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Trip Report Zion National Park, Trip Report

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If, during the week of October 17, you happened to see a navy blue Hyundai Santa Fe on the road between Springdale and Rockville, arms out the window aimed skyward, holding tight to an iPhone, that would have been DH and I. In search of an elusive AT&T signal. With one exception, there were no signs of AT&T life in Zion Canyon. For phone and text Springdale, better yet Rockville, is where you need to go. Uploading one photo to friends or Facebook took a good five minutes or more. If you have Verizon you’re in luck. Thankfully, DH also has a Blackberry (Verizon) so we were able to use it with minor issues inside the park.

You’ll find the AT&T exception in the park at the end of loop trail which follows Watchman Trail. Here, in the bottom of our backpacks, is where our phones came to life. Much like the slot machines not so far away in Vegas. Phone, text, email messages all came ringing through at once as we stood at the edge of a magnificent view during our last day in the park. We laughed. For anyone wondering why we clung so tightly to our smartphones we are six months into a new job (dh), new house, new pet sitter and we wanted to stay connected.

Trip Planning:

Thanks to Fodorite Starrs advice, I ordered through Amazon the most helpful of all books, “Zion Adventure Guide” by Greer Chesher. I wish there were a book of its kind for all National Parks. Frommer’s, “Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks” guide helped fill in some gaps. As always, searching the Fodor’s forum for information proved useful, too. And once at the park the “Zion National Park Map and Guide”, handed to us at park check-in, came with us everywhere we went.

Helpful iPhone App:

Hiking Zion. This app offers ratings and descriptions for all in park hikes, maps, and weather which is useless unless you have a connection.

Getting there:

We flew BWI to Las Vegas, non-stop, on Southwest. 5.5 hours outbound, ugh. I knew when we moved from San Antonio I would miss the short(er) flight times West and I do. Non-stop helps tremendously. Flight arrives on time. We collect our luggage and find the rental car shuttle bus. We quickly pick up our car from Budget. Unfortunately, no one told us, and I didn’t think to research road construction myself prior to departure, that the on ramp to I-15 north is closed. We follow the detour signs, no problem. However, upon return we didn’t see detour signs, GPS proved useless, but we manage to find the rental car facility. Eventually.

Welcome to Zion Canyon:

Normal drive time from Las Vegas to Zion should take about 2 hours and 40 minutes but only a few exits away from where we entered I-15 was a major accident so it took us an additional hour to get there.

We arrive at the park entrance just as the sun is setting. The rocks are illuminated in a warm, orange glow. Beautiful. The all day travel it took to get here was soooo worth it. As we pull up to the park entrance I notice the clock reads 7:00P. We thought it was 6:00. Las Vegas is Pacific time; Zion Canyon, Mountain. So we instantly lost another hour and the dinner reservations we had in an hour and a half were now in 30 minutes.

More to follow...

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