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Whether I like it or not, some songs have the power to transport me to a specific place in my life. When I hear Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance,” I’m sitting in the wheel seat, again, of a stinky school bus on my way to a cross country meet, trying to summon the adrenaline needed to compete. The opening swell of “The Simpsons” theme song (a childhood staple show) brings me to my spot at my parent’s kitchen table, with a microwaved Marie Callender’s frozen chicken pot pie (another childhood staple, the only thing I could gnaw on after getting my braces tightened). Also, each time I hear Ms. Lauryn Hill’s “To Zion,” I’m in the driver’s seat of my dusty Prius; it’s a song that we ceremoniously play as we pass the opening gates of Zion National Park.
Fall is the best time to visit Zion. The summer heat won’t turn a canyon into a convection oven, and you’ll have waited out the crowds that spent those hot months fighting for parking spots at Zion trailheads. You’ll also beat the snow that, while lovely, can make some of the best trails slick and a little dangerous. If you’re planning a trip to Utah’s most popular national park this fall, be sure to pack this Spotify playlist.
Obviously, taste is subjective. But to me, these songs embody the experience of visiting Zion, from the warm orange stone to the steep, silent slot canyons. Listening to them is like clutching the chain as you ascend Angel’s Landing, watching the golden sunset turn into the Milky Way from your campsite, and driving through the windy Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, surrounded by red rocks.