Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hiking where angels tread.

I woke up early and headed to the bathrooms to take a shower. The bathrooms were so dirty I didn't dare use them. The dirtiness was from beyond the previous days use. (Too bad I conned the front desk into giving me an extra shower token)
Consider this my review of Zion Canyon Campground & RV Resort:

  • Free WIFI was s-l-o-w. (I tried a few different spots on the property to no avail)
  • Tent sites were shady, but nothing spectacular
  • Bathrooms were really dirty. 
  • Overpriced! $33 for a tent site? 

Needless to say I thought I was not pleased with what I got in return for my money. I was reminded exactly why I dry camp out in the boonies: its cheaper, quieter and although the bathroom is a just a bucket its at least clean.......enough of me venting, on to the good stuff!

I started my visit by wandering the visitors center.
The visitors center was built with a couple of neat features.The eaves are designed so that the summer sun never shines directly in the windows. However they are built so the sun shines in and warms the building during the winter months. Also the towers you see are not just for decoration. They are actually large swamp coolers that utilize the canyon breezes for cooling.

I hopped on the shuttle and disembarked at the Grotto stop. I have always wanted to make the hike to Angels Landing. I have made the trip several times to do so but had been disappointed each time. Either it rained or the group I was with wasn't interested in the hike. The weather was warm, but today would be the day I would fulfill my dream.
Looking up at Angels Landing from the canyon floor. The landing was named by a preacher because he said the only creature that could make ever be able to make it to the top could be an angel.

If you look very carefully you can make out hikers climbing up to the landing on the razor thin edge to the summit

If your scared of heights this hike is probably not for you. This part of the trail is only a few feet wide with drops of several hundreds of feet on BOTH sides.

Looking out of the mouth of the canyon.

The view looking towards the Temple of Sinawava. Yes that thin ribbon on the canyon floor is a road!

After taking in the amazing views and talking to folks from England, the Netherlands, Russia and Nepal I reversed my course and headed down

Looking down Walters Wiggles

The hike into the narrows was closed due to high water flows. With my next plan nixed I rode the shuttle back to the Jeep. I made up a quick lunch and then headed out of the park via the Zion- Mt. Carmel Highway. This route is very scenic. In fact on a trip with my grandpa as a young child this is the highway that kindled my lifetime love for the red rock of southern Utah. I intended to take pictures on the way up but every turn out was full of tourists snapping pictures

Checkerboard Mesa: near the summit of the Zion- Mt Carmel Highway

On my way towards Kanab I made a stop at the Moqui Cave
The Moqui Cave is a neat little tourist trap. The cave was bought in the 1950's by the family that owns it today. They plastered the cave white inside, they built an entrance and poured a cement floor. Once that was done the proprietor built a bar and a dance hall, one of the first in the area. (according to the tour, however I don't totally believe it)

What was once dance hall is now a display of rocks that glow under a black light. The bar is still here (although no longer in service) and the rest is a gift shop. The staff at the cave was a bit interesting. They were a bit pushy at times. On more than one occasion i was enjoying an exhibit when the young woman would pop over and rattle a memorized list of facts at high speed. It was a bit forced and at times they were overbearing but it was a neat way to beat the heat of the afternoon.

I made my way a few more miles down the highway until I made it to Hog Canyon. Looking on my GPS it looked like a good place to pull over and make camp for the night. Before I went to sleep I played with the camera for a bit in the dark and came up with this shot:
Not spectacular, but for an amateur like me I was pleased.


  1. I want to tickle your anus.



  2. I like pleasing amateurs.



  3. Seriously, let's meet.