A short drive from St. George, UT is Zion National Park. We had called ahead and made a three day reservation. As it turned out however we needed a couple of extra days but couldn't get them so we went next door to a private campground about a half mile from the gate.National Park campgrounds are relatively cheap, $12 for the reservation and $12 dollars a day.  Many people make weekend reservations when National and State Parks are close to population centers. If they change their minds in time it only costs the non refundable $12 registration fee, at worst they may have to pay an additional $12 for one day if they can't make it..

Zion National Park is a canyon which was carved out by the Virgin River.

The river is still flowing. It was kind of tame when we were there but in the Spring it becomes a raging force for destruction. Several years ago a high school class was caught in the narrows when a flash flood began, five members of the class were drowned. It is definitely not safe to walk the narrows after a rain even one that may have occurred miles away.

When the Mormon's first came to the canyon they saw it as a sanctuary in the otherwise barren Utah desert so they called it Zion from the Hebrew word for sanctuary.

The scenery at Zion is spectacular.

We were lucky to see this waterfall as it is only here after a rain. Remember the hail storm we were caught in at Snow Canyon.

The Mormon's only named the canyon but were visited by a Methodist Minister who began naming all the mountains.

These are the Patriarchs, George, George and Jeb. Nah actually they are much closer to my heart
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

We had originally planned to stay three days but the Zion Education Association was offering a one day course about Raptor's (Preditors-hawks-eagles and owls) and we wished to attend. The course was presented by a Park Employed Naturalist doing research on Peregrine Falcons and by a local Animal Refuge. The refuge accepts injured Raptors and rehabilitates them. Those that can be released into the wild are released and others are used for presentations like the one we attended.

Notice the Hawks injured wing.

While trying to exit The Checkerboard Mesa Overlook I was met by a visiting Australian in a borrowed car who didn't look when he was backing out of a spot.

I of course panicked but it was only cosmetic. I  pulled into this spot and exchanged information. He drove off, I went and reported to the Rangers and went to a mechanic to make sure I could tow.

We left Zion by  the eastern exit drove up the mountain, paid an extra $10 for a special Ranger escort and drove through the tunnel at the eastern end of the Park.

The tunnel was constructed for auto traffic and vehicles taller then 11 feet can only travel through the center of the road. Trucks aren't allowed but RV's can pay an extra $10 for the privilege of driving down the center of the tunnel while the Rangers hold oncoming traffic. We drove out of the Park on State Road 9 and then South on US 89 into Arizona

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