Porcupyn's Blog

June 28, 2008

Visit to Four of Southwest USA’s National Parks (Part One of Many!)

Filed under: Travel — Porcupyn @ 10:19 pm

A year ago, kiddo castigated us for having visited the Grand Canyon without him, notwithstanding the fact that this egregious act was committed prior to his birth. To propitiate him, we had to promise a trip in the near future. Well, tomorrow finally arrived recently.

My parents were scheduled to visit the USA to welcome a grandchild. Given that they were planning to be with us for a couple of weeks in June and we had vacation days to spare, I cobbled together a plan that had us visiting three National Parks (Zion National Park, UT; Bryce Canyon National Park, UT; Grand Canyon, AZ) in Southwest USA in one week. I will explain the title later …

Zion National Park
My first mistake was not reading brother-in-law’s e-mail properly and going to this place for sunrise, for which we had to wake up at 4:00 am. Big mistake. Zion is not the place for sunrise, or sunset for that matter. Unlike Bryce Canyon (which, technically, is not a canyon) and Grand Canyon, at Zion you are looking out from inside as opposed to looking in from outside. As a result, the scenery is not all that good unless, of course, you wake up really early and hike (climb) up to a spot in the canyon walls – that was out of question for us.

Mistake #2 was going out for sunrise in shorts and without a sweater.

The third mistake, parking the car at the Majestic View Lodge – way outside the park – not realizing that there are TWO shuttle bus routes, one from the town of Springdale upto the park and another intra-park shuttle.

Anyway, we atoned for my mistakes by spending an hour waiting for a bus to ferry us back to the place where we had parked the car; we waited at the very spot where the bus had dropped us off, which was none other than the spot where we should have driven to in our car. I had read too much into the information online which specified that individual vehicles were not allowed into the main drag of the Park this time of the year. The saving grace was that the two eldest members of the party and the youngest member were all left in the motel to catch up on their sleep. Also, I got to take this nice photo of the setting Moon (yes, I mean Moon, not Sun).


  1. Funny, I went through the same three parks a few years ago. Also a fourth one – Arches. Beautiful country…

    Comment by Bhel Puri & Seekh Kabab — June 30, 2008 @ 9:12 pm | Reply

  2. BPSK:

    I had big – no, make that humongous – plans. I had intended to get out of the airport, rent a car and drive to Moab directly from Phoenix. Luckily, saner sense (aka v.b.) prevailed, and we left the next day. And even then, we barely made it to Hurricane at ten. Had we tried my original plan, we would have been playing the Tuba!

    Comment by porcupyn — July 4, 2008 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

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