So I have to say this right off the bat.
Zion National Park, right now, is my favorite. I say right now because there are so many, we have yet to scratch the surface. However, if you have a limited amount of time, I highly recommend Zion in southwestern Utah.
First off, we stayed a short drive (about 25 minutes) away at the WillowWind RV Park in Hurricane, Utah. It was a nice rv park right in town, close to everything, stores and restaurants, yet quiet. You wouldn’t think it would be quiet being right in town, but it was. Our 45ft motor home fit in our spot nicely but there were some sites we would not have fit. Verizon worked well there. Here’s the quadcopter video David did of the park.
We were in town for a week so Zion was naturally our first destination. We had never been there before so we stopped at the visitor’s center, along with half the rest of the world, yes it was that busy, and got some information. There are a bunch of hiking and biking trails, some camping inside the park, if you fit which we would not have, horseback riding and more. Just outside Zion is a cute little town, Springdale, Utah with a bunch of restaurants and stores to explore.
We decided to start off just driving the main road, the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, and see what hiking trails peeked our interest. There is a tunnel on this route that back in 1930 when this tunnel was dedicated; it was the longest tunnel of it’s kind in the US and has a height limit of 13′ 1″ high. On the other end of the tunnel was the Canyon Overlook Trail that looked interesting.
The Canyon Overlook Trail is only a 1-mile round trip trail, but it feels a lot longer than that. As you can see from the pictures, it can get pretty steep and narrow at times. There are many stopping points along the way for some really cool views. But once you get to the top, oh my! The view is spectacular. So totally worth the climb. See the first picture to see what I am talking about.
Our next adventure we decided to do with our friends Carol and Barry. They had been to Zion before (it’s one of there favorites as well) and they had previously hiked The Narrows trail and said that was one trail that we had to do.
The Narrows is not your average hiking trail. It actually takes you into the Virgin River. Yes, you are hiking in the river. So be prepared to get wet. Thanks to our friends and their previous experience, we all rented neoprene socks and waterproof hiking boots from Zion Canyoneering Outfitters. Best move ever! If you plan on hiking the narrows, don’t expect to wear your own hiking boots or what have you. You are going to get really wet. Rent the proper equipment and you’ll be much happier in the end.
The Narrows Trail starts off pretty calm. A one-mile hike, on a paved path, down to the river. This is where unprepared people just take off their shoes and go wading on the rocks. When we started the hike it was around 10am and we didn’t end until after 2pm. Serious hikers traverse the entire 16-mile (one way) trail. We went about 3-4 miles before we turned around and headed back. The Narrows Trail is one of Zion’s most famous and most popular hiking trails. We found that most people tend to only go a little ways in though. So once we hit around the 1-mile mark, we were mostly alone.
The Narrows really lives up to its name. You’re hiking in the Virgin River between two large canyon walls, which get more and more narrow as you hike further and further. At one point you could touch both sides of the walls with your walking sticks. It was an amazing hike that we both highly recommend. Just make sure you are prepared so it’s a pleasant day. There are so many pictures that we took, it really was hard to pick which ones would make it into the post.
Zion National Park is a must see when you are traveling in/through this area. Even if you only have a day to visit, I highly recommend you spend some time in the park.
Zion National park is not the only thing to do in this area however. There are a few State Parks within easy driving distance and Sand Hollow State Park is one that is right in town. We noticed there was a Razor rental company in town, Southern Utah Adventure Center and after we had such a great experience in Moab on the Razor, we couldn’t pass up another opportunity to take one out for a spin. You can even drive the Razor right to the sand dunes and the park.
It sure is beautiful country out here. Sand Hollow State Park has a campground (we would have fit, however, it was not full hook-up), a boat launch with a fairly good-sized lake that was surrounded by the Sand Hollow Recreation Area and sand dunes galore.
The sand dunes were a completely different experience than our previous Razor experience of rock crawling in Moab but still tons of fun. And yes, you get real dirty. So be prepared with goggles.
We had so much fun in Hurricane that this is one place we can also see ourselves returning. Zion has quite a few trails that we’d like to try in the future and Razor rentals are always fun.
David did another great video with the quadcopter and various GoPro’s of our sand dune adventures. Hope you enjoy the video as much as we had making it. It’s a tough sacrifice having to do all these adventures but we are happy to muddle through, for you, our readers.