I got tickets to a concert in Las Vegas during President’s Weekend. The three day weekend, and the concert being on Sunday, meant that the option of visiting Zion National Park opened up. And of course, nearby Zion National Park was Toquerville Falls.
The pics have been floating everywhere. A waterfall. That you can drive over. And is within relatively easy reach of civilization. If I was gonna be in the area, then I had to go.
Unfortunately, despite St. George being about the closet point of Utah to California, Utah is still rather far away. We left early on Friday morning to make the drive through four states. Halfway through the trip, I realized that we would lose an hour because we were traveling east, which put us in even more of a time crunch. Oops.
It was about 4:30 pm by the time we hit the trailhead to Toquerville Falls. The sun hung low in the sky. Sunset was supposed to be a little after 6, and we really wanted to start setting up camp before sunset.
The first couple miles of Spring Dr., the route out of town to the falls, proved surprisingly rough, but wasn’t technically difficult. After you finish the initial climb, the trail forks. From the fork, there is a western trail and an eastern trail to Toquerville Falls. The eastern trail is harder but includes multiple water crossings that looked cool. The original plan was to take the eastern trail to the falls, but since I didn’t think we could do it in an hour, that plan was abandoned. We would take the faster way in.
The western trail, from the fork, was quite smooth and fast all the way to the falls. The area around of the falls was quite rutted and a bit wet from recent rainstorms, but when you first get a glimpse of the falls, it’s pretty amazing.
Especially when you then drive your vehicle over the falls. I think we’re contractually required to drive our vehicles over Toquerville Falls if we’re in the area, right?
The water level wasn’t high, but it was still a lot of fun driving across the fall. And very very cool.
Having had my fun, and with daylight waning fast, we turned our attention to setting up camp. As we were the only ones there, we initially decided on a bluff overlooking the falls for our campsite. However, as it would be a cold night, we moved to the other side of the bluff (really just the other side of a rock on the bluff) to have some more camp fire warmth in the night. This move included moving a fire ring that was already set up.
Soon after moving camp, we had another visitor drive in with a new built Tacoma. He drove in to the spot we had just abandoned, and set up camp. About 10 feet away from us.
We understood that was probably the best looking spot in the area, and really where you needed to be to get the best shots, but it was still a weird experience. Some pleasantries were exchanged though and he and his girlfriend were very nice people. Furthermore, they were quiet and weren’t disruptive. This was gonna be fine. We settled down to cook our dinner.
I’ve had a history of eating various degrees of instant food on these trips. However, now that my girlfriend has gotten quite into these trips, we now eat better. She’s generally the cook for these trips, and boy was the food delicious this time. Some of the best chicken wings I’ve ever had (they’d been seasoning in a Ziplock bag the entire way up).
And a delicious steak. The steak had the magical ability to stay juicy, despite us cooking them a bit more well done than what you’d find at a steakhouse.
There were also some veggies, but I neglected to take a picture of the non-protein. As they say, you don’t win friends with salad.
With dinner taken care of, we settled down to view the stars and just relax. It’s been too long since a nice trip like this. The last time we were out, I got food poisoning leading a trip to Black Canyon. Being able to barely keep it together while still leading a group was an experience I hope to never repeat again.
The night was cold though. The forecast was for below freezing low temperatures, which meant not only did we use the campfire, the propane heater also came out to provide some extra heat from the back. That gave a really nice bubble of warmth before we retired for the evening.
The next morning, at the early hour of 9 am while everyone else was still sleeping, I decided to do some exploring of the area.
It’s kind of amazing how such a small stream could provide the water for what seems to be a huge waterfall.
And the red Utah hills are always great to look at.
Once finished exploring and back at camp, we ate a quick breakfast and broke camp. We had to go to Zion after all so there wasn’t a lot of time to waste. The way out, we took it a bit slower and enjoyed the beautiful scenery that we could only glance at on the way in. This is looking north towards Kolob Canyon, which you can see in the distance.
Still, I just couldn’t help exploring some more. We took a detour on a side trail up to some communications towers.
Which provided a gorgeous view of Hurricane, Utah.
There were also campsites dotted along the ridgeline. I’m sure they’re absolutely lovely, but considering the exposure, they might work better in the summer. Still, look at that view.
The side trail was fairly steep and portions were a bit rocky. They weren’t technically challenging, but punctures were something that was on my mind.
The entire way was just gorgeous though. Pretty much every section had a great, Instagrammable view. No wonder why this area is so popular.
Still, by around noon, we were off the trail and on our way to Zion. We made a quick lunch stop in Springdale and filled up on some much needed coffee before getting into a long line entering the park.
Zion is my favorite national park because of how beautiful it is. Amazingly, despite being the off season, the park was still quite full of people. It might have been President’s Day weekend or the unseasonably warm weather making it a really pleasant time to visit, but it was packed.
We drove around Zion a bit and took a quick hike on the Canyon Overlook Trail. By the time we finished our hike, it was late afternoon and we had to ileave for Vegas. Nevertheless, It was a nice short trip, and a reminder of how nice it was to get out (while not suffering from food poisoning).
P.S. Toquerville Falls is getting very popular. When we were coming down, we passed multiple vehicles going to the falls. Unfortunately, with this newfound popularity comes people that are perhaps not as well behaved. We found a bunch of trash at the falls and also found trash on the trail to and from the falls. Please, pack it in, pack it out.