A walk to the edge and a walk to some ponds.
PART 1: A Walk to the Edge
For an excellent and yet simple overview of Zion Canyon geology and geologic history, please click here and see this National Park Service web page.
We entered Zion National Park from the east, since we were coming from Bryce Canyon. Our first sight was this "Checkerboard Mesa" showing structure resulting from water flowing vertically, eroding rock that was formed by cementing wind-blown sand, giving it the semi-horizontal cross-hatched structure typical of sand dunes:
The above photos was taken from the first parking area after entering the park. The next few were taken just to give an indication of what sort of terrain we were driving through to get to the main area of the park:
Soon enough we came to a tunnel that was made in the 1930s when cars were little, so there was a wait while traffic was halted to make it into an alternating one-way tunnel (when there were large vehicles, like recreational vehicles and camping trailers, which was often). At this point we struck out onto a trail to see the overview of the large east-west valley at the bottom of Zion Canyon (which is a north-south canyon).
My grandaughter Aubree found something of interest to her at the very start of the trail, she took these two pictures of lizards:
The next few photos are taken from that trail.
There were some narrow places:
There were some nice downward views:
And there was even a rockshelter that the trail went through, with a bit of water seeping through the rock keeping some vegeation alive at the very back:
At the very end of the trail there is this stunning vista, which makes it all worthwhile:
Coming down into the east-west canyon along the road pictured above we could look back on this overviewpoint (where the trees are in the middle is where my overview photos were taken):
And this is what it looked like driving down into the east-west canyon that meets the north-south trending Zion Canyon.
Looking to our left on this road we could see one of the openings carved into the rock to let some air and light into the tunnel we took to get down into this valley:
We took a bus into the main canyon, and I took a small hike to the three Emerald Pools in the heart of the canyon that will be pictured on the next Zion page.
A walk to the three Emerald Pools in Zion Canyon (three pages involved)
A visit to Bryce Canyon National Park
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