It’s great to live in a state with such great natural wonders. Because of the economy, we decided to shorten our vacation and stay closer to home this year. We have done this vacation before and enjoyed it very much and this time, we took three of our grandchildren with us. My good wife Kim did the vast amount of preparing for this trip since I was off on a paleo conference in Casper, Wyoming. (will blog about this later)
We like to stay just outside of Zions with our trailer where we can get full hook-ups and then do day trips to the various sites around the area. As many times as we have done this, we still have yet to see all the wonders this area of Utah possesses.
Bryce Canyon National Park is in the Clarion Formation. It was deposited by lakes and streams that would dry up periodically. The sediment is a mudstone with beautiful reds, oranges, whites and their beauty changes throughout the day with the angle of the light that shines on them. This is a very soft formation and erodes easily and this has created the various geologic forms of the park. Unless you do one of the many hikes down into the park, you will only see the tops of these formations. We did two of the hikes down into the park.
Zions National Park is in the formations under Bryce Canyon namely Navajo Sandstone and Wingate. These formations are much harder and create huge sheer cliffs. Because of the popularity of Zions the park has initiated a shuttle service which works great. We visited the lower Emerald Pool and the Weeping Wall along with riding the shuttle the entire length of the canyon. In both Bryce and Zions some of the local residents posed for pictures.
A normally overlooked area is Red Canyon that many visitors pass through on their way to Bryce. It is comprised of the Clarion Formation and looks similar to Bryce Canyon. We stopped at the visitors center and hiked one of the short trails. We hope next time we can visit this area in more depth.
All in all we all enjoyed the wonders of nature, the fresh air and getting away!