After experiencing the afternoon heat in the Park yesterday, our strategy for today, our only full day in Zion, was to get out early.
It worked perfectly and we were on the shuttle on our way to the Temple of Sinewava by 8:30.
At this time of year, early morning temperatures are in the low 50s. By noon, they are close to 100 degrees.
At the Temple of Sinewava, we did the Riverside Walk, a relatively easy 2.2 miles that took about 2 hours to do. It was so comfortable, temperature wise, that I kept my jacket on most of the time.
This hike follows the Virgin River, the main water source through the park. It is possible to many miles further through what is called The Narrrows where hikers actually walk through the river in a very narrow canyon area. At this time the narrows are closed to hikers because the river is flowing faster than 140 cu. ft./second. It might open tomorrow, but this is an area subject to flash flooding and potentially very dangerous to anyone in the path of the water.
But we were more than delighted with hanging plants on rocks being moistened by waterfalls, the monumental rock formations, and views of the rushing waters from a safe vantage point.
This last picture is of me taken by Jim to show the size of the rock formations.
On our way back to the Lodge, we stopped at Big Bend to view a grouping of three, the Organ, the Great White Throne, and Angels' Landing. The Great White Throne is white and flat. I keep forgetting what it is called and keep calling it " The Great White Hoo Hoo." (can't take me anywhere....)
Our final morning hike was a short steep one up to Weeping Rock, up close to a wall of rock with water streaming on it.
After lunch, we went to the Court of the Patriarchs to view formations named Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There is a viewing spot a short hike up from the shuttle stop.
An added bonus discovery today were Prickly Pear plants in flower.
We then cooled off at the Zion Human History Museum where we viewed the half hour film about the origins of Zion, looked at exhibits, and attended a Ranger lecture.
We've had dinner both nights in the Lodge restaurant, Red Rock Grill. last night we sat on the deck and enjoyed Caesar Salad, Chichen Filets and Quinoa Primavera. I'm impressed wide variety of fresh ingredients served both in this more formal dining room aa well as the very casual Castledome Cafe which is also at the Lodge.