Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Favorite National Park (so far) - Zion, Utah

I love America's National Parks.  I would love to visit every single one of them if I could.  In particular, there are several in the Northwest I'd like to visit.  So far, though, my absolute hands-down favorite has been Zion, Utah.  Paul and I went there pre-kids as part of a whirlwind driving-camping trip that included the Grand Canyon, Sequoia, and Death Valley.
Had I known how incredibly awesome Zion is, we'd have spent more time there.

Red rock, everywhere.  The desert has a particular smell to it.  The smell of dry heat, of red rock, of sand and shrubs.
One of the biggest highlights of Zion was going to see the petroglyphs.  No lie - I have probably 20 pictures of the petroglyphs.  I just love them!

This one shows some horned goats or antelopes, with hunters behind them.

And this one shows jumping men, squiglys, spirals, and other symbols
They actually keep the petroglyphs out of common knowledge as much as possible in Zion.  They aren't advertised.  When you go there, you won't see much about them.  They don't want idiots harming them.  We were lucky enough to know about the petroglyphs before our trip, so that we could track them down.

I love the exotic flowers and cacti that you find in the desert as well.  I have a lot of cactus pictures!

While in Zion, we had to pick and choose our hikes since we weren't there long.  We did a short hike up to Weeping Rock.

And then of course we hiked parts of The Narrows, a river bed surrounded by red canyon walls.
As hot as it would get during the days, the nights would be cool.  We camped in the National park, our campsite on a sheet of hard, baked red clay.  When we lay down for the night the tent was stuffy, but it didn't take long for the winds to pick up and cool things off.  The wind blew all night long, and as a result I slept so deeply.
My hope is that one day we can return.  And this time spend more time there.  They actually have a marathon in this region of Utah, known to be a Boston Qualifier for the fact that it is all downhill.  That sounds like it'd be really tough on the quads - but I bet the scenery would make up for it!


Anonymous said...

It looks beautiful! We love National Parks too.

I just wanted to let you know that I left "The Versatile Blogger" award for you on my blog. I think your blog is great!

The Princess said...

I so mis the southwest. Your pictures are beautiful. Did you get a chance to see Bryce Canyon while you were out there? That place is breathtaking.

warren said...

Hard to imagine that they don't have the glyphs all fenced off and protected. Anyhow, it looks beautiful there! I esp like the Narrows...must be awesome!

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

The National Parks are AWESOME!! I've never been to Zion, but have always wanted to go there. Your photos are great!

I'm glad you talked about how it smelled. I'm assuming it smells like New Mexico with the dry air, the pinyon, the southwestern atmosphere . . . ahhh, it smells good there.

I hope you get back there one day.

Jenny @ Practically Perfect... said...

How gorgeous! I love national parks as well - hiking them, camping in them, or just walking around. I've never been to this one though!

Eileen said...

Wow, Your trip to Zion looks like it was awesome. Just seeing those petroglyphs would be worth it. I love ancient civilizations, so fascinating.
And that river between those cliffs looks so invitng.

Sonora said...

I love Zions. I went to college in St. George which is only about a half hour away so I visited Zions fairly often. It is a gorgeous park. I had no idea about the petroglyphs. I'm going to have to go back to visit and try to find them.

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Great petroglyphs. It's wonderful that you were able to track them down. We have a few of them hiking distance to where we live, but they are not advertised either, and some are even off limits. It's so good that you also included how great it smells in the desert.

Stacy of KSW said...

Gorgeous and perfect for making some great family memories. Filing this one away in places I want to visit. Thank you, stopping by from Mom Loop