This is the first part of my adventures in Zion National Park – since I did a lot during my visit, I figured that it’d be simpler to cut it up into chunks. First up – arrival, and driving in!
- I’ll start this section of the story when I saw my first sign for Zion National Park – it was after I’d crossed the border into Utah, but maybe only by a dozen miles or so. After a bit more driving I saw another sign – this one directing me to a specific AM radio station, that I could tune into to get more information… so I did. It didn’t have much; just some info about traffic patterns, and how to go through the tunnels on this side of the park. Meh. Good info to have.
- So I pass the toll booth, buy a week pass, and start into the park itself…
- And driving in through the national park… ohh my lord this is amazing. I have… I just…. yes. Yes please. I seriously can’t describe my emotions and thoughts while I saw taking the tight turns through the mountain pass.
The rocks? Amazing. Awesome, in the original sense of the word. I was full of awe, at the sweeping and towering cliffs. Every single one of them climbable, and beautifully so.
The road? Perfect. It actually was awarded a recognition as a historic feat of engineering prowess – cutting a path, that is both efficient and pleasant to drive, through a mountain landscape like this.
- And speaking of the road – there’s a tunnel in it. Not a “ohh cute, a little cut in a thing” tunnel… this is a “barely wide enough for two cars, yet over a mile long, and winding constantly” tunnel. They actually have to cut traffic when an RV goes through, since it’s not tall enough or wide enough to allow two large vehicles to pass each other.
And the skylights! Every so often, there’s a slice cut out of the side of the tunnel, where the light and fresh air stream in. It’s beautiful, and almost haunting… since you can see the sheer drop out the other side, down into the valley.
- So I drive. I stop a lot, and I take a TON of pictures. Though I’m driving slowly, the road does finally end and spit me out into the main town outside the national park.
- I find the campground that I’d reserved, set up camp, chat with some of the folks nearby and get a feel for where I’m off to the next day, finally let sleep take me.