Spring-Time Weather – A Storm at Zion Park, Utah
I had a custom tour to Zion National Park scheduled for today, and I always check the weather before picking up my guests.
Spring is here in Zion Park now, and thunderstorms and lightning were expected later today all over the Southwest.
The storm would cover a large area, from the Las Vegas valley to the Grand Canyon and of course, to our destination at Zion in Southern Utah.
The temperature in Zion Park when I checked at 4:30am was 34 degrees, and a high of 48 degrees was expected.
Some guests had flown into Las Vegas from North Carolina and were staying at the Wynn resort on The Strip. They were expecting sunshine and blue skies, which is normal for this time of year.
I warned about the weather, and asked if they wanted to go back to their room for long pants and long-sleeved shirts or a jacket – and they told me they had not brought anything but summer clothes.
The safety and comfort of our guests is important to us, so we added a quick shopping trip for them at our first comfort stop in Mesquite, Nevada. About 10 minutes later they came back to the bus with long pants and light jackets. Good choice.
We followed the rain from Mesquite to St. George (Utah), to Hurricane, and finally Springdale, the gateway to Zion National Park. The desert had been washed clean for us the whole way.
Rain has a remarkable impact on the desert – everything changes.
Rain washes the dust off all the plants, allowing their true colors to be seen – bright and beautiful.
Rain darkens the red and white sandstone, too, and changes the visual character of the desert, really bringing it to life right before your eyes.
Anyway, we must have been 30 minutes or so behind the storm, and we thought we would actually miss the rain.
We picked up our freshly-made box lunches from Switchback Grille & Trading Company, one of our favorite restaurants in Springdale (just outside the entrance to Zion), and headed into the park.
Before we got off the bus at the Zion Park Visitor Center, a black cloud scooted over and within minutes, it began to rain.
Was this Zion Park tour going to be a disaster for my guests?