Thursday, May 11, 2017

An Extended Stay in Utah

Posted from Hurricane, UT
(Click on Pics to Enlarge)

Click Below to View More Pictures Not Contained in Today's Blog:

Red Reef East Trail
Red Reef Trail

Although Page, AZ was certainly a beautiful area, it was time to move forward in our 2017 summer plans. We plan to visit several of the National Parks and surrounding areas in Utah, and will even attend the Utah State Good Sam Rally in Nephi, UT in June.

Our first major park will be Zion National Park. We looked at the map and saw several other attractions we wanted to see, so a central location was in order. We chose to stay for the entire month of May in Hurricane, UT at Willow Wind RV Park. This has turned out to be a nice decision. A monthly stay is $455 + electricity (or $15.17 per day). The CG is located in the heart of Hurricane, so needed grocery stores, restaurants, and the like are near by. It's also located about midway between the entrance to Zion NP and St. George, UT.  It's about 20 miles in either direction.  

We had never been to the St. George area prior to this trip, so a quick reconnaissance mission was in order. St. George is a very pretty area situated between stunning views in all directions.  It's also a large enough city to handle any of our shopping needs.

On Tuesday (5/2) we headed toward the Visitor's Center at the Zion NP. I had done a bit of research and found that parking inside the park is a major pain (and it's not even the busy season yet). The little town just prior to the entrance is named Springdale. In conjunction with the NPS, a shuttle system links the far southern end of Springdale with the Zion NP entrance. The shuttle drops you off right at the pedestrian entrance to the park, then a shuttle system within Zion takes you from the Visitor Center to the far end of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Cars are not permitted along the Scenic Drive any further than the Zion Lodge.

We picked up information at the Visitor's Center to plan our hiking and attractions to see, then jumped on the park's shuttle and rode the out-and-back loop.  Since then we've used the Springdale and Zion Park shuttles on several occasions.  Runs very smoothly and we park at the extreme southern end of Springdale each time. 

Okay, time for a few pictures and a couple of hikes.

On Wednesday (5/3) we headed northwest into the Dixie National Forest where we chose two short trails to help us get back into the swing of hiking again.

The first trail, named Red Reef East Trail, was a couple of miles out and back. Not many elevation changes, but pretty views along the way. The best thing was that we saw very few people along this trail.

Along the basically flat trail we encountered some great "red rock" cliffs.

At the conclusion of this hike it was time for lunch at one of the nice picnic areas back in the Red Cliff Campground.

After lunch we started up the next trail Red Reef Trail. This trail was about 2 1/4 miles out and back and involved a bit more climbing. The trail was still rated as "easy".

The trail followed along Quail Creek and again provided us with nice views of colorful canyon walls.

The main draw of this hike is a series of small pools and waterfalls. The first pools we came to had several families with small children wading in the cold water.

A bit further up the trail (at the turnaround) was a small waterfall with a deep pool of COLD water. We thought about attempting to climb up the right side of the rock with the footholds, but we decided that we didn't want to go for a swim on this hike.

Well, that concluded our first few days in the area. There's much more to see and do ahead and hopefully I'll be able to keep up with the blog posts in a bit more timely fashion.

Thanks for dropping by to take a look!

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