Cross middle section of the US to California trip 2016 travel blog

The Three Patriarchs



Zion National Park is our favorite of the 4 national parks we visited in Utah. We drove the .3 of a mile or so from our RV park to the entrance to Zion. As soon as we were in the park, the paved roads were red, matching the beautiful rocks and formations. The first big rock formation that we stopped to view, was the Checkerboard Mesa, as it had lines going vertically and horizontally resembling a huge checker board. We stopped several times along the way to take pictures. We went through 2 short tunnels through the rock and then came upon a tunnel 1.1 miles long, dug right through a mountainous size rock. They stopped traffic in both directions, and let cars and campers through one way and then the other. There are size restrictions on the tunnel and some people with larger rigs had to pay for a tunnel permit. We thankfully did not. In the tunnel were 3-4 windows, where you could look out at the surrounding rocks (if you weren't' driving... as you were not allowed to stop in the tunnel). This was really awesome, especially when you later could stop and see the size of the tunnel you went through and the window lookouts. At the visitor center, we met three people from Canada (Saskatchewan I think), who had camped across from us in Colorado Springs. We saw a buck that had at least 6 points, 2 deer, and a tom turkey. The park also has a free shuttle with nine stops. We rode it to the last stop and then got off at all the points that had easy hiking trails. The first stop was a 2 mile round trip hike (paved with lots of red sand on it). The sign said the change in elevation was only 70 feet. They didn't say that the trail goes up and down, up and down, etc. It was a very nice hike though, along the Virgin River. It seemed strange to see such a flowing river, as we have not seen too many of these. Along the trail were what they call hanging gardens where flowers grow out of the cliffs. Mostly what was in bloom on the cliffs was Columbine. It was very pretty and there were other flowers along the trail. The other trails were shorter usually only about 1/2 mile. There were a lot of serious hikers on the shuttle bus as well. They got off to do some harder day hikes. Cars are not allowed on the shuttle bus route unless you are staying at the Lodge. It was much busier here today than it was at Bryce. There were lots of people here first thing in the morning, and by afternoon, cars were parked along the roadways going in and out of the park, for 1-2 miles. The weather was perfect at least until we finished. It then started to look like a storm was going to pass through and the wind started blowing. After Zion, we drove to the Red Ledge RV Park and Campground in Kanarraville. There were more awesome views as we drove away from the park, and then it was sort of plain in comparison. We were on I-15 for a while, and it was 80 mph. Needless to say, the wind slowed us down. We passed a hen turkey just before the town of Kannarraville. The campground was Passport America but the second night is the 1/2 price one. She gave us a little deal, charging halfway between the full and half price. We met a couple from Bradenton, Florida, which is the city next to where my parents lived for numerous years. Pictures to follow....

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