Friday, June 10, 2011

Cycling in Zion

Bicycles are a perfect way to see the huge cliffs of Zion National Park. Only the park shuttle buses are allowed on many of the roads, and the drivers are very mindful of cyclists. This morning while it was still cool, we cycled up hill from the Lodge where we're staying to the Temple of Sinawava, the rock formation at the end of the road.

A mile of paved trail allows you to continue walking along the rushing river. This area has a fascinating little ecosystem with swamp plants and vertical cliffs covered with vegetation. At the end of the trail is The Narrows which we remembered as a wonderful experience from our previous trip, but at the moment the river is much too high to walk upstream in the river bed as we did then. The next photo shows the beginning of The Narrows:

On the way down we stopped at the Weeping Rocks where water oozes out of the rocks and drips down the rock face.

This afternoon, we decided to cycle downhill from the Lodge on the very steep road from to the Visitor Center. This part of the road is much steeper than the ride we took this morning: the road is above the cascading river. After the junction, the road is unrestricted, but there's a beautiful paved bike path for around the last 2 miles.

From the Visitor Center we and our bikes rode back up on the shuttle bus -- what luxury! We returned to the Temple of Sinagawa and repeated the downhill ride that we had done in the morning. Of course the effects of light vary throughout the day so we enjoyed it again.

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