Zion- known in the Bible as the “Mountain of God.” Zion National Park, named so by the Mormon travelers who settled there, is abundantly filled with peaks named after references to scripture; the Three Patriarchs- Abraham, Issac and Jacob, the Great White Throne, the Watchman, Angels Landing, the East & West Temples, North & South Guardian Angels. These aptly named peaks create an atmosphere for the soul that fosters peace, life and wonder. Unlike the Grand Canyon, which we stood on top of and looked down into, Zion grants easy access through the river valley of its great canyon walls.
With perfect weather during our trip, we took the parks free shuttle bus to the furthest accessible transit drop off and hiked a mile into the canyon alongside the Virgin river. At the end of the trail we saw what is called “The Narrows.”
The further up the canyon one goes, the closer (more narrow) the canyon walls come together on each side of the river, to the point of “The Narrows.” At this point, the “trail” becomes the river itself and to move any further into the canyon, one must hike in the river. Apparently this is a very popular thing to do in Zion, during certain times of the year. Unfortunately for us, this part of the “trail” was closed due to “high water flow” during our stay. We did capture many great photos and enjoyed our time as a family, hiking together and feeling the tranquility of the moment.
As usual, the kids completed all the activities the park required to earn their Jr. Ranger badge. For the first time, though, Mel and I become Jr. Rangers too! (Yes, anyone, at any age, can become a Jr. Ranger.) So we can proudly wear the Zion badge along side of our children.
I imagine that many more hikes await us some day in Zion NP. But for this trip we made the most of the time we had there and again, we had to move on.