Bryce Canyon National Park (UT)

On the afternoon of our arrival, along the Bryce Canyon scenic drive, the temperature was in the 40s and a stiff wind was stinging our faces and blowing dust and sand into our eyes. Snow was clearly visible on the higher slopes. Sound like vacation in the winter? Only a few hours earlier we were... Continue Reading →

Kodachrome Basin State Park (Cannonville, UT)

Kodachrome Basin State Park is a curious name. What does a popular slide film from Kodak have to do with a state park? It turns out that in 1949, the National Geographic Society did a story and took photographs of the area and named it after the new film that Kodak introduced. Never mind that... Continue Reading →

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (UT)

At 1.9 million acres, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) is the largest park in the Southwest, but one of the least visited. This is one big mother of a park, complete with all the geologic wonders that make the Southwest so visually stunning—hoodoos, slot canyons, buttes, mesas, towering cliffs, all in brilliant colors of vermillion, burnt... Continue Reading →

Antelope Canyon (Page, AZ)

No trip to the Southwest would be complete without a visit to perhaps the most beautiful (and over-hyped) slot canyon in the world: Antelope Canyon. The breathtaking photographs are everywhere, in travel magazines, on the internet, and virtually anywhere you come across the subject of Southwest travel: narrow sandstone slots flanked by radiant walls of... Continue Reading →

Glen Canyon Dam (Page, AZ)

Fraught with controversy from the beginning, the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam was undertaken to provide a cheap source of hydroelectric power and to regulate the flow of water to downstream areas of the Southwest that needed a more consistent supply during drought years. Even to this day, there are environmental impact studies to... Continue Reading →

Wire Pass (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs)

The Southwest is famous for its slot canyons, narrow passageways carved out of sandstone by the erosive power of fast, flowing water. These canyons typically have very high, vertical walls, making them shadowy and dark for most of the day. They become illuminated to the floor only when the sun is directly overhead. Some passages... Continue Reading →

Checkerboard Mesa, Zion National Park (UT)

Just east of the Mt. Carmel Tunnel lies Checkerboard Mesa, a remarkable example of crossbedding in Navajo sandstone, a mesa which you can't help but notice along the highway. Over eons in what used to be a great desert, shifting sands deposited one layer after another, their orientations determined by winds, all eventually cemented over... Continue Reading →

Angel’s Landing Hike, Zion National Park (UT)

You reach a point somewhere on Scouts Lookout when you have to decide if you’re going to finish the last one-quarter mile of the Angels Landing hike that ascends a narrow fin of rock over a saddle and hogsback. On either side, the trail drops off precipitously over a thousand feet to the Zion Valley floor, with... Continue Reading →

Hidden Canyon Trail, Zion NP (UT)

What started out as a hike to Weeping Rock turned into a much longer, splendid hike toward Hidden Canyon. Instead of turning left at the interpretive panel as we should have, we mistakenly turned right. After an hour of hiking that severely tested our legs and lungs, the trail became progressively more challenging, a portion of... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: