Canyoneering in Zion National Park, Utah

zion road photo

 

Zion National Park is a wonder of colours – blue skies + red rocks with a little orange, yellow and green thrown into the mix with the fall trees.

zion road photo 2

We drove from east to west through Zion, getting to drive the Zion tunnel right down the middle (for a small $15.00) park fee along with a bunch of other RV’s because we are too tall to drive in just the regular car lane due to tunnel height. The Park Rangers pause traffic at one end and let all of the RV’s from the other end go through and vice versa. Hunter thought this was really cool.

truck trailer zion backdrop

We camped just outside the park at the Quality Inn RV Park in the town of Springdale, which is literally right next to Zion (the Virgin River acts as the border). It was quite something being surrounded by all these majestic cliffs and colours.

Hunter was excited because the campground had a pool. The helpful person at the check-in told me that it was “solar heated”. It was a hot sunny day, with a temp around 24c so we all grabbed our bathing suits and headed down for a dip. One jump in and you quickly figure out that “solar heated” refers to it being heated by that day’s sunshine vs a bank of stored heat… Refreshing is a bold descriptor.

hunter 1st fire

The other highlight of the campground was a fire pit and no fire ban. Hunter has been wanting a fire for the past month and we’ve either had no fire pit or a fire ban in place. I headed off to the grocery store to find hot dog and banana boat materials while the boys got the fire materials pulled together. Hunter very proudly made the fire himself, tended it all evening and was even responsible for ensuring it was out when we went to bed.

lee hunter zion national park sign

The next morning we headed into Zion for a day of hiking the Zion Narrows. We hiked this seven years ago with Hunter in a backpack and thought it would be fun to come back and do it again. It is a canyon hike that can be either an overnight or full day hike if you start at the top or a family friendly wander up a river if you start at the bottom, which is actually at the top of the accessible part of Zion.

With a weather forecast of 26c and sunny we weren’t all that concerned that the river temperature was only 5c and that the wading would be up to waist height in a few places. We figured we would dress in quick dry clothes, good water shoes and the heat of the sun would manage the rest.

A few things occurred that lead to it not being as amazing as we had hoped – 1) the tourism level in Zion (and on this trail) has increased ten fold since we were here in October 7 years ago and 2) the weather never really made it past 20c and most of the canyon was in the shade. Nevertheless we ended up hiking for 2 1/2 hours and had a fun experience making our way up the river.

It’s always tough trying to recreate a memory…

hunter with rock squirrel in zion

We also discovered the “Rock Squirrel” which seems to be very well fed and deceivingly tame as it walks beside you and on you in search of food!

hunter junior ranger swearin

We finished off the day with Hunter getting another Junior Ranger badge as part of his homeschooling for the day.

 

One Response to Canyoneering in Zion National Park, Utah

  1. Grandpa Bob says:

    Good to hear Hunter is collecting badges for achievements. How many doe,s he have? More rain here so our river is higher. LOL grandpa Bob

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