Continuing our week-long road trip in October, my dad and I headed on to Utah, after three nights in Arizona. We crossed the Arizona-Utah border within 20 minutes from Page and were soon hit with a small snowstorm! Crazy to believe that it would snow so early (in October, of all months!), but we braved the snow and soon enough reached Springdale, a small town right at the foothills of Zion National Park. We would spend two nights here, checking out more of the natural parks that the western US had to offer.
We were able to check in early to our hotel, and after a quick lunch/rest, we decided to head out in the afternoon to see Zion. We didn’t want to wait for the shuttle to take us in, so we opted to drive in and take the scenic Zion-Mount Carmel Highway. After paying the $35 USD park fee (which would allow us up to 7 days in the park), we drove right in and first headed straight towards the eastern end of the park to see Checkerboard Mesa, before turning around and making a few stops to explore some of the unique rock formations– on our way back, we saw natural landmarks like East Temple and Twin Brothers.
Our last stop was at the Canyon Overlook Trail, a one-mile out-and-back trail that offers stunning views of the mountain peaks and Zion-Mount Carmel Highway below. It’s a super-popular hike, so we had to park about a quarter of a mile from the trailhead and walk over to start the hike. The Canyon Overlook Trail is really-accessible, so there’s bound to be heavy traffic as many visitors want to hike it. The views were worth the journey over!
We concluded our afternoon shortly thereafter and returned to Springdale, where we grabbed an early dinner at a Mexican-fusion restaurant just across the street from our hotel. It was actually a really-good restaurant, with decently-priced food (and large portions) and the staff were friendly and wore face masks! I ordered mushroom sopes with elote and a jalapeño margarita, which were all lovely. The food and service were so good that we went again the following evening!
That was our first day in Zion, and we would do more exploring the next day. More to come soon!
— The Finicky Cynic
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