Day 8 – 8/6/09

Kolob CanyonI headed out towards Zion National Park this morning and decided to go into the Kolob Canyon first.  This part of the park is a short 5 mile ride up to a 1/2 mile trail that leads to a nice overlook spot.  The morning sun and light haziness in the air meant that the pictures didn’t come out quite as well as I had hoped.   It was a nice easy ride to the trailhead where I proceed to hike the short trail to the overlook.  Along the trail, I spotted a couple of different types of lizards and a couple of squirrils.  At the end of the trail, you could see for miles in three directions.    Of cousre, the scenery was spectacular and I took a bunch of pictures.

I left Kolob Canyon and headed down I-15 towads the main entrance to Zion.   As I got closer to the entrance, it became clear that this park was going to be more crowded.  As I entered the park, I got in line with many other cars to go up into the park.  The majority of the overlook areas were full of cars making it difficult to find places to pull off the road to snap photos.

Zion National ParkThe landscape in Zion is dominated by tall rock walls with a variety of patterns etched into the sides of the cliffs.  There are two tunnels – one of them is a little over a mile long and they were only letting traffic through in one direction so there was a bit of a wait to go through.

While the scenery was impressive, I didn’t like the fact that it was so crowded.  Visiting Zion was a lot like my visit to Yellowstone last year.  In some ways, the popularity and crowds make the experience less enjoyable for me.

After leaving Zion, I decided to head towards Las Vegas.  I want to get to Steve and Kaydee’s house Friday afternoon and Vegas is only a few hours away.  The ride down I-15 to Las Vegas was a tough one due to some strong winds.  It was difficult to stay on the road at times and I made most of the trip at 60 mph instead of trying to go the 70 mph speed limit.  There were times when the bike had trouble maintaining speed up minor grades because the wind was pushing back so hard.  After arriving at the hotel, the weather channel reported 30-40 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph.  All-in-all, it was a difficult 3 hours of riding.  I was glad to get off the road.

  • States: UT, NV
  • Miles Travelled Today: 295
  • Total Miles: 3,805
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