22nd Jun, 2011

Arrived at Zion National Park on May 28, 2011 & Cedar Breaks National Monument on June 4, 2011

From Glen Canyon National Recreation Area we headed up Scenic Highway 89 towards Zion National Park.

The views from the highway were fantastic!

We also drove through Kanab, UT. 200+ movies (all Westerns) were shot nearby and it’s not hard to understand why – the natural scenery around the area is spectacular. There were also tons of stores decked out in old west style offering western merchandise. Denny’s Wigwam was our favourite offering everything from petrified wood chunks out front to cowboy boots and souvenirs inside.

We drove the entire day before settling in at a campground just north of Glendale, UT for $28 per night. After the $14/night price in New Mexico it took a few days to get used to these ‘high’ prices.

Thankfully our site was far from others so at least it felt private.

And the view was great! After weeks of travelling through the desert it was nice to finally see trees and grass again.

They even had horses. We took this picture for our good friend Sue.

We fell asleep to the sound of a nearby waterfall. When we checked it out in the morning we were surprised to find an overturned car. That’s what made the waterfall! In our later drives around the countryside we saw this a few times (old cars in gullies). It turns out that’s how farmers keep water erosion at bay. Environmentalists are trying to stop the practice while locals are happy with the solution.

We drove off to Zion National Park. Thankfully we followed the speed limit so we didn’t get caught by this speed trap.

What a minute…is that really the Sheriff?

As we neared Zion National Park we saw free roaming Buffalo…

…and even some little ones!

Finally arrived at Zion National Park! This place is so amazing words and pictures hardly do it justice.

One of our first stops was the Checkerboard Mesa formed from Navajo Sandstone. The horizontal lines are from the original sand dunes that make up the sandstone while the vertical lines are thought to be caused by shallow cracks that eroded.

The park has its share of wildlife, but this trio were the most spectacular.

This little guy was neat looking too.

At one of the roadside stops we glimpsed this slot canyon.

It’s amazing how destructive water erosion is…but also how beautiful.

Just before entering the 1.1 mile tunnel that takes us down into the canyon, we hiked up the Canyon Overlook trail to check out the other side.

Here’s the view without us in the picture. After the tunnel we drove the series of switchbacks before finally reaching the visitor center at the bottom.

From the highway it’s possible to see the Great Arch. The Canyon Overlook is just above it.

We hiked several trails – Temple of Sinawava, Weeping Rock, Emerald Pools, the Grotto, Court of the Patriarchs – but Angels Landing takes the cake. In addition to the switchbacks from the picture above…

…we had to climb up “Walts Wiggles”…

…a series of 21 switchbacks…up, up, and up to one of the highest points in the park.

Thankfully there were some shady spots where we could water up.

The view at the top was amazing!

The view on the way down was great too!

After 3 days of hiking and wandering around Zion National Park, we drove out to Cedar Breaks National Monument.

At 10,600 foot elevation Cedar Breaks had a good deal of snow still on the ground.

Even with the snow, the views were fabulous!

Looks a bit like Bryce Canyon National Park – which is a good thing cause that’s our next update!


what I was looking for, thanks

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