We knew it was going to be pretty but the ride in made the excitement even greater. Even the red road was pretty.
Zion NP has been everyone’s favorite place so far. We got there after lunch and hiked The Narrows. It was busy! But we expected it to be. In fact there’s an article on how the park may limit the number of visitors.
We stayed at the Zion Lodge. It was expensive for one night but worth it. If you don’t stay at the lodge you cannot enter with your personal car but must take the transit instead. We reserved a room here a year in advance and they sent us a rearview mirror tag to hang inside our van. Only visitors with the tag can enter and park at the lodge. It made it so much easier to get around and stay out late.
Around dark most visitors left on the transit bus so they wouldn’t be stuck inside the park. If you miss the bus out then you have to walk out back to wherever you parked your car. With all the tourists gone we had dinner on the lodge rooftop then sat and watched the deer eat until we couldn’t see anymore. There’s a very nice grove like setting in front of the lodge and at dusk the deer come alive and swarm to the green grass. We even saw a fox!
The Narrows is basically the bottom of Zion Canyon containing the Virgin River. We rode the transit system to the last stop (Temple of Sinawava) and walked down a paved pathway (Riverside Walk) along the river that ended where you begin your Narrows hike. I highly recommend the Zion Guru for tips on the Narrows plus other hikes at Zion National Park.
Things you need to hike the Narrows:
*Water shoes (Chris had these and the kids and I all had Chacos/Tevas. In the town of Springdale you can rent some epic water boots. If we had come in on that side of the park we would have definitely done this!) The rocks were kind of like slippery bowling balls. You have to be strategic in where you put your feet to step.
*Hiking stick (people leave theirs at the trailhead for others to use but we brought our own.) It definitely helped keep me sure-footed because I have a tendency to roll my ankles if I’m not careful.
Swim suits/clothes suitable for getting wet (The kids got in the water which was FREEZING cold. As day turned to night Carter got really cool in his wet clothes as the canyon bottom is way cooler than the desert top.)
Backpack – We just carried water and a few snacks. The kids did not carry theirs this time.
Watch (Make sure you look at the schedule for the last bus pickup so you can be back in time to make it out of the park.)
Camera, obviously. We didn’t take the big camera or my phone because I was afraid I would drop them. Chris’s Samsung is waterproof so we took it instead.
More later on Zion (everyone’s favorite place),