We were some of the first people in the park this morning. We wanted to get an early start to beat the crowds and the heat so we were on the trail at first light of 7am. We had a 12 mile hike along the East Rim. Some beautiful views at Jolly Gulch and looking down into the east part of the park as the sun came up. The trail then veered away to more of the woods and we turned around to head into the rest of the park. On our drive it was so quiet in the park we were able to see four big horned sheep.
We took the shuttle bus from the visitors center to Zion Lodge and did a short little hike of 1.5 miles to the Emerald Pools. We were both feeling tired and the heat and crowds were starting to build. The shuttle system here is really good. We also lucked out with a parking spot both times. Going into the East entrance of the park via route 9 is a very good idea. Going through the Springdale side was extremely busy and often people had to pay money to park out there and shuttle in. Go in through the east side so you can see the whole park. I really enjoyed Zion, it’s not my favorite. It is one of more built up parks with a lodge and restaurant right in the park. The east side was much more remote. On our first hike of 12 miles we only saw 5 people. That is the calm and peace that I was hoping for in the parks.