This was one of the most amazing experiences I've had in all my travels. It's a must if you're traveling through the American West and has been the backdrop for numerous Westerns. I would recommend opting for a powerful SUV or 4-wheel drive rather than your own car since the roads can be pretty rough. You can also book a tour with a local Navajo guide once you arrive. I'd suggest getting the guide since they can take you to places that are blocked to normal visitors. One nearby hotel "The View" was spectacular and had amazing views of the valley, but you need to make your reservations about a year ahead of time, especially if you're going in the peak season. The rest of the hotels aren't anything special.
This is a place you'll remember for the rest of your life.
It is in southern Utah near the Zion parks and the northern are of the Colorado Canyon. Its name comes from the Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce and although his name appears to indicate that it is a canyon, it is in fact a huge natural amphitheater created by erosion. Although the park has a road of almost 30 kilometers, most people only do two visits:
- From Sunset Point to Bryce Point, along the Amphitheatre (both on foot and by car).
- Navajo Loop Trail, walking through the geological formation, hoodoos.
Arches National Park (Utah) has such incredible places, such as the [poi = 88326] Double O Arch [/ poi] or the area called [poi = 120728] The Windows [/ poi], but my personal favorites are the Delicate Arch and this place, which has the same name as a famous New York Avenue. There is a trail of about a mile that takes you through this canyon which is surrounded by a wall of mountains, with some resemblance to the silhouette of the Manhattan skyline.
The unique geographical location of Zion and the great variety of life zones combine to create a variety of habitats which offer a surprising variety of plant and animal species. It is situated on the Colorado Plateau, but borders the Great Basin and Mojave Desert.
Canyonlands National Park is one of my favorite parks in the South West United States. Its colorful landscape is amazing and it is like a labyrinth of countless canyons, mesas and buttes created by natural agents. It has a huge variety and it is absolutely huge. Some areas can only be explored with an off road vehicle (and even with those, you need to know what you are doing).
During my last trip there I decided to rent a Jeep from one of the outfitters in Moab to explore a section of the White Rim trail. I left Moab around 4am to be at Mesa Arch (you can see here a photo I took there) at sunrise to be able to shoot the arch with a rising sun. It was fantastic!
The descent into White Rim trail is absolutely breathtaking! It is a series of switchbacks that give you a gorgeous view at every step. Given the limited time available, I drove around 12 miles on the trail before I had to head back but every minute was precious and I will definitely go back for more!
The Mexican Hat (in Spanish: sombrero Mexicano) is a small community that can be found along the San Juan River in south-central San Juan County, in Utah, USA. It's just off of Highway 163, 5 miles south of the intersection with Utah Highway SR-261. It's adjacent to the northern border of the Navajo Nation and Monument Valley. There are only 88 inhabitants in the town. The name "Mexican Hat" comes from an interesting rock formation that's shaped like a hat. It's 18.3 meters wide and 3.7 meters thick, and at a height of 1,340 meters. It is located northwest of the town on the way to Monument Valley.
Capitol Reef National Park can be found in Utah. If you're touring the national western parks in the U.S., this one is on the way between Bryce Canyon and Arches. When going to visit this place, you will enjoy beautiful roads going through the Scenic Byway USA HW12. Despite the semblance desert, the road into the park can be dangerous due to the flash floods and violent storms that hit the area in summer. The road skirts the river channel and there is need for vigilance. Anyway the most dangerous points are usually marked out so you can see the. A popular place for solitary walkers, the park is less visited, less conditioned and therefore more wild and intact than others. There is a famous Fruita Oasis next to the Visitor Center. Mormons have been installed here since the nineteenth century, and there is an oasis planted in this orchard. You can pick up free cherries, apricots, apples, pears ...
