Wednesday, December 9, 2020

About Zion NP

I wrote the other day about a visit the DrsC made to Zion NP, with two friends from UT. The other DrC - the photographer in our household - has posted photos at her CruzTalking Two website.

The unique part of Zion is that, unlike many other red rock parks (e.g., Bryce, Grand Canyon), you enter and view Zion from the bottom of the canyon. To get that same view at Grand Canyon, you must ride a mule for several hours to reach the bottom.

At Zion, instead of looking down into a hole - however spectacular that may be - you are in the bottom, along the Virgin River, looking up sheer walls several hundred feet to where a ribbon of blue sky can be seen. There are points along the canyon where the walls are several times taller than the distance they are apart, it is very dramatic.

I was there in the 1960s as as young adult, I was also there in the 1950s with my parents. The other DrC and I have visited every few years since. Zion’s ability to awe the viewer remains unchanged. 

Part of the magic of our national parks is that they change very little over time, they were essentially perfect when they were made parks and are kept mostly unchanged. The Yellowstone I see as a retiree is the same Yellowstone I saw as a 10 year old, minus the pan-handling bears of my youth which the Park Service now discourage.