Sunday, November 3, 2013

Zion River Resort and First Zion Hike



We’re glad Box Canyon Mark and Bobbie suggested we spend November at the Zion River Resort. Yes, it’s an RV park and the sites are closer than we care for, but the landscaping is lovely, we are parked on gravel instead of dirt, there is green grass and the trees are showing their autumn colors. We even have the Virgin River right behind our site. Plus Zion National Park with all it’s splendor less than 15 miles away.


From November through March the park offers very discounted Snowbird rates. We are paying $460 (plus electric) for the month for our back-in riverside site, which normally rents for $1100 during the busy season. Hard to believe anyone pays prices like that! The one downside is there is no Verizon signal here (the brochure says AT&T works), but the park does have WiFi. So far it’s working fairly well, but will most likely slow down if more people arrive.

Yesterday our guides took us north of Virgin to the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park.



Bobbie suggested a 7 mile hike, with not a lot of elevation gain or loss. Having hiked with Mark and Bobbie last year in Ouray, CO, we had a feeling her opinion of not much elevation change was going to be different from ours. And according to Jim’s phone app, we hiked 6.5 miles round trip, but dropped 1,200’ on the way down. Which meant 1,200’ of climbing to get back to the car. But we’re not complaining! It was a great hike with our group consisting of Jim and I, Debbie, our buddy Boonie, who is dispersed camping nearby, and Mark and Bobbie.

The first portion of the trail was a level walk through a pine forest. Then came the white/gray rock.



We even crossed a small stream


Hey, this is Zion, so where’s the red rock? We didn’t have to walk too much farther to find it. So which way do we go now?


Down, down, down. Just pick a path on the slick rock and try to follow the cairns.



We had our lunch next to some amazing balanced rocks poised on tripods.



We’ll see if Mark’s photos came out better than ours.


Then it was time for the climb back up. We worked up a pretty good sweat.




And yes, it seemed much steeper than it did going down. But with the scenery and the chit chat we were soon back at the trailhead.




After being awed by Yosemite this past summer, we wondered if Zion would still be our favorite national park. I think we both vote yes. And boy, did that long shower in the RV park’s restroom feel good! (Sorry, Boonie, couldn’t resist.)


  1. Cool - what was the name of the trail you did?

  2. A very enjoyable day, elevation not withstanding :)) Also a good trail choice by Bobbie as it was a weekend and we only ran into one group of teens headed to hike the Subway. Cool, and Happy Hour was fun, too :)
    Box Canyon Mark

  3. Beautiful hike! That sky is a beautiful contrast with the mountains.

  4. Interesting hike. I really liked those balanced rocks.

  5. I would never have thought Zion would be a great place in November. Good to know. I always think everything out there is getting ready to be snowed on. Someday I'll figure out when is the best time to go where. This was just a gorgeous post. I love Zion and being there a month sounds fantastic.

  6. We were in Zion years ago. I can still remember the beauty of the area.

    I am sure you will enjoy having some of the amenities you have done without for so long. Have fun.

  7. Absolutely gorgeous scenery - those balanced rocks, amazing what you find in nature. Thanks for the photos! :)

  8. This is one of the hikes I was trying to find when we were there. I saw it in Mark's blog. He even sent me some basic directions but I couldn't find it. Do you remember where you parked once you got up in the Kolab Terrace area? Any directions will help. I will find this trail one day!!

    We spent most our time hiking around the east side. None of the trails are on the park map and my hiking book had a ton of wonderful trails without people. Check out this website. I know Mark is there but you may want to look at this site. Joe does an amazing job of accurately describing the trail and difficulty levels with great directions. He also has photos so you know what to look for. We found it so helpful to avoid all the people. Last March had Easter AND Spring Break within it! The campground there was crazy, especially the last week.‎

    The Verizon service is interesting. John did a little research and discovered the park lies within a mile stretch between towers. Go a mile either way and you get service. Crazy!

    Make sure you check out the Farmers Market Grocery Store in La Verkin. It had items I have never heard of anywhere. One of the nicest stores I've been in...tons of organic.

    Can't wait of follow your trails! Enjoy!!

  9. Oh, that looks like a great hike!