More Afternoon Adventures near Virgin

Between classes and conferences, it's been a hectic start to the year. Rather than taking days off, we've found it's more realistic to take off a couple hours in the afternoon for exploration.

Zion Swan

One of our favorite stops is just a few miles north of the campground at the pond to enjoy the birds including geese, swans, and eagles.

Larry at Rock artRock Art in Zion

A beautiful, warm day called us to Zion National Park. Although we'd been in the area for several months, this was our first trip into the main area of the park. We traveled through the canyon, then up through the tunnel to the east side of Zion.

After finding a nice spot to park, we walked down into the wash, under the road, and down the canyon to see the petroglyphs. This is an area that isn't on the park maps, but it popular because of the great rock art.

Zion Rock ArtZion Rock Art

After enjoying the art, we continued up the slick rock and enjoyed the views passing several water tanks and ending up in a slot canyon.


Rock artOn the way back, we again stopped at the rock art and found a wonderful hunting scene.

We imagined a storyteller standing against the rock using the artwork as the backdrop for retelling great adventures around the campfire.



Annette Sketching

We love hiking in the afternoon because the low sun shines on the rock walls. The colors are magnificent. The late afternoon is also the best time to see wildlife.

Sunset in ZionDeer in Zion

Toquerville Falls

Since our first trip to the area, we'd been hearing about some falls in the area. A recent murder in near the falls renewed our interest in checking it out. At the west end of Toquerville, we found a road leading up the mountain.

Black Mountain view

At a Y intersection, we headed west to the top of the mountain for great views of the LaVerkin, Hurricane, and St. George in the distant. The hill was filled with communication towers.


After returning to the Y intersection, we headed north toward the falls. We could see it in the distance. Although the falls were a short drop, there was an impressive amount of water for such as dry area.


This would be a great place for a picnic. Since we didn't bring food, we just did a little sketching and enjoyed the roar of the falls.

Annette at Falls

Hop Valley to North Zion

There are many remote areas in Zion. One afternoon we headed out into Hop Valley on a dirt road to explore the area between Hop Valley and the north unit of Zion. Since we left late in the day, we weren't able to make it to the end of the road. Sometime we'll need to explore the area around Burnt Mountain and beyond.


Naturalist Hikes

NaturalistWhile Annette was freezing at a conference in Wisconsin, Larry spent a day with friends from the campground hiking with a naturalist. They took short hikes into the National Park to explore the natural areas.




The group had many questions about the geology of the area. They spent lots of time examining the interesting rock formations.


NaturalistAlthough the naturalist wasn't an expert in geology, he was willing to share his thoughts on a wide variety of topics.

It was particularly interesting to hear about his extensive knowledge of the plants of the National Park.


Annette was very jealous when she returned from her trip, so Larry promise to share all he learned.


Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 2/06.