Zion National Park is an area of spectacular scenery - cliffs, canyons, greenery, wildlife, and the Virgin River. We rode to Zion National Park from Kanab, Utah, approaching the park from the East Entrance. We spent the morning sightseeing along Zion - Mt. Carmel Highway. The first landmark on this road is Checkerboard Mesa, named for the unusual pattern etched into the cliff by erosion. The scenic drive continues as tunnels and switchbacks in the road allow the rider to traverse the changes in elevation. This was quite exciting from a motorcycle.
There are considerable differences in climate among the national parks in this area of the country. At the Grand Canyon, the visitor is at a high elevation, where it is relatively cool (high temperatures were in the 80s when we were there, and we needed a jacket when riding in the evenings). At Zion National Park, the roads are at a lower elevation. Unfortunately, this makes it very hot (high 90s) in the middle of the day. We decided to spend the afternoon touring the Visitor Centers, riding through the town of Springdale and to the west, and finally watching the movie in the IMAX theater in Springdale.
A Majestic Cliff seen from Zion Canyon Road
We returned to the park in the late afternoon, riding on the Zion Canyon Scenic Highway and taking a hike on the Riverside Walk Trail. This is where Fred was able to get his fill of wildlife photography, including the squirrel pictured below.
A Zion National Park Resident
On our way back to Kanab, we took a detour to see Coral Pink Sand Dunes state park. This looked like an interesting place if you were into off-road vehicles, as it was full of exactly what its name described. It was not quite worth the trip when you are on a motorcycle. We returned to Kanab, exhausted from a long day but excited about the trip to Bryce Canyon the next day.
Next segment of our trip. Return to 1996 Motorcycle Vacation page.