As we finally left the Springdale Utah/Zion National Park area for nearby Las Vegas, we couldn't pass up a quick pit stop in St. George. The Dinosaur Discovery site at Johnson Farm houses one of the largest displays of dino tracks the country. Walk through the large warehouse full of giant slabs of sandstone to examine dino tracks close-up. You can even check out the Jurassic Park-like on-site preparation lab to see scientists at work! We were through the museum and gift shop in about an hour - it was totally worth a visit. Next stop: Vegas baby!
~Paul, Amber, Sis
This is our last post from Utah's Zion National Park! It gives you a few more day-trip ideas to sprinkle throughout your visit. All of the stops in this post could almost be done in one long day...so if you've got the time and a car - go for it!
The first part of this trip is a beautiful and steep drive out of Zion on Utah 9. This takes you through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, a mile long rock tunnel (it's super-super dark). As you head up the mountain towards the tunnel you'll have a few opportunities to pull off a get a good look at the Great Arch (pictured below left). Although you're not supposed to stop while driving through the tunnel, you'll still see a few windows cut out of the rock (below right).
As you leave the tunnel and head down the mountain you'll pass by the Checkerboard Mesa (above).
Heading just a little out of the way, towards Bryce Canyon on 89, you'll discover some local rock shops (and lots of metal dinosaurs).
We also made a visit to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and went on a scheduled free tour. If you have any animal lovers in your party it's a must.
With an amazing visit to Zion National Park behind us we ventured back to Las Vegas for some good times and fancy Japanese food. Check back here Thursday for a quick taste of the Las Vegas strip!
~Paul, Amber, Sis
I hate to break it to you, but Bryce Canyon isn't technically a canyon. Oh well. It's still pretty cool and a nice day-trip from Zion National Park in Utah. It will take you under 2 hours to get to Bryce nearby Zion. There's great trails here and you'll quickly be exploring the hoodoos (rock pillars) and the natural rock features of the park. Where a lot of Zion trails start at the bottom and go up, Bryce's trails start at the top and head down into one of many natural rock amphitheaters. Bring some warm clothes - we visited in April and there was snow on the plateau!
~Paul, Amber, Sis, Dad, Susan
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