Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Zion National Park

We visited Zion National Park in the southwest corner of Utah. Zion was carved out of the layered sandstone formed by the sediment of ancient seas and nearby sand dunes. The main road in the park follows the river valley with immense walls of sandstone towering above.

At the bottom... looking up

 A turn in the river

Water seeping out of the rock from far above

Water dripping
I love the spiral on the right

 A hawk soars high above the canyon wall

Mr. Dreamy does his part to insure safe passage

Water from snow melt and rains continues to shape the canyon

After hundreds of years, the water will cut the rock
forming a new canyon

We drove out of the canyon as impressive rock walls
continued to astound us

In some places you could see almost perfect 'amphitheaters'
where softer rock let go of its hold and fell below 

As you climb higher in Zion, you must travel through a tunnel over 1 mile in length. It was completed in 1930. Some modern vehicles cannot fit in the tunnel unless traffic is stopped and they drive down the middle of the road. No... we won't be bringing the motorhome through the tunnel, even though we would fit. The switchbacks leading up to the tunnel are unnerving enough in a car!

As you emerge from the tunnel you are welcomed by more massive formations, but here the geology is different.  Instead of being in the canyon, you are suddenly on top, where you can see fossilized sand dunes and rock with interesting patterns of striations.

The beauty took my breath away

Checkerboard Rock

Pictures don't accurately represent what one sees in person. Pictures fail to give one the feeling of the size and grandeur of the formations. I am so glad that we had the opportunity to explore just a bit of the park.

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