When you plan a large trip, you focus on the big ticket items first.  Once those are nailed down, it’s time to fill in the gaps.  This post is about two stop-gaps between the Grand Canyon and The Grand Tetons; Zion National Park and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

Zion Canyon is located in the southwest corner of Utah and is part of the Grand Circle Tour.  Zion facilities and trail heads are located at the bottom of the canyon which is an interesting contrast to the Grand Canyon’s rim based facilities and trail heads.  Since everything is in the canyon, you are required to use the park shuttle to get to most places in the park.

We spent our first day hiking the Emerald Pools Trails.  The trails were quite busy, and the hike was relatively short and easy.  The hike ended at the upper pool which was a lovely site

We went to The Narrows on our second day at the park.  However, we only hiked the paved portion of the trail.  The main part of the trail involves hiking in the creek through the canyon, but it was closed due to high waters from the snow melt.

My favorite moment of our trip to Zion happened during this hike and I was able to catch it on video…

Our next stop was The Craters of The Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho, land of the potato!  The park is made up of three lava flow areas that erupted as early as 2000 years ago.  If you’re ever in Idaho, this park is worth a stop.

Stay tuned for our next stop in the Grand Tetons where we’ll be boondocking for the first time.