Southwest Road Trip Part 4: Zion National Park

From the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, we headed straight to Zion National Park, just 40 minutes away. In the Spring, Zion runs a shuttle system for visitors and closes off Zion Scenic Drive to private vehicles in an effort to better manage traffic and crowds. Dogs aren't allowed on the shuttle and we realized that we missed our opportunity to do the scenic drive ourselves by a mere 5 days. (There's always next Winter!) We were, however, able to drive through Zion-Mount Carmel Highway to explore the less popular east side of the park, which worked out perfectly as our route from Kanab took us straight into the park's East Entrance. Unlike Bryce Canyon, there weren't as many opportunities to stop and let Hoku stretch his legs, but he was able to stick his face out the window and enjoy all the sights and smells from the car. 


One of the highlights of the drive was seeing a herd of Big Horn Sheep grazing right on the side of the road. They were much too focused on getting at the shrubbery stuck in the rocks to give a damn about the tourist paparazzi that had gathered round to watch. 


We had initially hoped to hike the one dog friendly trail in Zion called the Pa'rus Trail, but it was so difficult to find parking near the trailhead and the Visitors Center that we decided to call it a day. While Zion has probably been the most crowded and restrictive national park we've visited so far, it's not hard to see why all of its stunning, natural beauty attracts so many visitors and is worth protecting.