About two weeks ago Jed and I headed to Zion National Park in southern Utah for some R&R.
If you ever get a chance, go. It is beautiful and great for hiking, biking, and camping. No cars are allowed in the main part of the park. I love this about Zion because the only sounds disturbing the peace and quiet of nature are the occasional shuttle and other visitors’ voices. Plus, unlike Bryce and Grand Canyons you actually start in the bottom of the canyon, not looking down from above. I can’t say enough about this park, and although we stayed in a cabin outside of the park this time, I would actually love to come back and camp in the park. That might not sound like much to you, but this city girl does not sleep in the wilderness without a full bathroom (and preferably a kitchen, ac or at the very least a ceiling fan). The closest I came to camping in my youth was staying in a cabin at Girl Scout Camp (with bathrooms, a kitchen, and cots). Typically, girls from Queens excel at things like riding public transportation and navigating through throngs of meat heads at the beach to find a good spot for their towels, not roughing it in the wilderness. I also slept in a tent one night at a music festival in college – needless to say I was majorly skeeved and haven’t set foot in a tent (or sleeping bag) since then. So, that is why me wanting to camp is a huge deal. HUGE.
Aside from Zion, there are a number of parks in the area including the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Dixie National Forest. In my opinion (after having been to all), I think Zion and Dixie are the most beautiful, especially if you are looking to get into the parks and not just photograph from look-out points on the side of the road (not that you can’t hike in the Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon). We drove through Dixie on our way home from Zion, but I really want to go back and I would be willing to camp there too. Dixie National Forest has a distinctly non-Utah feel to it. The lakes, lava flows, and forest have a cross between a Sierra and east coast mountain feel – not that of the high desert.
Yes, there is still a considerable amount of snow in Dixie (these were taken May 24). We have had a long winter with record snow fall this year, and I would imagine that snow will be sticking around for a while more at higher elevations.
Well I could wax poetic for hours, but I think pictures would be much more enjoyable for you. I posted a few more below, or you can check out my full slideshow at Flikr.