After seeing Zion for the first time, I think “it” should be called “the Grand Canyon.” Much more spectacular than the real Grand Canyon, and that’s pretty spectacular. Zion was utterly the most beautiful place I have ever seen. (so far)
We started out early (for us) so we might find a parking spot near the visitor center. Glad we did, as we got one of the last spots! Otherwise you need to take a shuttle bus from a town just west of the park, and dogs aren’t allowed on that, which is basically a show stopper for us. The only trail in Zion that allows dogs is the Pa’rus trail which is paved and meanders along the Virgin River for 1.7 miles, so our pups’ little legs received a 3.4 mile workout. It’s mostly flat but it was warm and there wasn’t much shade. But the views were out of this world. This is a place to come and hike around a few days!
The drive into the park from the east side and down to the visitor center is awe inspiring. The views from the roadway are incredible, truly breathtaking… And there is a mile-long tunnel carved out of a mountain that is 11′ tall on the sides and 13′ in the middle. I was very happy to NOT be driving the motor home this day as it’s over 12’7″ tall. They allow you to drive them thru, but you have to pay $15 for the privilege as they stop traffic from coming the other way so you can gingerly drive down the middle of the tunnel. My antennas stick up about a foot higher than everything else, probably 14′ off the ground, and would have been making a godawful racket if we went thru there. That tunnel was very long and had turns in it. Adding to its uniqueness was it was completely dark in there. Prior to you going thru it, a ranger slows you and checks to make sure you aren’t wearing sunglasses. There are a few small portals to the outside that give you a short but sweet view of the canyon below as you pass by. A lot of very large motor homes and buses went by as we were waiting in line to go back thru that tunnel when we were leaving.