This past summer we went down to Zion National Park during the busiest time of the year where we dealt with long lines and crazy crowds. While we loved our time down there and the sights were beautiful, we were a little discouraged by the amount of people that accompanied us along the trails. Back then we promised each other that we would return in the fall in hopes of smaller crowds and cooler weather to really be able to explore. This past weekend we fulfilled our promise and took off! We wanted to see a different side of the park so we avoided the main canyon and headed up Kolob Terrace Road.
Kolob Terrace Road travels along the west side of Zion National Park and can be accessed from the town of Virgin. This road meanders in and out of the park and starts you out in low desert terrain, and takes you up to the high mountain valleys where you will reach the highest point in Zion. If you have never been to the park before you definitely need to see Kolob Terrace Road because it gives you a different feeling and experience from the hustle and bustle of the main canyon.
Another reason we decided to check out this side of the park was because we wanted to get in some hiking and explore the back country. There are many hikes that take off from Kolob Terrace Road, one being the Subway which is a popular hike in Zion. Since we didn’t get a permit to hike into the Subway this trip we headed into the Valley of Caves to search for the elusive pictographs. We heard that these pictographs are hard to find because there is no trail marker and if you were to ask a park ranger they may not tell you where they are located. The fact that we didn’t know exactly where these were at and if we would find them just added to the adventure.
We were so excited when we finally found them! Each cave had something different and unique inside and we imagined the Native Americans that once lived in them and left their mark for us to find. These truly are a piece of history and a work of art and need to be treated with respect and left untouched.
After finding the pictographs we continued on with our hike and went deep into the back country for the rest of the day. Seeing Zion this way was perfect for us because we like the freedom to roam and wander to make our own path. There is so much to see and endless places to search and explore so we are already planning a return trip. Like always the weekend went by way too fast!