When planning this trip, we made sure to allot a good amount of time to southern Utah so we can take our time to explore Zion National Park. We are so glad that we did!
After our visit to Bryce Canyon National Park (Check out our previous blog post), we made our way to St. George, where we stayed for a total of 5 nights.
The next day, our second day of exploring Utah, started pretty early at Zion NP. We got to the park early enough to get a great (and free!) parking spot right outside of the park. We took the free shuttle inside and we did the “Emerald Pools” hike. We started the hike about 8am but that was too late – the sun was already blasting. The hike was nice, but it was brutal just because of the inferno. Unfortunately, one of the pools was not emerald because folks ignored the no swimming signs and ended up stirring up the water so much that the algae was no longer visible.
When we got back to our hotel, we got cleaned up and got ready to go out. A huge added bonus of staying in St. George, is the fact that our good friend from high school marching band, Jessica, lives there. She invited us to a “Wine Social” (basically, a potluck with wine and beer) at the local Elks lodge. It was great to hang out with Jessica, her boyfriend Dom, and his family.
The next morning, on Jessica’s recommendation, we went to the Bear Paw for breakfast. We had a yummy veggie omelette with home fries and a side of bacon. Thankfully, we decided to share because those Bear Paw portions were generous and we were bear-ly able to finish it.
Later on that afternoon, we decided to explore the city a bit. We went to the main Mormon temple to take some pictures. It is a beautiful white building with a steeple so tall that you can see it from almost anywhere in the area. Next, we visited an area downtown called Town Square. It was hot in ways that were seriously offensive! We found a table in the shade in front of the “Splash Pad” where about a dozen kids were running through the flowing water spouts. We walked around the adjoining park, saw the carousel, and the other areas with flowing water where children can cool off.
We then decided that we needed to cool off… with a cold sweet treat. The few times we have had the chance to see Jessica over the past 4 years she has been in St. George, she has raved about Nielsen’s Frozen Custard. Jessica met us up and we all enjoyed some much needed cold sweetness. We shared an “Oreo Almond Concrete” – it was delicious. It’s the same concept as a McFlurry but, so so so so so much better.
We then grabbed a quick dinner across the street and then went to visit some petroglyphs (ancient Native American rock engravings) and some dinosaur tracks at the Warner Valley Dinosaur Track Site!
While at the dino track site, on a long stretch of dirt road, we were able to watch the sun start to set.
After that, we called it a day to get to sleep early. The 3 of us made plans to wake up super early the next morning to beat the heat for our next adventure at Zion. Our next post will tell you all about that and more!