We made a six-hour drive to Kanab on Saturday. Arriving at the Grand Plateau RV Park a little after four in the afternoon. The kids had a great time playing on the playground while the camper was getting situated. They played until dinner was ready.
Sunday came and it was off we went to Zion National Park to do some hiking. We Entered Zion through the east entrance and came upon the Checkerboard Mesa. This Mesa received its name from the many visible vertical and horizontal lines carved into the cliff.
These lines were created because of the contraction and expansion of the sandstone. The expansion and contraction happen due to the weather change.
The horizontal lines (cross-bedding) are due to wind. The vertical lines are not as common and are caused by erosion and stress. If you want more science the link is below. This was mostly an unexpected stop but I enjoyed seeing the checkerboard that was created on the Mesa.
There is also a hike you can take at Checkerboard Mesa that leads to a Hidden Arche. This hike trailhead is toward the east entrance side of the parking lot. (We took this hike on Monday trying to find it but after teaching longer then the hike took we made our way back to the van).
The first hike we did was to Canyon Overlook. This hike was a half mile there and a half mile back. The trail is narrow and rocky in a lot of areas. If you have trouble hiking on uneven terrain make sure you have walking sticks for stability.
We found the trail to be moderately easy to do. Along the way up the trail, we had to intermittently stop and let people pass. We also could not pass up the chance for some photo ops.
There is parking a short distance away by the vaults or right across the trailhead. There are cars alongside the road so make sure you pay attention to your surrondings.
By the time we made it back to the van, it was time for lunch so we made our way to the history museum of zion, went in, and read a little about the early settlers in Zion and the Paiute Indians who resided here before the Mormans’, Missionaries, and adventurers. Afterward, we sat in the van and had a feast consisting of salad chicken, and cheese with some veggie straws on the side.
Underneath the displays, they have a quick synopsis of the early explorers and the materials they used to survey the land. These early explorers were one of the few settlers in Zion. Located in Cedar City. As the years went by they slowly made their way through Zion. the link below has a better-written history synopsis if you would like to read more.
Lunch was out of the way and just in time to hop onto the shuttle bus to take us to our second hike of the day. The bus took us to the narrows, but first, it brought us to the visitors center where we had to get off to get back on before it brought us to the narrows trailhead.
Unfortunately, we did not go all the way to the end of the trail but we made it to where the trail meets the water. With the weather being cold we did not want to go in the river without dry suits. We headed back for the shuttle bust to bring us to the lodge for the mid emerald pool hike.
Below are some pictures at the lodge of a mule deer walking by the kids while they sat and waited for him to go by. I was pretty impressed that all the kids talked quietly and moved slowly the whole time they observed it.
We ended up doing the whole loop around the mid and lower emerald pools. Making this hike our last one of the day. We completed the trail and went back to the van to head home.
The next day came and we went back to Zion to do a little more exploration around Checkerboard Mesa to find a hidden Arch. We, unfortunately, did not find it. Then we made our way to lower pine creek waterfalls trailhead. This was a fairly easy hike that brought us to a point where we had to start climbing to the waterfall.
The boulders started to become larger and smoother so instead of continuing we turned around and went back. The two girls are still little and we did not bring extra clothes in case they fell into the cold river.
To the visitors center, we went for a junior ranger-led class to learn about the early influencers of zion. We learned that six ladies from a university went there to explore and had photographers follow them around to document all that they did. These ladies also opened Utah’s first (zion) national park in the year 1919.
To end Monday we took one last walk to see some petroglyphs at petroglyphs pools. This trail led us under a tunnel to bring us to the petroglyphs.
This ends the Zion saga. I hope you all enjoyed reading/seeing the pictures of our time at zion. Thank you all for stopping by. I hope you all have a great day/night. Feel free to like or comment below.