Hiking

East Zion on a Winter’s Day – A Photo Essay

Posted by Jeff on Mar 29, 2021 @ 9:36 am in Hiking, Hiking Blog, Photo Essays, Utah, Zion National Park | 0 comments | Last modified: March 29, 2021

The last of our whirlwind post-Christmas Utah swing through three national parks, a state park, and BLM land, Zion is always a crowd favorite. And the crowds were out in force. Pandemic or not, holiday season or not, Zion was packed. Zion Canyon itself was closed without a reservation, so we confined our visit to the eastern side of the park. Still absolutely stunning!

Paula and I visited east Zion on December 30, 2020 and remained confined to our car except for photo taking to remain Covid safe. I was thrilled for her to see the beauty within the park. While I love everything about Zion National Park, the east side has an appeal to me because it is so different from Zion Canyon. Most of the granite structures are white instead of red. There is usually less traffic on the east side, but not this day, as you weren’t allowed onto a shuttle into the canyon without a pre-approved reservation. So everyone crowded to the east.

The drive along the Zion-Mount Carmel road (Hwy 9) is breathtaking, including through the mile-long tunnel and the twisty, winding road down to the canyon level. We did manage to find a picnic table with some solitude for a nice lunch in a pleasant breeze.

We were there a total of about five hours and left late in the afternoon to head back to our home in western Colorado. About that … on the drive back we learned that the AirBnB host might have contracted Covid from family over Christmas while we were gone.

Pivot to an emergency home search, and an abrupt change of plans. Instead of spending the last four days of our AirBnB contract there, we found a hotel room in Grand Junction where we stayed, and Paula worked, including on New Year’s Day. She has taught me to be adaptive and quick on my feet leading the nomad life.

This gallery includes pictures from the east side of Zion National Park in Utah. Enjoy the photos, and please feel free to comment.

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