Friday, April 12, 2024

Zion Canyon National Park

This morning, I we were all up at 7:30 and getting packed for a day trip to Zion Canyon National Park for the day.  The entrance is approximately 100 miles from here in a northwest direction on Hwy 89.  I skipped breakfast which would come back to bite me later in the day.

I don't know much about the park, but I did read that the scenic drive which is supposed to be fantastic is closed to vehicles.  You are required to board a bus that takes you through, making stops at all the viewing turn-offs.  I knew I couldn't leave the two doggies home alone all day, so that wasn't an option.  You can take hwy 9 from one entrance to the other in your private vehicle and that was my decision to do.

We headed north on hwy 89 for 78 miles to the only real town, Kanab.  The drive went along cliffs that seemed to be everywhere.  I must say, the red, brown and white mesas and cliffs become common along the way.

Buffalo at a ranch near the entrance to the park

We reached Kanab and turned toward the information center about 17 miles up hwy 9.  Normal cost is $35 for a vehicle, but with my Senior Pass, it was free.

The drive to the bottom of the canyon is a long one.  We, at one point were at 8725 feet and the lowest we traveled was 3666 feet.  Over a 5000 foot drop.  There were lots of turnouts to stop and take pictures and two tunnels.  The first tunnel was short, dug right through a rock wall.  

The second tunnel, named Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel was 1.1 miles long, built in 1930.  It went just inside the cliff wall.  As we drove along, there were openings where you could see the canyon wall on the other side.  They were for viewing many years ago.  It was built for small vehicles, so the lanes were too small for today's vehicles.  They would only allow one way traffic through the tunnel. 

I was pleasantly surprised that the traffic was not real heavy.  Beautiful warm day and most of the pull-outs had vacancies so I could stop at most places.

The bathroom pull-out was the most crowded.  When I first came to the long tunnel, there was a long wait line, so when I went through, I stopped to allow the cars to move on ahead.  The doggies took a nice walk along a canyon trail.

I turned around at the other entrance which was about 17 miles and went back the other direction.  Once we came out of the canyon, the lack of water and breakfast took its toll on me.  I felt very tired and sleepy, so I was glad to get back to camp.  

No towing today.  Just a huge lunch and rest.  The wind has picked up blowing sand everywhere, keeping us inside.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Zion National Park was well worth the trip. Those a wonderful cliff views. Many great pictures. The boys seem to enjoy it. More adventures ahead! Next time, bring snacks.

  2. Your looking for incredible rock formations & breathtaking geological scenery, you really should consider heading over to Moab - I've Mountain biked & hiked some in Moab with my my daughter & son a couple of times- spectacular. I believe there are several off road self drive trails that are not extreme or technical & suitable for a light 4WD vehicle & such as yours.

  3. You really need at least one day to explore, a couple of more would be swell for you, since you live so far away. You may never get another chance, the parks are getting more crowded every year.
    Bryce should be on your list, both trips were really swell for my late wife and I some years ago...Ride-On!

  4. It is definitely a beautiful drive.

  5. Congratulations. When you visited I remember Zion was the one place you mentioned that you wanted to see. We're so happy it happened.

  6. Great Pictures of Zion Park, we'll have to add it to our list of places to visit.
    Even when we are going shopping, we carry snacks and water. In the desert we carry a small picnic with us. Dehydration and Hunger can really affect your health.
    Stay Safe and Enjoy the beauty of nature.

    It's about time.