Monday, March 29, 2010

Zion National Park, Utah

Out on the backroads the most scenic spots are the National Parks.  There are National Forests and BLM lands that come close to the scenery in the National Parks.  Unfortunately, as these spots get better known Congress tends to declare them National Parks. 

I have worked for the National Park Service, Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Managment.  They are have fine people working for them. But.........

The National Parks have LOTS more rules and regulations than the other two agencies.  Boondocking or dispersed camping is just not allowed in the Parks and extremely limited in the other units the Park Service runs.  Dogs are not allowed on almost all trails.  The National Parks are not on Bugaboo's favorites list, but they should be on yours.  If you are close go visit the Park particularly if you have a Age or Access Pass.   Parks are very expensive otherwise.

I first visited Zion National Park over thirty years ago in the summer time.  I enjoyed  Zion, but thought is was a "second tier" Park.  Definitely not in the league of Yellowstone or Yosemite.  During summer the leaves blotted out many of the views and the overhead sun lessened the contrast between rock and sky.

The time to visit Zion is after a snowstorm.  The red rock and snow make a very special combination.  We were rushing from Sedona back to Wenatchee when we decided to go through Zion National Park.  It had just snowed and it was spectacular.  I missed the first pictures as we drove through the tunnels and into the park.  Oh yeah, if you have an RV read the web site on taking an RV through Zion.  It is expensive!!

Zion National Park and RV entrance.

Look down about halfway down the page for specific information.  I would just enter the Park from the Hurricane, Utah side and bypass the tunnels.  Save tunnels for your toad or tow vehicle.

There is a nice campground at the entrance to Zion from Hurricane, Utah.  It was just opening as we were leaving.  I would visit Zion in March.  Wait for the magic that comes with a snowstorm.  The roads clear fairly quickly and it is gorgeous.  Otherwise, wait for the fall color.  Leave summer for kids.  There are plenty of high elevation spots in Utah to explore during the summer.

Here is the view of the Park Service campground.  Nice location.  We will be back there next March and planning on staying for more than a few hours.

The wildflowers are starting to bloom in Washington and the fish are jumping.  We will have both in the next boondocking location.  Oh, waterfront camping to boot for free.  Well, almost free.

1 comment:

Rocket said...

Nice site. Lots of great, practical advice.

I've been "boondocking" for decades, although I've never really used that word. You'll like the coast of Michoacan:

Still in progress. Cheers, mike lin