We had a lot of preparation to do before the two and a half hour drive. Our plan was to leave at 2pm, but we didn’t have any camping gear and our shopping took longer then expected. We finally left at 7pm thinking we would be able to get to the camp site by 10pm. Unfortunately halfway to Zion we remembered there was a time difference of one hour making our arrival 11pm-ish.
Our mission was to go camping and camping we did. As luck would have it we found a lovely campground which had late night check in. We had passed a bunch of hotels but we had our sights set on being out in the wilderness. Zion River Resort is a campground and RV site. Not exactly what we had in mind but we could roast hot dogs, make s’mores and pitch a tent. The sites were close to each other but the restrooms and facilities were very clean and the employees there very nice. It was a bit pricey for the night but wroth it over all. The camp also had activities like a swimming pool, pool table and even a Monday adult poker night, paid showers and laundry room. One could also take day trips on horseback or watch movies there too. We only stayed for the night and got up really early. We made a fire and breakfast then watched the sun come up. We arranged our stuff nicely in our car and we continued on our way to Zion.
Springdale is a lovely little town. Before entering Zion we had a coffee and looked around at some of the shops. As soon as we entered Zion we got a yearly pass to all of the National Parks. We then headed to the visitors center to plan our day. We soon found out we had to take the shuttle to get to the trails. The shuttle system is designed to keep traffic down. There is a scenic route you can drive your car through. It is about an hour drive so we skipped it this trip. Looking at our map we decided to go to the Emerald Pools lower, middle and upper trails.
The Choices of the Emerald Pools Trails:
Following the trail from the lodge we found ourselves needing to make a decision on the direction to hike, left or right. We went right and it was beautiful! Armed with SPF 50 and water we hiked until we reached the lower pools. A small waterfall greeted us and we walked under it. The mist from the fall was refreshing and encouraging.
After the winter months and after summer showers the water fall is bigger. Further up the path is the middle pools where the water falls from.
Resting up before going to the middle pools.
The view beyond the steps. Here we are stepping on man made steps.
The middle pools.
It was a real tough hike to the upper pools. Zion was pretty busy and there were a bunch of kids hiking with their folks. Some were complaining about being tired. Once you reach the upper pools you can rest on the rocks. We found a nice comfortable spot in the shade.
Words can’t describe the beauty or the spiritual feeling you get when visiting this park. I can only say thank goodness it isn’t far from Las Vegas. On our way back down we passed some boys who took the left trail instead of the right trail. Going down we noticed the left trail would have been tougher and steeper. Looking exhausted, the boys asked us if it was very far to the pools. We looked at each other then looked at the boys and told them it was worth it.
The hike was about six miles and took us about three hours. The pictures you see were taking by our Iphones 😀
Back to the lodge for Lunch! The lodge’s restaurant has some yummy food. Loved the salmon cakes! There was a place to get smoothies and frozen yogurt but we skipped it. Also the park features watering stations to refill your bottles.
We plan on visiting Zion National Park more often. The campgrounds within the park are on a first come first serve basis. The camping fee is only $16 a night, but there are no showers only restrooms. For more camping information in Zion go to, http://www.zion.national-park.com/camping.htm
You can bring your dogs but they can only go on one trail called Pa’rus Trail, located near the Zion Canyon Visitor center. There is a kennel near the park called Doggy Dude Ranch, for more information go to: http://www.doggyduderanch.com/
There is also a museum worth visiting inside the park. You don’t need to take the shuttle there you can drive. It is small, but informative. Learn about the culture which once inhabited the area. Pick up a National Park’s passport and collect stamps from each of the parks you visit in the future. We did and we love it. We only have one stamp… but not for long!