Zion is a beautiful National Park in Utah, that can be experienced by anyone. Most of the park can be seen by car or shuttle bus.
If you have the energy for it, you can walk some of the hiking trails. One of its most famous is Angel’s Landing, which is quite a strenuous hike.
We were a little put off by the number of people when taking the shuttle, as well as the number of people hiking to Angel’s Landing, so we decided to drive away from the crowds.
We drove the Zion Park Scenic Byway, and found some magical places with very little people around. Here are a few things you can find along the scenic byway:
Petroglyphs are rock carvings made by pecking directly on the rock surface using a stone chisel and a hammer stone. Random fact, rock paintings are called pictographs.
To find the petroglyphs travel down the byway, you will pass through two tunnels, one that is quite lengthy and a second shorter tunnel.
When you pass the second smaller tunnel, drive approximately 1.4 miles past it, and you will pass a small stone wall on the left. Continue driving, until you find a wooden fence on your right with a parking bay.
You can park by the wooden fence and walk back to the stone wall, just off the road behind it you will find a tunnel that passes under the road.
Don’t walk through the tunnel, if you stay on the stone wall side of the tunnel, and walk inwards from the road you will find the petroglyphs.
It is indicated that humans have occupied Zion for 7000 years. The age of the petroglyphs is unknown but could date back this long as well.
I hope that people treat these with respect, as the more they are touched, the faster they are going to be damaged and worn down.
If you wonder through the small canyon here, you will find some beautiful walks and rock formations.
Wearing a pair really great approach shoes, will make it a lot easier to walk and scramble over the sandstone.
Small Slot Canyons
If you continue driving down the byway, stop at the next parking bay on the right. Here you’ll find some small slot canyons, and an approach to a climbing route just off the road.
Walking down off the road will bring you to a tunnel that runs underneath, you can walk through to the other side and find more crevices to explore.
Please experience the park in all its natural beauty and respect it.
Crystals and Gems
I absolutely love crystals. When driving into Zion National Park you will find loads of gem shops scattered down the main street.
Even if you don’t want to invest in any, I highly recommend stopping in to have a look at some of their spectacular pieces.
The prices are fair, and the shop owners are really friendly.
Zion National Park Essentials
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Approach shoes or hiking shoes, especially if you’re exploring the sandstone.
- Food and water, there isn’t much around inside the national park.
- First Aid Kit, this is just an essential in most National Parks.