The next day we again started our day early to beat the crowds. Unfortunately, parking at the visitor center is a real problem at Zion and, if you hesitate, you might not be lost, but you will have to park outside of the park. I love the mandatory free shuttle bus system, though. It cuts down on pollution and gives a less congested feeling to the canyon.
We decided to hop on and off the bus at some favorite stops in Zion Canyon. We began by riding the bus to the end of the line where we took the Riverside Walk. This is a lovely walk, two miles round trip along a paved sidewalk and level.
It follows the Virgin River which seems to be running fuller than usual.
I really enjoyed all the hanging gardens in the cracks of the cliff face along the way.
At the end of the walk, the canyon walls narrow down to make it impossible to go any farther without wading. People do wade up the aptly named Narrows, but it was closed this day due to the possibility of flash floods.
I attempted to wade at least a little way up the river years ago, but only got about ten feet before my toes froze off. I understand it's really rewarding to those brave enough to hike it.
There are lots of welfare squirrels on this walk. Personally, I wouldn't allow one that close to my bare feet.
Our next stop was Weeping Rock, actually an alcove that constantly 'weeps' water from seams in the rock. It's very interesting to experience, but doesn't make for a great picture.
But the view looking out of the alcove is really nice.
And the flowering columbine seem to appreciate the constant dampness.
By the time we reached out third and final stop the clouds had moved in. The Patriarchs were not looking their best.