Your experience at Zion is more than the up-valley ride on the bus and hikes along the way. As soon as you turn west off US 89, you start to get the flavor of the wilderness that you are heading into. You even get a glimpse of one of the desert varnish-stained walls inside the park. Soon after you pass the entrance gate you'll see Checkerboard mesa and gain some appreciation for what water and wind can do. Then the winding, winding road through red rocks, and through tunnels, and switch backs to the valley floor. Awe-inspiring every inch of the way. And you get to reverse it on the way out (if you are staying east of the park which I recommend). That way, staying East, you have the sun behind you as you drive in, so maximum impact on red rocks, and then the same going out, with the sun behind you this time.
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