“To touch and feel each thing in the world, to know it by sight and by name, and then to know it with your eyes closed so that when something is gone, it can be recognized by the shape of its absence."
We decided that we would try and see as many National Parks as we could within a 12-hour driving radius from Tucson. Having a four day weekend recently led us to spending some quality time at Zion National Park and what a gift it was! I am so excited to share this trip with you because it defines exactly what our vision is for our RV trips--get the kids up close and personal. Zion is known to have less visitation than the other national parks, but don't let that fool you. The immense beauty of this park is encompassing and to me, spiritual.
Hoover Dam Side Trip
On our way to Utah, we made a stop at the Hoover Dam which was fascinating and a great way to break up the trip. It was a little unnerving driving (I was sitting in the passenger seat, same thing!) the RV across the dam, but there was no congestion and we breezed through security prior to that, so it took us no time to park and explore. No tours for us this trip, just too much at this point with the baby, but it's on our list.
Next stop, Springdale, Utah. We opted to stay at the Zion River Resort which is only a few minutes drive to Zion. Facilities were excellent. The private restrooms were very nice with a hot water shower and tons of space. Their gift shop was stocked with tons of adorable things that I actually wanted to buy. Seems silly, but I have seen some "souvenirs" along our journeys that are sitting in those stores collecting dust. Staff was super friendly and the grounds were immaculate. Be sure to make your reservation in advance, as we were told that it is near impossible to get a campsite during peak times and rightfully, so.
Awestruck at Zion
We stayed two nights inside the park at Watchman Campground which was extremely beautiful and a perfect location for the itinerary that we had planned. The kids just loved exploring the grounds (have you read Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv?), climbing the trees, and preparing our meals outside. Joe's Guide to Zion National Park was a great resource for identifying which hikes would be most manageable with four children. The family-friendly hikes that we chose were the Riverside Walk (we'll be back to do The Narrows when the kids are older), Emerald Pools Trail, and Weeping Rock (felt like I was exploring the inside of an old church). The drive through Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel is truly breath-taking and an absolute must! We pulled the jeep, so we did not drive the RV through the tunnel which would require an escort. And bonus for these Tucson kids was the snow that awaited them at the exit of the tunnel.
Just wanted to add, that if we would have gone to Zion without an RV, I would have wanted to stay at the Zion Lodge, the only in-park lodging at Zion National Park with the best backdrop!
I honestly cannot put into words the beauty of Zion, but I will say that I know it's Holy Land. Thank you, Lord, for the beauty that surrounds us in creation and in one another. Bless the memories that shape us. Amen.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Interested in learning more about the National Parks closest to you? Check out this great book, Your Guide to the National Parks.