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663 Motoring to Zion 2012-06-18

Lake Powell, the desert lake

Saturday, 09Jun12, we left Grand Canyon. The South Rim was definitely a hopping place, but a little too busy for us. We did have a great time and was able to learn about the area. For our next visit, we will try the North Rim, it looks to be a bit more laid back.

Making the most of our drive to Zion National Park, we left Mather Campground and drove east on Hwy 64 completing our tour of the southeast section of the Park. At every view point we stopped and took pictures. It was a good drive.

On the far eastern edge of the South Rim we visited Desert View. We enjoyed our short stop at the area and also toured the campground.

Out of the Park, we continued east to the town of Cameron, AZ and then turned north toward Utah. It is quite a detour to get around the Grand Canyon. Now, if they would just build a bridge from Mather Point to .... just teasing. Our least favorite part of the Park was all of the developments.

As we neared Lake Powell, we came to the town of Page, AZ. The small town was sprawling across the barren landscape. Page was growing due to its proximity to Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam.

Lake Powell is in the middle of the desert. There is water in the lake, but nothing growing on the banks. It looks very unnatural, but the lake is very popular. Rows and rows of large pleasure craft (motor boats) sit in storage facilities near the lake and still more are docked in the marinas. The boating industry seemed alive and well at Lake Powell.

Leaving Arizona, the vegetation made a noticeable change. As we climbed, our palates of colors changed from browns to greens. We were no longer in the low desert. In the desolate region of northeast Arizona, the color chart was restricted to brown. Passing into Utah, the land looked more inhabitable. There was natural water and greenery.

We entered Zion from the east. The road passed many sandstone domes and then entered the famous mile long tunnel. Coming out of the tunnel we were in the heart of Zion National Park. It was very hard to drive while staring at all the massive walls and towers.

The Park uses a shuttle system to ferry visitors to the key stops along the Virgin River. The road up the canyon is closed to vehicle traffic. We decided to go straight to our campground instead of touring the area by bus.

The Watchman Campground is near the South Entrance of the Park near the Visitor's Center. We really enjoyed the convenience of the campground. It was close to everything. After setting up camp we let our vehicle take a rest as we mostly walked or rode the shuttles to our destinations and trailheads. A shuttle even went into the town of Springdale.

We were only going to be at Zion for two days. The Park has many trails and adventures, we were just using our trip as an adventure taster for future trips.

Wish you were here! It was a great drive.

Happy motoring trails


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