The word Zion has a Hebrew origin and it means highest point, heaven or place of sanctuary. Zion was designated as a national park in 1919 and it is the oldest in Utah. The park is huge - 229 sq. miles. J.J. and I will be returning to Utah as this would be our first state to cover when our volunteer work begins in early July. Therefore this trip was really an exploratory and trying to get an good overview and the layout of the park.
J.J. and I stayed on the free shuttle bus and enjoyed the vista of canyons, soaring towers, monoliths, mesas, and meandering rivers, streams and meadows. It took approximately 80 minutes to make the circular route. It's difficult to find the right words to describe spectacular canyons. We were seated with a group of German tourists and heard similar words in English & German. We passed a number of bikers, hikers and rock climbers.
3 million visitors enjoy Zion National Park annually. Still early May, the bus driver told us the traffic will build up when the kids are out of school.
So many artists and photographers, amateur and professionals have attempted to capture the magic of Zion National Park. Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh comes to my mind from the time I was in college.
Our lunch stop was at Fort Zion Trading Post. From outside, it looks like a native American set up but once you are inside, the motif was that of western cowboy. We shared "Billy the Kid Burger" and a 12" pizza which we only ate 1/2. Our total tab inclusive of tip was $18.
The sun is beginning to set. We are on Mountain Time and it's 5:43 pm. Watching our neighbor's laundry drying in a soft evening breeze is very homey.
Finally, thank goodness for our Senior Pass. For the general public the cost to enter the park is $25 per vehicle or $80 for an annual pass. Our Senior Passport America, which we paid just $10, is a life-time pass and good for all national parks that charges admission. I think this is one of the less known benefit of being a senior citizen. http://store.usgs.
Aloha -- Cathi