Here we go: When the Mormon settlers back in the 1800's found this area, one man settled with his family to farm. He named it Zion, saying he had finally found a safe haven after all of his years of struggle. I couldn't agree with him more. After the endless hours of desert plains, coming into Zion was quite a feast for our eyes.
The General, Bubby, Princess & I out in front of our hotel. We were waiting for the bus. They have a wonderful shuttle system that takes you from your hotel to the park entrance. Once inside the park there is another line that goes around the park. Cars are actually not allowed in some areas. It has significantly reduced the noise and pollution. I loved the convenience, and riding on a bus was a treat for the kiddos. After 2 1/2 days in the van, a bus without seat belts was a welcome relief. Oh, did I mention this whole shuttle system is FREE!
Here's Princess with the flower she drew for me. She thought it was so cool you could draw with the rocks.
You see the canyons of Zion are Sandstone. Depending on your belief; young earth theorists say thousands, old earth believers say millions of years ago this part of the country was a huge sandy desert. After which the area was covered by a shallow ocean. The sand was cemented together by the calcium and other things of that nature (sorry I can't remember exactly the term) that leaked down through the layers. After the ocean dried up the area was once again a desert, only this time more of a high plains desert. Two major plates of the earth's crust meet here, causing some upheaval, which gives us mountains. Finally you have the Virgin River flowing through, along with wind erosion you are left with the beautiful canyons we see today.After lunch we headed into the park for a hike. We rode the bus to the end of the line, getting off at Temple of Sinawava to hike on the Riverside Walk. It is an easy little hike, with a paved walking path.
These two rock formations are called the Altar and the Pulpit. Maybe that is why they called the area the Temple. Anyone know for sure?
These little fellows were all along the trails. They would just lay on the path, once I almost stepped on one. They were so tame, they creeped me out. I could just see one jumping up to bite the kiddos. No, I'm not crazy for thinking that. We saw an impressive picture of a hiker's hand all stitched up. Apparently, the poor guy thought since the squirrels were so tame, he'd share his lunch. It did give me some serious credibility with my children.
Before we knew it, our time was up. It was time to leave this beautiful oasis. Driving out of the eastern part of the park we passed by The Arch.
Then drove through the tunnel. It was about a mile long, and was built back in the 1930's by blasting through the sandstone. Quite a feat for that era.
As we drove on, the canyon slowly began to fade away. Good bye Zion. Your riches are so great, we will be back to explore again another day.
If you would like to learn more about Zion click here.