Late Fall in Zion National Park

Zion National Park Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
After celebrating Thanksgiving/family reunion in Henderson, my cousin and her familly and I wanted to take my Canadian cousin and uncle out for a drive away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip.  I didn't know about Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area back then so I convinced them all to take a 2-3 hour drive into southern Utah to see Zion National Park.  Everyone was excited to go so we jumped into the minivan and we were off northeast on Interstate 15. 

The 150 mile drive took us through 3 states...Nevada, Arizona (the northwestern part of the state), and Utah.  In southwestern Utah, we then took Hwy 9 east (Zion Park Blvd) toward the southern entrance of Zion National Park.
Underneath Weeping Rock
  Hwy 9 has a series of small hills that for a rollercoaster-lover such as myself enjoyed.  But to a motion-sensitive child...it was uncomfortable...my cousin's youngest child ended up blowing chunks, hurling, vomiting...whatever you want to call it...inside the minivan.  I felt bad for her but not much you can do once the deed was done.   

The entrance fee for Zion National Park is now $25 for a 7-day pass for privately owned vehicles.  In 2006, I was able to get us all in for free using my National Parks Pass from my cross-country road trip.  Luckily the pass was still valid.  Our first stop was the Zion Canyon Visitor Center for kid cleanup, restroom break, and trail maps.  The weather was not great...it was cloudy, cold, and the skies threatened rain.
View from the alcove under Weeping Rock
  The sandstone canyon walls seemed especially bright...rust, ochre, maroon, burnt orange, brown...beautifully accented by surviving greenery of the local flora.  We were all kinda hungry so we drove up Zion Canyon Scenic Dr. and took a pit stop at Zion Lodge's Red Rock Grill.  After our snack, we drove up to Weeping Rock. 

Weeping Rock is a half mile, steep, but paved trail leading to an alcove underneath a rock face dripping water.  The canyon views were spectacular even on a cold fall day.  I visited Zion earlier during the summer and I enjoyed seeing the stark differences of the park at different seasons...barren trees...no crowds...the serene trickle of the Weeping Rock...aawwhh!  Take care on the trail as during this time of year it can be icy.
Virgin River
  It can also get slippery as you head into the alcove because the water drips on and around the steps to the alcove.  Proper footwear is definitely a must! 

From Weeping Rock we continued on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to Temple of Sinawava...the Trailhead for the Riverside Walk.  The Riverside Walk is a 1 mile paved trail that hugs the shores of the Virgin River.  It was exciting to see the water rush into small rapids around rocky sections of the river.   Again no crowds...in fact it seemed we were the only ones there, so we were able to hear the river run its course through the canyon.  We strolled down less than a quarter mile of the trail when we all started feeling rain drops.  Since my Canadian cousin and uncle and I had a cold and since my other cousin didn't want her kids to get severly sick, we turned back and headed for the warm and dry sanctuary of the minivan.  Oh well!  Time to head home.

Next time I visit, I want to hike up to Angels Landing or the Lower Emerald Pool Trail!


Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Underneath Weeping Rock
Underneath Weeping Rock
View from the alcove under Weeping…
View from the alcove under Weepin…
Virgin River
Virgin River
View of Cable Mountain...I think?
View of Cable Mountain...I think?
View of the Virgin River somewhere…
View of the Virgin River somewher…
Zion Canyon
Zion Canyon
Riverside Walk
Riverside Walk
Zion National Park
photo by: rsvpme