We were on the road again to our final destination, Zion National Park. We intended on getting to the park earlier, but we were having fun stopping and exploring interesting sights along the way. After all, we didn’t have to stick to a strict schedule; we were on vacation.
Once again, we arrived in the pitch dark. Going to bed we knew that we would awake to a great view. We just didn’t know how amazing it was going to be.
We were fortunate enough to stay in the Zion Lodge right smack in the middle of the park the first night. When I awoke, I went straight for the window. We were surrounded by enormous rock walls. The sun was shining on the rocks making them even more impressive. I was anxious to get out and explore Zion.
After breakfast, we headed out for our first hike. We walked along the Virgin River to the farthest point we could. The cool weather and cold water prohibited us from hiking into the narrow canyon. We’d like to return during the summer to hike farther back into the canyon.
We also hiked to the Weeping rock where we saw a rock alcove with dripping springs.
Our last stop for the day was to Checkerboard Mesa. It looked like a checkerboard on a huge rock.
The rocks walls in Zion show different layers just as the Grand Canyon did. However, the rocks in Zion are made of sandstone. Erosion from wind and water make unique patterns on the rocks.
Although I didn’t run, I enjoyed hiking (we hiked a few miles) and spending the day outside with my family in a beautiful National Park. I had many things to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving.
I awoke on Friday ready to run and explore some of the trails in Zion. I headed out and found a trail along the river. It was a paved trail and at first I wasn’t thrilled to be running on pavement, but then I reminded myself that I can actually look around when I’m running on cement. When I trail run, I focus on the trail instead of what is around me.
This was my view while running!
A run along the river, not a bad way to start the day!
I ran out and back and decided I wanted to run a little longer. I noticed a dirt trail and went to explore it. I hadn’t run very far on the trail when I decided it was getting pretty remote and I didn’t feel comfortable out on the trail by myself. I had already run over 5 miles so I decided I would call it a day and head back to the hotel.
We ate breakfast, got packed up and made plans for our final day in Zion. The four of us hiked to the Emerald Pools. The water is tinted green from the algae that grows in the water.
We then decided to split up. The boys went off to hike a more technical trail, while we girls went to watch a film about Zion.
While watching the film, we learned that there are some petroglyphs easily accessible to see. Once the boys returned from their hike, we took them on a walk with a surprise at the end. I haven’t seen many petroglyphs in my life, but I find them interesting!
We enjoyed seeing the wild life in Zion. We saw mule deer, big horned sheep, and a ringtail during this trip.
We take our time when walking around and look for tracks. Here we saw a mom and young deer’s tracks. Jordan pointed out the different sizes and the fact that they were probably running since the tracks are angled.
Although none of us wanted to leave, we knew that we had to start our 2 day journey home.
Arizona and Utah offer so much to see. I feel like we saw a lot in such a small amount of time. Perhaps this was more of a sampler plate. We had a memorable trip and we hope to go back soon.
I am thrilled that we were able to explore some of the most beautiful national parks together as a family. Both my husband and I love the outdoors. We are doing as much as we can to teach our children to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors.
This trip also concluded my phase of rest and recovery. Stay tuned for my next running goal.