Zion National Park
After visiting Bryce Canyon, we drove a short distance to Zion National Park. The two parks could not be more different but each is special. The major feature part of the park is Zion Canyon where the Virgin River flows, and it has several other parts that are also spectacular.
On the first day, after lunch at the Whiptail Grill, we hiked the Emerald Pools trail, then the Kayenta trail. We hiked to the pools, then started down the trail to the main road and to the shuttle bus stop. Shortly after we started down the trail, rain - heavy - began to fall. Then it started to hail. You can see the size and quantity of hail in the photos. It really hurts when you get hit by dime sized hail. The water began gushing over the trail and we were concerned that the trail might be washed away but we made it through the new-flowing streams. We were soaked but were rewarded by a rainbow at the end of the trail.
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park is about 25 miles from Bryce Canyon NP. It has some similar features but is also different and worth exploring. It is not as extensive as Bryce Canyon NP but we felt it was a worthwhile place to visit. We arrived at lunch time and ate in the picnic area. We headed out to Angel's Palace Trail which goes on top of a rock structure and provides great views of the area and gives you a good sense of the park. Here, the columns are just as up-in-the-air as Bryce Canyon but they are spaced farther apart. We went to the Shakespeare Arch/ Sentinel Trail and walked to the arch while our hiking companions went around the sentinel trail. After that, we drove to Chimney Rock which is a very tall singular column. You wonder how it survived when all the rocks around it have eroded away.
We enjoyed our day at Kodachrome Basin. It's not Bryce Canyon but certainly worthwhile to see.
Bryce Canyon National Park
In October, we visited Bryce Canyon National Park with our Cleveland friends, Jane and Charlie. Bryce Canyon is amazing. The park is on the side of a mountain with the main feature, hoodoos which are rock formations, on the east side. We first drove out the park road and stopped at most view points. We hiked down into the hoodoo formations on several trails and we encourage you to do the same. Looking down on the formations is great, but looking up is also great. We walked from Sunset Point down the Navajo trail through Wall Street, then on the Queens Garden trail to Sunrise Point.
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
I had heard from others that Valley of Fire was worth visiting, and it was. We entered from the west, paid at the entrance station, and went to the visitor center. When you get there, you begin to realize how great this park is. The main road takes you up through narrow canyons between the red rock formations and goes on for maybe 5 miles to White Domes with many great places to stop and marvel. We also took the Fire Canyon Road which was also quite nice.
Lake Mead and Hoover Dam
We recently traveled from home to Bryce and Zion national parks. Since the travel took more than one day, we decided to stop on our way out at Lake Mead. While we were there, we also visited Valley of Fire state park.
Lake Mead is the reservoir formed by Hoover Dam. It is very large. And very low. The drought has taken its toll as we were on the lakeshore but a long way from the water. It is a pretty area.
2015 Bryce- Zion
Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house. And now I have gotten interested in ham radio so there goes any free time.