Spring-time Storm at Zion Park, Utah
We were headed to Utah for a tour of Zion National Park, and the weather forecast told us we might expect thunderstorms and rain.
I had been watching the clouds over northern Arizona and southern Utah since we left Las Vegas.
As experienced guides, we’ve seen it all, and a little spring-time storm doesn’t stop us.
While we were still 50 miles away from Zion Park, we expected that if it did rain at Zion National Park, it would not rain for long.
Patches of heavy black clouds were being pushed across the desert southwest by the wind at about 20 miles per hour.
We picked up our fresh box lunches and headed for the Zion Park Visitor Center. Before we got off the bus, and the rain began – a heavy soaking drizzle.
We decided to stay on the bus and eat our lunch right then. It was a little earlier than usual, but we were hoping the squall would pass over us quickly.
Fifteen minutes later, still raining, we headed for the visitor center. After exploring the exhibits there, we boarded the Zion Park Shuttle Buses.
The clouds that blew in were now covering some of the mountain peaks, a disappointment for sure, but we were still expecting the clouds to blow over.
While the guests were on the Zion Park Shuttle, I decided I would look for some photo opportunities for the website. I got back in the bus and headed to the Zion Park Museum.
Photos were a challenge because the clouds covered the mountains much of the time; a little patience paid off.
Our day tour of Zion Park turned out to be great!
By the time we left Zion Park, the rain was gone and a little blue sky was showing between the clouds. The rocks became visible through the mist of the lower clouds as they passed over Zion Canyon and through Zion Valley.
Our guests had a great time, and had the rare opportunity to watch as waterfalls were created before their eyes – ‘flash-floods’ from the rain high in the rock formations of Zion, falling hundreds of feet as a waterfall to become the Virgin River that would eventually flow to the Colorado River.
The guests said they would not have traded this stormy day for any other. They truly appreciated the stop earlier in the day that allowed them to buy light jackets – they were able to get out in the weather and they completely enjoyed their Zion Park tour.
They got to see Zion National Park differently than most other travelers, and they knew it was very special.
Great photos, unusual weather, another great detour through The Great American West!