Zion national park has a no car policy for its inner sanctum. So we booked a room at the lodge in that sanctum. Our privilege was, that we could drive into the parking lot of the Lodge with a special red tag on our front window, along with the other privileged people staying at the lodge. The common folk had to use buses to get where we were going. Unfortunately to go deeper into the canyon past the lodge required us to join those commoners.
|Sight walking to dinner|
|A view driving to the lodge|
This was our first encounter with high red sandstone cliffs all around. Dining al fresco staring up a thousand feet or more wherever you look, while on the lawn beneath your deck, mule deer and their offspring graze in the dusk that gradually envelops you into full darkness, requiring a flash light to walk back to your room.
|The turkeys at dawn|
|Mother and hungry fawn|
On our balcony we have perfect night sky views allowing us to find configurations, but that requires us to buy another app on our iPad, so that we can name them. By the way, the next night there were wild turkeys on the lawn in front of the lodge. Earlier I took pictures of a deer with its fawn.
|Deer on the lawn at dusk|
|From the bus deeper in the canyon|
This is the park that advertises its famous slot canyon: The Narrows.
We took the bus that blocked our views of what was above us and rode to the end to take a few pictures of the beginning of The Narrows, which required a leisurely walk of half a mile.
|Walking to the Narrows|
|Navajo sandstones beyond the Narrows entry|
|The Narrows start here|
However, we also found out, that to see the best of the Narrows we would have to walk in the ice cold river for at least another mile or more and in case of a flash flood (that day not very likely, we were told) press ourselves against the canyon wall preferably in a niche and wait it out.
|Tourist trap at the park entrance|
|Kolob Terrace road sight|
|Not Red thus Navajo sandstone|
|The bands show millions of years|
We felt too old to "enjoy" this experience and so all we did was take a few pictures of the returning and starting people with the river as a background.
This main part of Zion was a bit too well organized, but luckily there are other parts of the park: the Kolob scenic drive and the Kolob Terrace road.
|The sun highlights walls|
|Again amazed by another view|
|A Mesa in the distance|
|A red butte|
The Kolob scenic drive brought red mesas and buttes and left us with indelible memories that photos can hopefully replicate.
|No words to describe this|
|People climb to walk the top ridge|
|Views leaving park|
|Winding road towards these|
The final beautiful drive was leaving the park through tunnels surrounded by walls of red canyons on our way to the Grand Canyon.
|So red so high|
|Checker board formations|
We found no red walls there, but returning to Utah later on, we were again enchanted by them.
The picture on the right was the last surprise, just outside the park: a "checker board" formation.