Day 34-36: July 6-8: In Zion Canyon

I was finally able to get a campsite inside the park. My good friend Gretchen from Santa Cruz had sent me an email that she would be joining me in Utah on the 6th, so I left a message on her machine, with my friend Bill, and at the RV park, just in case she stopped by there.

Finally, she caught up with me at the campground. She had rented a Dodge Durango SLT, which is a kind of SUV with enough room for both our bikes and gear, and had driven it down from Salt Lake City. It also had 4-wheel drive, so we were tempted to go for a long drive over a rough road up to Navajo Lake. It had been raining some, so the road was kind of torn up. Nonetheless, we made it about 15 miles up the dirt road before we turned back.

Zion Canyon was created by the Escalante River eroding its way through the red and white layered Navajo sandstone. Everywhere you look are dramatic rock formations, cliffs, balanced rocks, and red sandstone. Lots of red sandstone. We hiked around the park, taking lots of pictures. Again I wished for a wide-angle lens. Some of the pictures are here.

a canyon from a distance

red cliffs

red cliffs

Checkerboard Mesa

me at Checkerboard Mesa

layered sandstone

more cliffs

more cliffs

more cliffs

I joked with Gretchen about bringing the rain. Since she arrived, every afternoon has brought rainstorms, and the sky has been overcast. The clouds have kept the temperature down into the 80's rather than in the 100's where it would have been. We took a hike up to the Emerald Pools, and got totally drenched by the hard rain coming back down. But at least we didn't freeze, since the temperature was warm enough.