This week I traveled from Provo to Glendale, Utah, which centrally locates me to several great parks.
One of my bucket list items was to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s a two hour drive from Glendale but it takes you through some nice small towns and through the Kanab Plateau and the Kaibab National Forest.
I have been to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon a couple of times, it is more touristy and more visited than the North Rim.
**** North Rim Grand Canyon
This cool compass was at the Visitors Center, which was closed, but the restrooms and trails were open.
A short walk around the Visitors Center gives you a much different view than its southern counterpart.
At an elevation of 8000 feet the North Rim has a lodge, some cabins and one campground in the park.
The view from Bright Angel Point.
Today will not be a big hiking day but rather a peaceful quiet drive on a scenic road through the canyon.
The following are overlooks along the winding roads leading out to Cape Royal.
Vista Encantada (the enchanted view)
Named after Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States for his efforts in conservation of the Grand Canyon.
This is one of the lowest elevations on the North Rim and a great view of the Unkar Delta.
The small patch of green is actually the ancient homes of the Puebloan people.
This natural arch has a walkway across the top.
Finally a glimpse of the Colorado River and the many different colors the canyon offers.
Amazing views from either side of the point.
The forest floors were covered in Blue Lupine, Indian Paintbrush and Sego Lillies.
The highest overlook on the North Rim has an elevation of 8803 feet.
Driving to and from the North Rim there were visible differences in the terrain.
The top picture is just an example of the devastation a wildfire can produce.
The bottom picture is of the amazing meadows that were abundant at one section of the park.
Most of the scenery on my drive was through wooded areas like you see in the top picture.
Leaving the park today I enjoyed seeing a herd of bison that were grazing.
**** Red Canyon
Part of the Dixie National Forest, this canyon area exposes you to orange-red limestone formations and tunnels.
**** Bryce Canyon National Park
After driving through the Red Canyon I reached my destination of Bryce Canyon National Park.
I had read that when visiting the canyon for the day it is best to drive out to the end and work your way back as all the overlooks are on that side of the road. I am glad I took this advice!
Bryce Canyon has a higher elevation (9115′) than the Grand Canyon to the south (8803′)
I am doing the driving tour today and bringing you along so enjoy the colors and beautiful rock formations.
As you can see wildfires are a threat to every park and every forest.
We will be getting out of the truck and taking a short 1 mile roundtrip hike from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point.
Note all the hoodoos! What’s a hoodoo? It is a spire of rock that has an easily eroded column and a more resistent cap. They are called “hoodooos” due to their eeriness. They are also called “fairy chimneys” and “goblins” Bryce Canyon National Park has the highest concentration of hoodoos in the world.
What a great day and a great park! We saw deer and I even managed a selfie with the girls on our hike!
Leaving the park there is a great area for lodging and eating. Also a free shuttle pick up to go through the park.
**** Peek-A-Boo Canyon
Mad Max has nothing on me! LOL
This afternoon I took a tour on a Razor to Peek-A-Boo Canyon.
Along the way there was a Hoodoo.
Peek-A-Boo is a slot canyon, which is a long narrow channel with sheer rock walls.
The slot canyon takes on different colors of pink, orange, red and brown. Sometimes they even look like they are on fire!
I took a bunch of pictures through the slot canyon. Please enjoy! I sure did!
Sorry for the over abundance but I couldn’t help myself because each turn had a new view.
This next area we went to the Guide called “The Wave”
We hiked all the way around the rock to this big bowl that looked like a giant wave.
The Guide pointed out these petroglyps but I am not sure they are ancient, especially in this sandstone.
When you pour water on certain rocks you get stars. Can you see them?
Lichen was also visible throughout the hike.
Looking from higher ground you can see the Magnum Fire in northwest Arizona. I visited the North Rim three days ago and as the fire threatens, the park is now closed.
The bottom picture is part of the “Grand Staircase ”
Yellow wildflower is Alpine Sunflower, lavender is Lupine and small flowers bottom left are Asters
As the day comes to an end it will be one I will remember forever!
**** Zion National Park
Zion is not the easiest park to get into right now. The shuttle buses are not running and if you don’t want to walk 8 miles just to take your first hike in the Narrows you better get there early!
So this morning I was up at 3:30 a.m. and at 4:35 a.m. I was waiting in line to get into the park with the other 399 cars allowed in at 6 a.m.
It was worth it!
A crescent moon peeking over a mountain top as I wait.
As I make my way to the end of the park the sun is starting to cast its light on the towering rocks.
It’s a cool 60 degrees as I make my way along the Riverside Walk.
North Fork Virgin River.
As the Riverside Walk ends the Narrows begin. In order to get to the Narrows you follow this below…..Nope! I don’t think so it’s too cold for me.
It was a lovely 2 mile walk.
As the sun rises higher the colors of the rock change even more.
There were paths that took you along the rivers edge.
Here you can see in the picture on the left the mineral deposits on the side of the rock.
The picture on the right is a great example of what is called “desert varnish”.
My breakfast spot today.
Ravens are popular in Utah. Also you can see Golden Columbine and Showy Milkweed .
Even more color in the rocks.
Awwww and he was only feet away and look at those ears!
A very pleasant walk this morning indeed.
The Temple of Sinawava is the huge amphitheatre to the entrance of the Riverside Walk and the Narrows as shown above.
Below are two interesting rock formations, also with “desert varnish”.
Peeking through the canyon is the “Great White Throne”.
The sun continues to bring out the vibrant colors in the rocks.
The Great White Throne
Named by the Methodist minister, Frederick Fisher in 1916, while on a trip in the late afternoon, the mountain gloriously lit up prompting the minister to state:
There is such a variety of rocks in Zion.
The Court of Patriarchs also named by Fisher.
The North Fork Virgin River on the southern part of the park.
There is a beauty in the rocks that I find very fascinating.
The cracked pattern in the sandstone resembles a grid.
There is a one mile tunnel that you drive through coming from the east. Once out of the tunnel there is a series of hairpin curves and it’s hard to keep your eye on the road with all of this going on around you.
It was a great day. I hiked only two miles today, but two of the trails I really wanted to do were closed.
It’s very interesting how different Bryce and Zion National Parks are. Bryce you drive on top the canyon and Zion you drive on the bottom through the canyon.
You will notice that in a lot of the pictures throughout this blog, the colors of the mountains change as the sun moves east to west.
I know this was a long one and full of pictures and it was a full week for me! Glad you came along!!