We made good time getting to Zion, and after all the warnings of crowds we were surprised with a painless parking and tour bus experience. I think late April might be a sweet spot for these parks -- after spring break but before May crowds.
Today we hiked all the Emerald Pools plus Grotto trail, Hidden Canyon plus Weeping Wall, and finally the river walk out to the narrows. Tomorrow we will day hike the east rim trail plus Observation Point, about 15 miles total. We are getting some serious mileage on our feet this trip.