Spring Break Out West: Day 6

Day 6 – Snow again!  We weren’t deterred and took a beautiful hike through Zion… very interesting to see the trees budding, wildflowers blooming, and cacti covered in snow.  We went to 9 East in Springdale for dinner… this is a special place… great food and great people!

We were eager to get out hiking and took the shuttle to the park.  Something important to note about Springdale and Zion – do not plan to drive your car into the park unless you are staying at the lodge or are camping.  We knew this going in and thought we might find it annoying, however it’s really critical to ensure the park isn’t over-run with cars trying to park.  There is an excellent shuttle system from Springdale to the park and within the park to the trail heads.  Most times, we walked from the hotel to the park which only took about 10 minutes.  Within the park, it takes about 40 minutes to go from the first stop to the last stop… there are 9 stops in total.  Remember to take your receipt from your entrance fee so you are not charged when you re-enter the park.

We planned to take the Emerald Pools trails, which are rated quite basic.  However, as we started our hike a snow squall moved in which made it quite interesting!  It was beautiful to hike as the snow fell, and because of the weather there were less people on the trail.  It was really unique to see the trees budding, the first wildflowers coming out, and cacti covered in snow!

After the hike we had lunch at the Zion Canyon Brew Pub which had good salads, sandwiches, and a nice kid’s menu.  We spent some time in the afternoon relaxing and researching the area for the next day.  

Another important note about Zion National Park and the surrounding area… it contains some of the most iconic “slot canyons” and a natural “subway”.  However, hiking to these areas is not easy and requires preparation, gear, and in some cases permits.  We knew that we would not go on these hikes with Daniel and used the trip to learn more… we plan to take another trip to the area without Daniel to go on these hikes, and now have more knowledge about what we need to do to prepare.  

A friend of Todd’s had visited Springdale just a couple days earlier and suggested that we check out 9 East for dinner… it’s a new restaurant in Springdale… we are so happy that we got the recommendation!  The food was fantastic… inventive, fresh, and delicious.  9 East also has wood fired pizza and goes out of their way to make families comfortable.  Daniel loved his pizza and made a picture for the chef.  To our surprise the chef came out to thank Daniel and then gave us a full tour of the kitchen and invited us back for breakfast… he told Daniel he’d give him a special job… so now you know how Day 7 started!

Key tips:

  • The Springdale and Zion National Park shuttle services are excellent, efficient, and very convenient.

  • Before heading to Zion National Park and the surrounding area, set your expectations regarding the hikes/scenery you want to experience.  If you want to see the slot canyons and subway you will need equipment and may need permits.  Also, some travelers may not be up to the hikes.

  • 9 East is an awesome restaurant – great food, great vibe, and great people!