• Kevin Esser

Zion NP

Less than two hours south west of Panguitch, we reached Springdale. During our stay in this touristy and expensive town, we visited Zion National Park. The famous Riverside Walk and the Narrows Trail are beautiful, but you have to share them with many people. Between these crowds, I didn't expect to find a snake, but Samira discovered a Wandering Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans vagrans) inside of the water. At the park entrance you can rent clunky neoprene boots and a walking stick to walk in the cold water, but we safed the money and went with our sneakers into the river... it was really cold, but still better than wasting money on rental gear or to skip this cool experience.


Virgin River
Virgin River
Sceloporus magister - Desert Spiny Lizard
Sceloporus magister - Desert Spiny Lizard
Habitat of the Wandering Garter Snake
Habitat of the Wandering Garter Snake
Thamnophis elegans vagrans - Wandering Garter Snake
Thamnophis elegans vagrans - Wandering Garter Snake
Narrows
Narrows
Narrow selfies
Narrow selfies

Along the Watchman Trail we saw many lizards. Common Side-blotched Lizards (Uta stansburiana) and Desert Spiny Lizards (Sceloporus magister) were abundant. I was really happy to observe a handsome juvenile Great Basin Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores).


Uta stansburiana - Common Side-blotched Lizard
Uta stansburiana - Common Side-blotched Lizard
Watchman
Watchman
Crotaphytus bicinctores - Great Basin Collared Lizard
Crotaphytus bicinctores - Great Basin Collared Lizard

All in all, Zion National Park might be a little crowded but it is still an amazing place, that offers unique and beautiful landscapes as well as very nice trails. I was especially happy about the reptiles we saw.

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