Southern Utah 2012 – Day 1 – Zion National Park

Southern Utah – Day 2 – Tri-State Corner
Southern Utah – Day 3 – Sand Mountain
This past weekend Traci and I went to our fourth geocaching event in St. George. The first one we attended was in 2006, when we didn’t take full advantage of all that the area had to offer. In 2010 and 2011, however, we found a lot of great things to do outdoors. The geocaching event itself isn’t a huge draw for me, but getting together with other like-minded people and heading out into the back country after the event always proves to be a good time. This year, like the last, we stayed with Eric and Sherie, who are excellent hosts and whose friendship I’m grateful for.

Utah Highway 9 through Zion National Park North Fork of the Virgin River

I took Friday off work, and as soon as we got the kids on the bus to school and dropped Torrey off at my mom’s house, Traci and I started the long drive south. We ran snow going over Salina Canyon, then again going over the pass before reaching Cove Fort. We stopped in Cedar City for lunch and arrived in Hurricane around mid-afternoon. Eric and Sherie acted as our tour guides as we piled into their truck and visited Zion National Park for the first time.
Moon behind Cable Mountain

Tree at the end of the Riverside Walk trail

We drove through the park and made a couple of stops to see some points of interest, then parked in the lot near Temple of Sinawava and walked the Riverside Walk trail along the North Fork of the Virgin River. The tall, narrow canyon runs generally north-south, and this time of year I think the window of direct sunlight is very short. It was dark and cold in the bottom of the canyon, but the setting sun was shining warmly on the cliffs high above us. Traci and I got a nice taste of what Zion has to offer, and, for me at least, a desire to return and hike some of the trails there. After reaching the end of the trail and returning to the truck, we stopped briefly at Weeping Rock. There was a nearly tame fox in the parking lot that let me get close enough for a couple of nice photos. After leaving Zion we ate dinner at Oscar’s Cafe. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the place and would definitely go there again. We returned to Eric and Sherie’s house and spent the rest of the evening hanging out and chatting while figuring out some plans for the following day.
A fairly tame fox at the Weeping Rock parking lot

Photo Gallery

GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Earth .KMZ Format)

GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Maps)

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