Zion National Park was a revelation. The park had been on our list for sometime and it totally surpassed our expectations. Entering from the east through the mountains has one of the most beautiful and enjoyable drives in the area. Once in the park however, you must give up the car and use the local buses. Zion is so popular with tourists that for environmental reasons, cars are banned from driving up the valley. This was fine by us as it gave us more time to enjoy the view.
Zion National Park is essentially one spectacular, deep valley with a sparkling river running through it. The road follows the river and at various spots you can jump off the bus and walk up the trails. Some are easy and some are longer and tougher.
We did a couple of easy trails (Riverside and Emerald Pools) and one longer trail (Observation Point) that took us to the plain summit.
The Observation Point trail zigzags up the side of the canyon and then winds through the hills and valleys and washes until it reaches the top. The views are incredible. The colours of the rocks and vegetation are a feast for the eyes. As a photographer, my only regret was not being able to spend more time to record the experience properly.
We have determined that there are vacations and there are photography trips. Vacations are about getting away, going on an adventure and taking a few shots along the way. Photography trips are about going slower, seeing less but seeing it better. On a photography trip you get up before the dawn to watch the sunrise over a vista that you discovered the day before or researched before you left home.
This was a vacation. And we didn’t have time to walk up the canyon, through the river. The images online of this are so intriguing. So, we will be going back and when we do, it will be a photography trip for sure.