We moved on to the West side of Zion National Park to a nice spot 2 miles north of the town of Virgin, UT on the Kolob Terrace Rd. It's a primitive campground along the river, on private land. The caretaker originally wanted $20 a night each, but we found out that is highly negotiable. We settled on $50 each for the week.
The area around Zion has gotten like Moab. All public land is closed to camping, except in campgrounds, which are always full.
One hike I really wanted to do on this side of Zion is the hike to Hop Valley. I had attempted it once before but didn't make it to the valley. So this time we cheated. We drove on a dirt road about 1 1/2 miles paralleling the trail, then cut over through the brush .4 miles to the trail. Saved a little over a mile each way.
By doing this, we missed the uninteresting part of the trail, and almost immediately got to the scenic part.
After a while, the trail started to descend into the valley, and the scenery got even better.
And we got a great view of the valley.
Now, if we can just find the car...
Also on this side of Zion is the ghost town of Grafton.
It was a Mormon town in the 1860s and only lasted a few years, before everyone moved to safety in the larger town of Rockville.
Pretty scenery and rusty stuff, though....
Phil loves to go driving on dirt roads, so we did a lot of that, too.
Glad he didn't want ME to move that rock...
And rocks weren't the only thing we found on the road!
In town is a cute little commercial fake town, with a Virgin Jail. We also got a kick out of the real Virgin Fire Department.