottom of the canyon.
The only way to get to the top and look down into Zion, is by hiking one of the many trails
that climb 3,000 to 4,000 feet up the canyon walls.
|We left the parking lot, and the crowds of people, on our bicycles around eight in the morning and road along the path leading to the scenic drive into the park.
Private vehicles are not allowed on the scenic drive, so you hike, bike or take the bus. Biking allowed us to stop anywhere we wanted with no crowds and have the
scenery all to ourselves.
|This is a desert, and what little winter snow has melted by May. The Virgin River runs low this time of year, but is subject to flash flooding in summer thunderstorms.
Above, right, is one of the many bus stops along the 7.5 mile scenic drive and one bus. The front one is towing the rear like a trailer and holds about 100 passengers.
|Mormons settled this area and named many of the peaks with religious overtones. Above left is the 'Pipe Organ' and 'The Great White Thrown'.
The third photo show the most popular hike in the park called 'The Narrows'. From this point on, you hike mostly in the river and the canyon walls narrow considerably.
And it is not all ankle deep water, as some points require you to swim a short distance or climb over large boulders.
|I know nothing about cactus, but we found several patches in bloom along the road.
|The second photo show more peaks named by the settlers. On the left is 'West Temple', the broad whit peak is called 'Sundial', and center right is the 'Altar of Sacrifices'.
The two photos on the right are of a place called 'Weeping Rock'. It is practically raining from a spring under that ledge.
|For scale, the center two photos have buses in them. Actually, the right center has two.
The photo at right is 'Angel's Landing' and this photo might not show it, but there are hikers on top.
|Water falls in a side canyon called 'Emerald Pools'.
|A couple more shots of the Virgin River, with a horse and rider in the third one.
On the right, is the 'Patriarchs'. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
|Driving out the East Entrance of the park are amazing sandstone formations including 'Checkerboard Butte' on the right.