Grand Circle Day 8-Zion National Park

May 09, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

***Chinese Version at the bottom***

Zion
We said goodbye to Bryce Canyon and head towards our next stop Zion National Park. Take UT-12 West, US-89 South and then UT-9 West, we enter a tunnel through the mountain to get to Zion. This is the Zion-Mount carmel Highway. There is a section of roads with steep switchbacks. 

History of Zion
Zion is a hidden valley flanked by high mountains on both sides. According to what I heard of the history the Mormons left Europe to the US looking for relief from religious suppression. They headed west looking for a perfect place to settle down. When they entered this valley and saw how the mountains protect this land, they decided they found the right place where they could live peacefully where they can practice their religion without fear. They thought that the mountains fit the descriptions of Zion in the Bible. So they settled down here.

Checkerboard Mesa
This is my second time here. After we passed the tunnel is the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. We could see the beautiful scenery of the valley. We pulled over and took pictures whenever we saw something interesting and where there is a pullout space. Checkerboard Mesa is a small round hill with marks from the glacial age that look like crisscrossing lines. There are other mountains with clearly visible horizontal layers of rock. Some are red and some are white. The variation is endless. We stop and go and finally reached the visitor center around 2pm. 

Cottonwood Tree Seeds looks like Snow Near the Grotto
We ate some sandwiches at the outdoor seating area outside the cafe. At this time, some white stuff is flying across the sky. It was cottonwood tree seeds. Lots of little fluffy cotton are blown all over around the trees and us. Floating high and swirling in the wind. The high afternoon sun reflected off the cottonseeds like snow. Imagine snowing in a bright sunshine. Super romantic. Just try not to get the stupid cotton on our sandwiches. 

The Narrows - Temple of Sinawava
The major attraction here is the Narrows. The special feature of the hiking trail is that it is a river, Virgin River. This section of the river flows through narrow gap of the mountains, flanked on both sides by vertical cliffs of hundreds of feet tall, and at some parts 20-30 feet apart. The water level varies from 1 ft to 10-20 ft depending on location and rain fall or snow melt conditions. You need to check with ranger station on the water level and water SPEED. Better do this according to personal strength and dexterity. That day the water can reach up to the chest with slow water speed. I decided to go as far as thigh deep and return. The air is warm but the water is very cold. We changed into water shoes. We saw wooden sticks left behind by other hikers so we took one for balancing ourselves in the water. The bottom of the river is naturally uneven. People followed one another naturally. So a line of hikers proceed on the river in an S-shape following the shallow bottom of the river. I don't want to risk getting the camera wet so I put away the large camera and only used the point and shoot. After several turns of the river, I reached the part where the water was chest deep so I turned around. I feel that in this trip I saw a lot of desert scenery and it is refreshing to walk in the water. 

Weeping Rock
Then after we dried ourselves, we went to the Weeping Rock, a hanging Garden, where water trickle down from the cliffs into a pool. Plants and wild flowers are growing on the cliff face, hanging. Then we took the park shuttle bus back to the hotel. We will go to the Emerald Pools next morning before leaving Zion.

 

***Chinese Version below***

Zion
同Bryce Canyon 講bye bye! 下一站Zion National Park,向南進發UT-12 West, US-89 South and then UT-9 West,入Zion要過一條穿山隧道Zion-Mount carmel Highway,一段峰迴路轉的髮夾彎道。

History of Zion
Zion 是一個山谷,兩邊山峰圍繞,話說二三百年前逃避宗教迫害的摩門教人從歐洲來美,向西走找尋理想居住環境,當他們到達這個山谷看見氣勢磅礡的山峰圍繞這個隱閉的山谷,谷底風景如畫,心中認定這個是上天賜予他們的樂土,從此定居於此。

Checkerboard Mesa
我係第二次到此,過了隧道 Zion Canyon Scenic Drive就可見谷內風光,沿途見到靚景,有pullout車位就下車影相,有Checkerboard Mesa, 山上格子石紋見證著冰川擦成痕跡,其他還有一層層的山石,有紅有白,千變萬化,結果邊走邊停,成兩點才到達公國訪客中心。

Cottonwood Tree Seeds looks like Snow Near the Grotto
去買三文治坐在露天座祭肚,此時竟然有白色如雪的東西在天上飛舞,原來是cottonwood tree棉花樹的種子,一團團小小白色的飛絮在四周漂揚,陽光映射耀目,浪漫極了,不過千祈唔好食埋D棉花落肚。

The Narrows - Temple of Sinawava
第一個景點係the Narrows,特點是要行的不是一條路而是一條河,Virgin River, 處女河,在幾百尺高參天山峰之間,兩岸相隔只有二三十尺,兩旁山壁直上直下,水深由不足一尺至十多尺,水位高低視乎雨量或溶雪多少,進去之前要向公園詢問處查一下水流有多急,量力而為,免生危險,當日水位最深差不多到胸口脥下,水流不急,決定走到水深至腰就回頭,天氣雖䁔但水很冷,換上水鞋,進水之前見有別人留下的樹枝木杖,就拿來用,方便在水中平衡,河底高底不一,有人在前面就好自然跟著走,就這樣一串遊人在河中S形前進,向山間深處進發,由於怕失去平衡跌落水弄濕相機,所以收起大機,只用小相機拍照,轉過幾個彎,一直走到一處見水深至回程者胸口就回頭了,我覺得在今次旅程見沙漠多,難得在水中走走,覺得很特別。

Weeping Rock
之後再去一兩處景點, the Weeping Rock, 空中花園, 有山泉從石壁流下注入一個小水池中,石壁上有野花生長,垂吊在半空,然後才坐公園環保車回酒店。明天離開之前才去綠寶池。

 

 

Back to Day 7-Solar Eclipse Day 8-Zion Next to Day 9-Lake Powell

 


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