Friday 5 April 2019

Utah - Zion NP

No visit to Bryce Canyon would be complete without a stop-in at near neighbour Zion National Park. Despite near white-out conditions on the way down, Zion itself was passable, and so our number one viewpoint of Canyon Overlook was actually attainable. It was surprisingly busy given the weather outside of the park was making access a little tricky, but we got a parking space within a short while and walked the short distance up the trail – very easy despite the snow and ice, and took no more than about 20 minutes. What greeted us was immense.

We are fortunate enough that we have also seen Yosemite, and there is a spot there when arriving from the western entrance where you round a bend in the road and suddenly the whole of the valley is there in front of you. The overlook view reminded us of that, and not particularly in miniature either. The view is the classic tunnel type, with the walls of Zion Canyon rising 2000ft from the valley floor at the far end, and as with everything in America, is as grandiose as they come. We gazed out across the valley for a while, willing the clouds to part and allow at least some sunlight to warm up the ochre cliffs. Are these places in fact better with wild skies, or is a perfect blue sky the desired state? Maybe the answer is that to fully appreciate somewhere like this you need to experience it in all seasons and in all conditions, and the transitions between them. In that respect tourism can be quite one-dimensional, and the thousands of selfies and other photos taken daily are wholly unrepresentative of these places. Nonetheless this blog post demands at least something, so here’s a flavour of what we got on the day.

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