Cathy and I are back in Zion National Park, and its good for the soul. It is a one hour drive from St George, where we are staying, to the South Entrance. Our goal today is to drive up the switchbacks and through the tunnel out the East Entrance on Highway 89. There we take a ranch road into a 4 mile hiking trail that is the back door access to Observation Point in the Park. This is a first time hike for us and we are excited. However to our surprise, Highway 89 had washed out in the spring rains and will not reopen until May at the earliest. We didn’t see any signs until we got to the barricades. So what to do?
The shuttles are running and so all the visitor parking lots have filled. We spend most of an hour circling around, and finally park on the road. The Ranger’s advice – this is how it is every day at 11:00 a.m., get here before 9:00 a.m.
Hiking the Watchman Trail
Cathy and I decide to hike the Watchman Trail. Watchman trail head is near the Visitor Center and does not require a ride on a shuttle. This is a vertical hike up to a mesa. We need to be attentive both heading up and coming down as there are lots of exposed rock. In fact we pass one young lady with an ankle sprain. When we get to the top, we take the short Loop Trail around the edge of the mesa and to Lookout Point. There is a great view north into the core of Zion.
Warming up after our hike
There is no cafe that we know of in Zion. So we are pleased to find the Cafe Soleil, a new place beside the Cable Mountain Lodge immediately south of the South Entrance. Americano’s are excellent, tea on the weak side. All and all, a nice way to end a day in Zion.
Cathy and I are on a 6 week driving trip and blogging regularly. Check out other parts of the trip at Coast to Coast USA . We have written about previous visits to Zion National Park. Check out Hiking Zion National Park.