Map of Bryce Canyon in Utah
Bryce Canyon in Utah
Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Rim Trail at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Bryce Canyon in Utah
Bryce Canyon in Utah
Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Navajo Loop at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Navajo Loop at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Navajo Loop at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Navajo Loop at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Navajo Loop at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Upper Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Lush green plains at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Natural Bridge at Bryce Canyon in Utah
Peek-a-Boo Trail at Bryce Canyon in Utah

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Zion Canyon

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Between Sunrise and Sunset Points, looking north toward Sunrise Point

I got up at 6am to catch the sunrise at Bryce. The colors are at their richest in the early morning light...

 

 

 

 

Looking south toward Sunset Point

 

 

 

 

The Rim Trail continues along the canyon. You can hike along the rim, or take one of the many trails leading into the canyon. Normally crowded, it is almost deserted in the early morning.

 

 

 

Sunset Point

The railed pathway leads way down into the canyon. Easy going down, but quite a workout coming back up!

 

 

 

Sunset Point

View somewhat high on the trail. You can get an idea of how far the trail goes from how tiny the people appear in the distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset Point

See the pinnacle just off-center? That's called Thor's Hammer

 

 

 

 

Sunset Point

A closer shot of Thor's Hammer

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset Point, deep into the canyon. It's like being on another planet...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Navajo Loop

Also at Sunset Point is the Navajo Loop Trail, which zig-zags down to a narrow slot

 

 

 

 

 

Down, down, down...

 

 

 

 

 

Almost at the bottom...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking through the narrow passageway. One lone tree has actually managed to grow straight up to the top!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And looking up...

The skies are unbelievably blue and vibrant

 

 

 

 

Inspiration Point 

Further south is Inspiration Point, lined with hundreds and hundreds of delicate pinnacles . It reminded me of an army of chess pieces...

 

 

 

 

Inspiration Point looking south. Amazing how trees grow out of the red rock!

 

 

 

 

Pathway along the rim to Upper Inspiration Point and Bryce Point.

Look to the east (left) and you'll see incredible red rock. Look to the west (right) and you'll see ...

 

 

 

 

...lush green plains. The white sand gives the appearance of a snowy day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further south you'll see the Natural Bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The scenery gets greener the further south you go.

Here is the sign for Peek-a-boo trail

 

Zion Canyon map

 

Zion is huge and sprawling compared to Bryce - in both area and height. It is quite astounding!

 

The terrain from Bryce to Zion is know as the Grand Staircase, since the elevation gradually lowers as you go southward. This doesn't seem like much except when you consider that the lowest point at Bryce is at the same elevation as the highest point at Zion! (-- and Zion formations reach to the sky!)

 

On my travels I only had a short time to explore Zion, so kept to scenic highway 9.

 

Panguitch Lake

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Zion Canyon
Zion Canyon
Zion Canyon
Zion Canyon
Zion Canyon

Mighty Zion

Entering the park on Highway 9 west, an incredibly scenic drive through looming, almost alien-looking rock formations

 

 

 

See the indentation in the white rock? A petroglyph inscribed on the back wall looks just like an eye...

 

 

 

 

 

Highway 9 snakes lower and lower through the gigantic formations.

 

 

 

 

 

Native American tribes believed Zion to be haunted, and the energy here is indeed powerful.

 

 

 

 

 

More scenery along highway 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

This formation is called Checkboard Mesa, due to the unique criss-cross indentations

 

 

Salt Lake City - from the air

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Panguitch Lake
Panguitch Lake
Panguitch Lake

 

Highway 14 driving east from Cedar City. Red rock looms above greenery...

 

 

 

 

 

Snaking higher and higher. In mid-September the leaves are already starting to turn.

 

 

 

 

 

Scenery along highway 143 driving toward Panguitch. I lost count of the number of deer and sheep I spotted!

 

 

 

 

Highway 143 toward Panguitch

 

Bald hills undulating against expansive countryside...
I feel like running up the hillside!

 

 

 

Highway 143 toward Panguitch

You can see the leaves starting to change on the hilltops

 

 

 

 

Panguitch Lake

Serene, clear and picturesque. A perfect place to relax...

 

Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City

 

These were taken on a flight from Phoenix to Salt Lake City. Unfortunately the airplane window was specked with dirt, but the views were amazing!!!

 

 

 

 

 

There's the city, nestled by snow-capped mountains - so picturesque!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful blue waters...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lakes are splayed out like pie slices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And over a bit further north - you can see communities spread out along hilltops

 

 

 

 

 

Now the second flight from Salt Lake City to Boston (though the wing was in the way, the window on this flight was much cleaner!) ...This shot is just east of the city, directly over the snow-capped mountains

 

 

 

 

 

Now the terrain becomes greener and greener

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A scenic flight is one way to make the time pass :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heavenly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking down on this one road snaking its way through the hills

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suppose those wavy lines are dirt roads...makes the terrain look like marble

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think we were over Colorado by now...the terrain is now more rugged, but the view remained spectacular

 

Panguitch Lake
Panguitch Lake
Utah photos including Bryce Canyon, Zion and Panguitch Lake
Utah map

Southern Utah is home to some of the most spectacular scenery I've ever witnessed. At times it even seems other-worldly, where rolling hills and verdant plains exist alongside magnanimous ancient red rock canyons.

At elevations reaching over 10,000 ft, the air is clean and the land virtually untouched.

 

On my week long trip through this natural wonderland, I flew into Las Vegas and drove north to explore Bryce Canyon, Panguitch and Zion Canyon.

Bryce Canyon

 

Bryce Canyon is so magical with its intricacies of delicate spires and pinnacles formed over millions of years of water erosion, both from rain and melting snow.

 

The canyon stretches southward; looking west you view verdant plains, and looking east reveals the magnificent red rock canyon. Further east stretches the Aquarius Plateau, and the Grand Staircase. 

 

The Grand Staircase is named for the decrease in elevation toward the south border of Utah; the deepest crevasses in Bryce Canyon are the same elevation as the highest peaks of Zion!

 

Eye at Zion Canyon
Eye at Zion Canyon
Panguitch Lake
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City