Ron Kay has been a Zion's National Park explorer and guide for more than 30 years. He recently published a new book called "Zion National Park: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Zion National Park But Didn't Know Who to Ask." This sounded like an open invitation to ask. Kay had some great inside information to offer that will make your trip to Zion National Park a more enriching and exciting experience.
UtahAdventurer.com: What is your favorite little-known spot in Zion and why?
Ron Kay: Definitely Kolob Canyon. It's a beautiful scenic drive, the geology is extremely diverse, the elevation is different than the rest of the park, and it's an amazing place to go. Very few people visit it because it's not a well-known tourist site and it has very easy access and considerable beauty. It's my No. 1 recommendation.
UA.com: What are your top five unknown facts about Zion you like to tell people at parties?
Kay: I love little-known trivia. It's a huge reason I wrote my book. I want people to know about Zion not just what to do there. My top five are:
1. Zion has year-round mild temperatures.
2. It's far more diverse in plant life, animals, and geology than people realize.
3. There are many sections that get very little notoriety but offer a lot…like Kolob.
4. Zion Mountain Carmel Tunnel has a rich history. It took a lot to achieve its creation. It allows Zion to be more accessible and a greater asset to its visitors.
5. Any age will find intriguing, challenging, and fun things to do in Zion. It's a great family destination. We have also noticed an increasingly large amount of foreign visitors.
UA.com: Finally, can you tell me what you think visitors' top 2 mistakes are when they come to Zion?
Kay: Sure…that's easy. We see these two way too often.
1. People get overwhelmed once they are here and realize the size and scope of the park. Be prepared and do your homework. Know what you want to see the most and plan accordingly so you can make the most of your time.
2. People underestimate the extreme temperatures that exist in Zion. You can start the day at 80 degrees, and then hit 103 degrees in the afternoon, and finally drop to 70 degrees at night. We recommend that you always wear layers and be on the look out for signs of dehydration.