Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Day 26 -- Mt. Carmel Junction, UT to Zion National Park, UT
We hitched up in the morning and drove to Zion. It is such a beautiful drive up the valley. As you enter the park, you enter this amazing landscape of red rocks -- it reminds me of the eastern side of Yosemite except that instead of granite, it’s red sandstone. They call the formations slickrock. At one point, you get to a tunnel that is too small for modern motorhomes (even ones from the 70’s!). It was built in the late 20’s and was, when it opened, the longest tunnel in the US. Our motorhome is JUST too small for us to stay in our lane. The park service has a system for the tunnel. If you are in an oversized vehicle, you pay a $15 fee and they stop the traffic going the other way and just let one way traffic through so the large vehicles can go down the middle of the tunnel. It’s pretty amazing.
When you come out of the tunnel, you are in the canyon at Zion and you work your way down to the canyon floor along the Virgin River. It is so beautiful there.
We found our campsite and got set up and then went to the Visitor’s Center. There is a bus that takes you to the remote areas of the park -- what a difference it makes to be out in the park and not have to deal with all the cars and parking issues. As you travel up the canyon, the bus has a commentary with information about what you are seeing. If you stay on the bus, you get an 80 minute ride, looking at some of the most beautiful scenery around. We watched a movie about the park as well and then headed back to camp.