Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad. Psalm 14:7 (NKJV)
Are you looking for a fun family vacation in God’s creation where you will be reminded of God’s Word and promises? Where there are activities for children of all ages? Where accessibility is ensured and shuttles deliver you from April to October to your next scenic point? I have just the place for you, and now is the time to plan your trip!
Last July our family made a trek to Zion National Park in southern Utah to rendezvous with our New Mexico cousins. And though it was 100 degrees and the crowds were at their peak, we had a wonderful time exploring this unique National Park.
My dear sister-in-law made reservations for us in March, and the closest campsites at that time were an hour away in Cedar City at the KOA. The hour drive wasn’t so long because of the pretty scenery and time to discuss hiking plans. The Cedar City KOA had a central picnic area where we could join our cousins for meals, though the KOA itself was better for RVs than for tents.
But when we saw the campsites in Zion National Park, we knew that’s where we would like to stay next time. For the Park campsites you must make reservations now, because they fill up by December. The park campsites are convenient to the shuttles, trails, visitor centers, and ranger programs. You can even take a shuttle back into the town of Springdale for groceries. Nestled among the trees in their own quiet area, the campsites are the way to experience Zion. If you still want to be in the Park, but not out in the elements, try the beautiful Zion Lodge.
So, how does Zion National Park remind us more of God’s Word than the other three National Parks in southern Utah (Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Arches National Parks), or the Grand Canyon, just two hours away in Arizona? Though Zion Park gained its title from Mormon pioneers, a Methodist pastor, Frederick Fisher, gets the credit for many of the park’s names. Pastor Fisher named three peaks after the Biblical Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Running through the Park is the Virgin River, named for the Virgin Mary who gave birth to our Lord Jesus. Another edifice, “The Alter of Sacrifice.” memorializes the Old Testament story of Abraham obediently offering his son Isaac, foretelling God giving His only Son Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. Rounding out the Biblical illusions are the Great White Throne, Angels’ Landing, and Watchman.
…And I will place salvation in Zion,
For Israel My glory. Isaiah 46:13 (NKJV)
Numerous activities beckon every visitor who enters Zion National Park. From early morning ranger hikes to late evening campfire programs, to talks and hikes throughout the days. I asked our six year old son what he liked best about Zion, and he replied, “Soaking my feet in the Virgin River after that super long hike.” I must add to his list, earning a Junior Ranger Badge, successfully hiking to the top of Observation Point in 100 degree weather, and making it back down, even though we ran out of water! We also took the shuttle to end of the road to visit the River Walk and convinced ourselves we must hike The Narrows on our next visit (this is a hike in the river, so we have to plan our trip for non-flood season and rent special shoes, June and early July might be best).
Today’s TEA CUPP: Take Jesus on your next vacation or camping trip. Start your day with a family devotion and prayer, then head out early to make the most of your day with hiking and fun times with your family. Thank Jesus for His beautiful creation and let each family member say thank you for their favorite part of the day. Get started here…Plan your trip here!
Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people. Psalm 9:11 (NKJV)
And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ ” Isaiah 51:16 (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.