Today we spent time in Zion Canyon. We ended up waiting to enter the park for a good hour. I guess that’s why they say you should enter parks early in the morning.
I can’t imagine in high season what this must be like. Of course, it happens to be a Saturday on a long weekend. The central part of the canyon is only accessible by a shuttle bus. So we had another 20-minute wait in line. I felt like I was at Disney World. This wasn’t the end of the wait times. We had to wait to get on the shuttle bus to come back.
They say the national parks are overloaded with tourists and have become extremely popular. They are understaffed, and some facilities need millions of dollars to repair.
Zion Canyon is second only to the Grand Canyon in visitors. Perhaps because it’s semi-close to Las Vegas, it receives 4.5 million visitors annually.
Because of the crowds, it takes away a bit of the visitor experience, but it still is pretty impressive.
While Bryce Canyon is high, up 8000 to 9000 feet on the plateau or Mesa, Zion is deep, so you always look up.
To get to the central part of the park, we had to go through from the east side with a 1.5-mile tunnel that was dynamited and totally dark. Larger vehicles can only go through one at a time, and they have to stop at both ends for that to happen. Of course, it’s an additional charge if that’s the case.
Once again, we saw a deer, maybe 50 m from the path we were walking. No, we haven’t seen any longhorn sheep or mountain lions either.
Zion Canyon, Utah
As you probably know, Salt Lake City, Utah, was founded by the Mormons, who now call themselves the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. They settled all over Utah, places like a small town just west of Zion Canyon. Orderville has 600 people, and they passed a law around 2002 that states that every household has to own a functioning gun. It’s the only search law in the US.
Mormons have been blamed for the unbelievably restrictive alcohol laws here in Utah. But they only made it a law – no smoking, no coffee, and no alcohol at the time of prohibition. Polygamy was outlawed by the Mormons at the turn of the century, although many sects broke off and still practiced it.
It was a beautiful sunset as we arrived at our hotel, about an hour outside of Las Vegas.