Moon Rise from our ‘backyard’.
One of the very fun things about our adventure is that neither one of us has a problem changing plans on the fly. True, it can be a little frustrating when things don’t work out the way we plan. Fortunately, we both approach life with the attitude that it is more about the journey than the destination. A good case in point would be our recent trip to Zion NTL Park.
We had heard that it was important to arrive early in order to get good parking, so we got up, fed and walked the pups and then hit the road. From where we are staying, in Mesquite, NV it wasn’t a bad drive of only 60 miles. Some of this was backtracking on HWY 15 but we enjoy that section, especially going through the Virgin River Gorge. A note for any future travelers; It is a very steep and winding section of HWY with several warning signs about high crosswinds. There is also construction that narrows the lanes considerable. Nothing that slow and careful can’t overcome. 🙂
A few miles from the Zion Entrance.
The road leading into Zion passes through several small towns and has a number of places that would be worth pulling off to take photos of the mountains. We arrived at the park entrance around 10 AM and were greeted with a relatively long line of cars and a sign that told visitors the park lots were usually full from 10 AM to 3 PM. We’d already noted many cars parking in town and along the road leading to the park. Oh well, we decided to drive on and at least scope out the park and, if needed, make plans to visit another time. The short version is, what we could see from the road was amazing but there was absolutely no parking. Our adjusted plans now have us returning, parking outside of the park and then riding the shuttle bus in to our hiking destination. Like many others, we plan on seeing the narrows, a strenuous but beautiful hike.
So, after leaving the park, we started discussing our other options. Sherry had heard of a great state park in St. George, UT called Snow Canyon and since it was on the way we decided to make a stop. Our truck was also ready for an oil change so on the way Sean called a Chevy dealership in St. George, Steven Wade Chevy, to see if we could get in for oil, tire rotation and a brake check. Lucky for us, the service rep said they were slow that day and could get us right in! This is probably a good area for another side note. We are both adamant about preventative maintenance. One of the reasons we got our particular tow vehicle was the great extended warranty and reliability. We’ve stuck to the recommended service schedule and pay particular attention to the biggies like tires and brakes. After all, it would really suck to go down some of these big inclines and realize you can’t slow down. YIKES!! 🙂 Anyway, we were able to get in and out within 30 minutes. All was great with the truck.
Snow Canyon was a short drive from the dealership. We paid a small fee of $6 to enter that park and drove on to the first trail, Jenny’s Canyon. The park itself is very small but there was a great deal to see in that small area. The Jenny’s Canyon trail is relatively short, under a mile and leads through some scrub brush and cactus to the canyon. The trail does branch off, go right and take a steep climb to the canyon overlook, or go left and enter the narrow canyon. For a short hike, there was a lot to see and we enjoyed exploring the narrow canyon.
Entering the Park
Just before entering the canyon
We liked the color contrast.
Where is Sherry?
View up from Jenny’s Canyon
Driving on, we stopped to take several pictures before arriving at the petrified dunes and Butterfly Trail. This is a longer trail that leads over and along the dunes and into the ancient lava flow. A very fun hike and not too strenuous. Even the inclines were made easier by nature’s staircase along the petrified dunes. Sean was very excited to walk on the lava flow.
Looking over the ancient lava flow from a petrified dune.
Yep, that is lava.
Love this shot along a petrified dune.
As we were leaving the park we did see the camping area and thought it looked very nice. They do have sites with water and electricity as well as a dump station.
We have just passed our 4 month on the road anniversary and as is our custom, we thought we would wrap up with a few thoughts. Some we mentioned above, such as the maintenance needs. It is easy to get in a vacation mindset and ignore some of the basics like vehicle maintenance. Don’t let that happen! This month we have been on the road more than the last two and we truly enjoy it.
Part of a covey of Quail
Storm in the desert
Rainbow from our ‘backyard’.
cactus in Nevada
Whether we are out taking a hike and exploring or staying close to ‘home’ there is always something to see if you look around. Even if it is just watching the Gambels Quail walk up and down the stucco fence near our RV or seeing Maggie scamper after salamanders on one of her walks. Watching the moon rise over the mountains or sitting amazed at the sight of thundershowers in the desert. It is about the journey.
Well, enough rambling on for now. We are waiting for weather to clear and the danger of flash flooding to subside before we make our trip back to Zion. Hope you are all enjoying where you are and what you are doing!
For more photos, click the link below:
Snow Canyon and Assorted Nature Photo Gallery