At the beginning of last month, we embarked on a whopping 523 mile road trip from Rescue, California all the way to Las Vegas, Nevada. After two nights in Vegas we headed through Nevada towards the top left tip of Arizona, taking us into Utah and arriving at our destination of Zion National Park after completing the final 163 miles. It was somewhere I’ve been fascinated with (especially since moving to the US) and I can hardly wait to explore more of Utah’s magnificent parks – Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands I’m talking about you! I took a bunch of film during this trip, but I’ve also thrown in some iPhone photos as well as some with the DSLR. Hope you enjoy!
Friday, 3rd November: Vegas bound
We set off at 6:30am. Despite driving through some significant fog in Kyburz we soon found ourselves close to Lake Tahoe – an area we are pretty familiar with. However, as soon as we crossed the border into Nevada, the terrain immediately changed. It had a rugged sense to it, a lot of dry shrubbery and a lot more desert-like. A fleeting snow flurry carried us to the I-95. We stayed on this road for about 300 miles – with pretty much nothing around us but wild horses roaming through empty car parks, the odd casino on the side of the road and a smattering of abandoned looking towns. Civilization feels near non-existent until you come upon the Strip – it feels as though Las Vegas bursts straight up from the ground.
After checking into the hotel and taking a mooch around, we ate, drank, and had a little go on the slot machines (an obligatory task when in Vegas eh?) and settled into the room for the night.
The next day consisted mostly of taking a quick visit to see what all the fuss was about concerning the fountains at the Bellagio, and then we spent some quality time with some family friends.
Sunday, 5th November: On our way to Zion
Another day with a reasonable amount of time in the car, but we were accompanied by some fantastic scenery. The surrounding rock started to change to a deep red hue as we drove through towering hills on both sides. By the time we checked into the park, set up camp and got the fire going our only concern was breaking open the s’mores supplies and getting cozy for our first night in the camp, preparing for our first proper day tomorrow.
Monday, 6th November: Tackling the Watchman
The combination of the clocks going back an hour, finding ourselves on Mountain Time, and camping was enough to get us up nice and early. We decided to begin with the Watchman as our first hike; rated moderate and described as a pleasant introduction to the park. We walked along the Virgin River and commenced up a relatively steep cliffside to a breathtaking view of Springdale sprawled out before us, and the canyon opposite. A very sweet retired couple called Trish and Lance offered to snap a pic of us, and we got chatting. They had many National Parks under their belt, and were living the retirement dream out of an RV along with no permanent address!
After crossing the Watchman off of our list – and after getting a decent lunch in us, of course, we headed off to the Emerald Pools. These consist of the Upper, Middle, and you guessed it, Lower Pools. Personally, I’d recommend the Lower Pools – there’s a section where you get to pass under a small waterfall which is quite beautiful.
Part 2 will consist of Angel’s Landing (arguably the most famous hike in the park), a scenic drive and lots of Bighorn sheep! Thanks for reading,