Destinations: Zion National Park, Utah
Visit Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah.
Nestled where the Mojave, the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau meet, Zion requires adjectival adeptness to even approach an accurate description.
Zion National Park
What: Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah.
How to Get There: It’s an easy one-day freeway ride from L.A. Grab Interstate 10 East, then I-15 North through Nevada into Utah, to Utah Route 9 East. Follow the mountains and the blue skies; you can’t miss it. From the south, pick up State Route 89 North in Flagstaff and watch for the signs where Route 89 crosses 9 West before Mt. Carmel, Utah. From the northeast, hop onto I-70 West and grab the exit for Route 89 South.
Best Kept Secrets: Casa de Amigos Restaurant in Springdale, just outside of the park. The shredded chicken burritos are just perfect. For a different Zion perspective, take the Kolob Resevoir Road to see things from the north looking down into Zion. Check weather conditions first, as the road climbs to 8,000 feet-plus and may be impassible during the winter months. Kolob Terrace Road begins in Virgin, Utah, about 13 miles west of Springdale. Look for a sign to the Kolob Reservoir.
Avoid: Not watching the road. The scenery is so spectacular that people may stop in the road. And don’t forget a camera!
More Info: National Park Service
More Photos: MotoFoto
Zion. The name implies something biblical, something heavenly, and it’s easy to understand that’s what Mormon settlers had in mind when they entered this area in the mid-1800s. The crown jewel of the National Park system, Zion is as close to heaven as you can get without a one-way ticket.
My strong feelings for Zion are personal: It was the destination of my first big motorcycle trip. My riding buddy and dear, departed friend Dick Scott suggested Zion back when we were going through our Harley phase, and it was beyond beautiful as we rolled into the park on Utah Highway 9. Zion exceeded anything I could have imagined; I remember feeling like I was riding into a Western painting.
Nestled where the Mojave, the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau meet, Zion requires adjectival adeptness to even approach an accurate description. Pastel pink mountains, verdant vegetation, electric blue skies and emerald pools combine with abundant wildlife to create a surreal collage of seemingly endless picture postcard scenes. As national parks go, it’s small, but the scenery is absolutely over the top. I’ve been to a lot of places on this planet, and I can state with certainty that Zion’s beauty is unsurpassed.