Sanctuaries Of Natural Beauty!
Bryce and Zion National Parks. Mother Nature is the artist and southern Utah her canvas.
Our visit to both parks was nothing short of awe-inspiring! Both very unique and unlike the other though the miles between them is relatively few.
If they have one thing in common it’s the incredible number of people who visit them. Not only from the US, but from all corners of the world. I’m amazed at just how many foreigners come to the US just to visit our national parks.
If we had to pick a favorite it would have to be Zion. There is something very sacred about this place. Towering cliffs looming well over a thousand feet humbled us as we made our way through the park. How minuscule we were compared to the enormity that surrounded us.
Bryce canyon is best described as leaving our planet and landing on another! The fragile sandstone that makes up the park has been carved away by centuries of wind and water leaving behind deep canyons with tall spires, some shapes defying the laws of gravity!
We enjoy hiking as long as the trails match our ability and stamina…which I might add is not much! We hiked the canyon rim of Bryce which was pretty easy but a little scary at the same time. You see, there are no barriers on this trail and the edge of the canyon is just a few feet from the trail.
The views along the trail are well worth the risk. Bryce Canyon is said to have the cleanest air of anywhere in the US. We could see for miles!
So why is the rock multi shades of red you ask? Inquiring minds want to know! The sand stone has high concentrations of iron and the red color is actually rust. It’s hard to believe we have a National Park with a rust problem!!
Here are a few more shots of the canyon.
We invite you to take a hike with us in Zion National Park!
Our hike will take us on the Watchman Trail. We will ascend some 360 ft., and travel 3 1/2 miles in length. It’s 7:30 AM and the temperature is in the mid 40s.
We begin with a flat easy stroll along the river. The trail is sandy with a few rocks and easy-going. Listen! Hear that? Just the rush of the water over the rocks. Nothing else!
As we continue along the trail we are met with a view of what’s to come! Are we going to the top? Why yes we are! The trail is still quite sandy and the increased incline makes walking a little more difficult. Look around! The landscape is so incredable!
Continuing along, the trail starts to narrow now and becomes cluttered with loose rocks that make walking more difficult. The Park Service has added makeshift steps that actually make our walk more difficult. They’re uneven and sand makes them slippery so watch your step!The trail is getting much narrower and steeper now and the going gets much harder. Each step is calculated. Careful! We don’t want to slip or twist an ankle. It’s all up hill and our legs feel the burn.
Time to stop and take a look at how far we’ve come! It seems one of us is lagging behind a bit!
We’re getting close. The end is in sight! Just a little further….we can do it!
More than two hours have passed. The sun is up! We made it to the top! It’s time to peel a few layers and admire the views!
That was fun! The bad news is we have to go back down the same way we came up!
Zion is a hikers paradise. One of the trails takes you along and in a river about a foot deep. We weren’t prepared to do this one. Maybe next time.
We did make our way to the Emerald Pools. This hike has two parts. The lower pool which is an easy hike, and the upper pool which is more strenuous.
We spent three days in Zion National Park and enjoyed every minute. It is truly one of the most beautiful of all we have seen.