Today we made our way from Las Vegas to Zion Canyon National Park www.nps.gov/zion . We were pleased to be leaving, perhaps we should have left yesterday, but reasonable rest periods have to be planned in to the travelling schedule otherwise doing this much driving becomes much like hard work, and less of the pleasure it should be. I was again tempted to drive down The Strip slowly, playing ‘Chas & Dave’ songs loudly as I would never have another chance, but I was more interested in getting to Zion which was in the opposite direction to The Strip.
The scenery outside of Las Vegas on I15 was pretty ugly. It was barren with areas of sand and gravel excavation works and lots of overhead electricity pylons. As we moved away from Vegas the landscape became greener, like moving from barren desert to fertile desert. We passed a rather nice community called Mesquite. It looks as if it’s still being developed with really good shopping malls, golf courses and smart housing. I’m sure it’s a sought after place to live if you’ve got the money. I did intend to pull down there to top up with fuel, but missed the slip-road.
As we entered Utah the mountain landscape looked fairly dramatic, and we were now in Mormon country. The last part of today’s journey was done on Hwy 9, to my delight the road surface was really good and a pleasure to drive on.
Nearing Springdale the town next to the Zion National Park entrance we noticed a really nice recreation area down a short ramp (slip road) which was next to a bending fast flowing river. The only vehicles down there were a couple of RV’s. I remarked what a nice spot it was and how it would be lovely if we could wild camp there. We could have a campfire, barbecue and peace and quiet.
We booked in to the Zion Canyon Campground www.zioncanyoncampgound.com which is about half a mile from the entrance to Zion National State Park, something we had to consider not having a tow-car.
The Chef was gone ages getting booked in for just the one night, to the point where I climbed out of the RV, locked it up and was going to find her in the office and suggest that we forget it and go back to the recreation area and take a closer look at that. But I was too late; she came out having finally got us sorted.
Our pitch was right next to the toilet and shower block which sometimes can be a blessing. Where possible we will use a campgrounds shower facilities, but always our own toilet. Here we were issued with two tokens which entitled us to one shower each, if we wanted more we had to pay for them. We noticed that campers and hikers from elsewhere were going to the office, buying tokens and then driving down to use our campground facilities. A nice little earner for the owners but a great intrusion for their paying guests, and given our pitch position we were among those most affected as these visitors cars parked right next to our RV.
Campground booking-out times tend to be 11:00 or 12:00, which is normally fine. However tomorrow we need to keep the RV somewhere while we visit Zion Canyon for the day. We thought of moving it off site in the morning and asking a small shop with a large car park we had passed as we came in to Springdale if we could pay to park it there for the day. We could then catch the free shuttle bus in to the park and at the end of the day pick up the RV and go down to the recreation area we discovered for the night. We decided to walk up the road to find the shop and ask. We walked for ages and never did reach it, and so decided that as much as we were growing to dislike our campground, we would book a second night when we arrived back.
The gas BBQ grill played up this evening. The adjustable flow valve has been damaged and it wouldn’t get hot enough to barbecue food properly and so we finished up with baked food rather than barbecued. Never mind there’s always another day. We turned in early to listen to the rain on the roof of the RV and spared a thought for those camping in tents further down the campground.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Zion Canyon Campground & RV Park, 479 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale (GPS: N37.201186 W112.984853).