Z: Zion National Park

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Shangri-La Days shares peaceful and relaxing places to visit, rejuvenate and restore your soul. Follow us and the posts will go directly to your inbox. Don’t worry, after April we go back to our once a week schedule, so your inbox won’t explode.

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Z: Zion National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUtah’s First National Park

Follow the paths where ancient native people and pioneers walked. Gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. Experience wilderness in a narrow slot canyon. Zion’s unique array of plants and animals will enchant you as you absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures.

With elevations ranging from 3,600 to 8,700 feet, Zion National Park has a diversity of plant communities, supporting more than 900 species of plants. Changing elevations, temperature ranges, and varying amounts of sun and water, as well as species from the Colorado Plateau, Basin and Range, and Mojave Desert, all create a mosaic of habitats within the park.

When visiting Zion, each time you look up and see any of the 288 species found on the park’s bird list, take heart in knowing that by being here you help them thrive. You offer your highest and best to the idea that all of nature contained in our 232 square mile sanctuary, and beyond, is worthy of saving. May the wandering spirit of all our avian friends inspire in you a new understanding of what it means to fly free.

Do you have a favorite place where you like to go retreat and find peace? Where is it at? Leave us a comment about your favorite sanctuary location. We’d love to know!

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Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, a mecca to artists, outdoorsmen and those on a spiritual quest, lies south of Flagstaff, boasting an array of brilliant red and orange sandstone formations. The awe striking natural formations that surround the land beckon to travelers seeking a serene place for recreation and introspection. I’ve only been there once. I long to return.

McD in SedonaMy days in Sedona were spent visiting only a handful of the artists’ studios that abound. I think one of my favorite sights was the local McDonalds. No golden arches here. In Sedona they boast turquoise arches. After some galleries, we traveled to Chapel of the Holy Cross. A drive up the winding road to the top for a tour and the grandiose view is definitely a must if you’re in the area. A trip to Oak Creek Canyon, once I could drag myself away, led us north to Flagstaff, where we still encountered some snow in patches, although it was April.

According to Wikipedia, “The first Anglo settler, John J. Thompson, moved to Oak Creek Canyon in 1876. The early settlers were farmers and ranchers. Oak Creek Canyon was well known for its peach and apple orchards. In 1902, when the Sedona post office was established, there were 55 residents. In the mid-1950s, the first telephone directory listed 155 names. Some parts of the Sedona area were not electrified until the 1960s.”

sedonaThere’s definitely more than 55 residents now. Wikipedia reports that “Sedona was named after Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly (1877–1950), the wife of Theodore Carlton Schnebly, the city’s first postmaster, who was celebrated for her hospitality and industriousness.”

If you make a trip to Sedona, and I definitely recommend a March or April trip as opposed to an August visit, be sure to check out some of these locations.

Oak Creek Canyon: a breathtaking 14 mile scenic tour between Sedona and Flagstaff

http://www.arizona-leisure.com/oak-creek-canyon-drive.html

Chapel of the Holy Cross:

http://www.chapeloftheholycross.com/store/default.asp#.VQMvz5VFBMs

Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness

http://www.dreamsedona.com/secret-mountain-wildrness.html