Sunday, June 2, 2013

Zion National Park and Virgin, UT–Part 2

The ghost town of Grafton, was not far from my campground in Virgin. I visited one afternoon and found the cemetery interesting.

Did you notice the “Killed by Indians”?  In this part of the cemetery there were 3 people from the same family that were killed on the same day. 


I had a good laugh at this sign on the dirt road that lead to Grafton--


In looking a Jim and Gayle’s blog, I had noticed another place that looked like it would be fun.  So one day, I headed to Red Cliffs Recreation Area where I did 2 hikes.  The first was a short one to see a few dinosaur tracks.  A Eubrontes track is below --

Then I headed to the waterfall trail I wanted to do.  It isn’t an official trail of the area, but is considered a wilderness area and probably the “trail” that is hiked the most.   Since so many people hike to the waterfalls and thru the canyon it was fairly easy to find my way by following the many footprints and staying fairly close to the creek.

At one point I followed the footprint trail, going up a small hill and came to this--

I went thru the rocks and scrambled down 4 or 5 feet of rocks.  When I got down, I turned around and found --

I should have just stuck close to the creek and walked around the rocks!  Oh well, it was fun going through the rock cave.

The first waterfall  (the scenery was better than the waterfall)--

The second waterfall --

This was a fun trail, where you had to cross the creek several times.  In bottom photo above, you can see the foot holes that were carved into the rock so make it easier to go up the slickrock.  I had done this type thing before, but for some reason this one seemed a bit harder or I was just a bit more cautious than normal.    I headed up, but after 2 foot holes, I decided to turn around and head back.  

That afternoon, I headed to the Dinosaur Museum in St. George.  This museum was built directly on top of some dinosaur tracks found when a man was clearing his land so that it could be developed.  Eventually they found many different types of dinosaur tracks and fossils.    Some of the tracks were left where they were found, but many were found in the area and brought into the museum. 

I forgot to mention my bike ride in Zion.  Below is a shot taken from the trail.  I had planned on putting my bike on the shuttle and going up canyon.  Then at the end of the canyon riding back down.  Unfortunately, the weather kept me from doing that the last couple of days I was there.  But I did enjoy the short ride I took.

The last few days that I was in the area it was stormy.  One day, it looked like it was going to clear up, so I decided to go for a scenic Drive.  I headed for Utah 12, which goes through the southern part of the Dixie National Forest.  As soon as I headed out, I saw the dark clouds moving back it. 

I kept going and enjoyed the scenery on Utah 12.  Close to the summit, I passed a National Forest Campground – Duck Creek.  I drove through it and decided if I come back to this area, I would like to stay here.  There was some hiking around and it would be cool in the summer since it was at 8400 feet.  Actually while I was there it started snowing a little.  Several places on my drive, I hit rain or snow or sleet!!  It was never much, just enough to make me glad I was in the car and not out hiking!


I basically circled around Zion and ended up going back thru Zion NP and thru the tunnel to get back to Zion.  While on the east side of Zion, the clouds moved back in and we had snow flurries. 

One of my last shots of Zion shows the colors, rock layers and a few hoodoos (near the center of the photo)--

From Zion, I went to Bryce Canyon for a few days.  Blog to be posted in a day or 2 as I attempt to catch up!


  1. How was the Zion River Resort? And don't feel bad, we didn't go over the big rock with the footholds, even with the rope there to hang onto. I think what made it scary was the water below that you would fall into if you lost your footing.
    Too bad you didn't get tor ride your bike up the Zion Canyon road. It was great with no traffic.
    Beautiful pictures, especially the one with the snow!

  2. Beautiful country! I can't wait to get out there.