In the middle of the road that crosses the park from north to south, but a little further north, turn on the road to Wolfe Ranch and Delicate arch. There are three ways to see the arch: Two for lazy folks (among whom I include myself) but also a good option for children, and the other way for the brave. The last get to the arch after walking just over 2 km, set aside about 45min to go up and 30 to return. For the lazy folks, you have to go to the Delichate Arch Viewpoint near the parking lot. Its alittle walk, about 400 meters, and you see the arc at the distance of the photos I attached.
Southern Utah is full of great national parks like Canyonlands with its Colorado River and Green River, Zion, where even the roads are a reddish color and Bryce, with its amphitheater. But there are many places that, without being a national park are spectacular. In this local park there is a road of about 15 km in a circular, which has several viewpoints of the three bridges, arches containing this park. In addition to these viewpoints, there are small paths that lead to the base of the arches. The area also has some Indian dwellings embedded in the cliffs, scenic canyons pictographs and white sandstone.
Our adventure begins on the last stop of the tour Zion Park, The Temple of Sinawava. The shuttle bus drops you at the beginning of a very comfortable path, which is called the Riverside Walk, and from here you can just walk at your own pace. The landscape changes as the path becomes more narrow as you near the end. Be careful with the river, the rain can raise the height of the river quickly, and this causes flooding on the path. It can be very dangerous because the slopes are so vertical you have no where to climb. At the end of the path there is the path mother, only to experts, they call it The Narrows. The end is a dead end which takes 12 hours to reach. The problem is that there is no other path available to go upstream, the slopes are fast becoming a narrow gorge. Whoever wants to reach the end will have to ask for permission from the rangers. When it rains, the river becomes quite dangerous and the day I took the photos I was not able to pass. In fact there was a sign forbidding entry, passing through the narrows was truly a adventure.
This square is located in downtown Salt Lake City, and is the center of the Church of Latter-day Saints. The place is beautiful and consists of the main temple, a big museum and several statues and monuments. Just across the street you'll also find the Family History Library. Non-mormons aren't allowed in the temple, so you can only see the outside.
Driving along the roads of Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, is an unforgettable experience. Everything reminds you of the classic movies set along this legendary road Route 66. Though officially downgraded in 1985 by U.S. government and replaced by Interstate Highway Network, it still retains all its charm. The road crosses to complete the U.S. and some sections like those in Illinois, New Mexico and Arizona have signs indicating "Historic Route 66".
Experiencing the sun coming up in is like experiencing all the hard values of the old American west. Realising that they had to go through that hostile territory in the worst conditions, makes you appreciate the value they had. This was a favorite of John Ford Point; Monument Valley was the scene of several of his films.
This place, is without a doubt, the most spectacular place to visit in this national park, and one of the most spectacular of all the national parks in the USA. This plateau can be seen from a viewpoint (a journey of just over a km) or a circuit (pretty easy) penetrating inside revealing all the mysteries of these original rock formations. In my opinion, you should see both, and it can be done during a morning. I saw it at the end of March, and the snow added to the beauty of the landscape.
Antelope Island is a beautiful island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. It´s a natural park where you can find antelopes, sheep and bison. The community of bison was introduced in the 1980s to increase their numbers as they were an endangered species. The island has many hikes, some of which are a bit challenging since the island´s maximum height is nearly two kilometers.
This is a wonderful meandering river which passes through this park. It is situated in southern Utah, in the [poi = 70203] Monument Valley [/ poi]. In order that you can imagine the size of these meanders, the river runs about 5 km for each kilometer in a straight line. It is easy to access, just outside of Mexican Hat, north, we turned left onto the 163, and a few miles later, we turned left again onto the 316. This road enters the Goosenecks State Park San Juan River, and after about four miles, you go up to a plateau where you can enjoy panoramic views over the river San Juan. You can walk through this plateau, unfortunately you can not go down to the bottom. However, it is one of the most spectacular landscapes of the American West.
This is the longest natural arch in the world. It is located in the Devil's garden path. It is 32 meters high and 93 meters long. In 1991 a piece of rock (20m long and 1m thick) broke off, and it was left hanging in the air.
Here you can find are several hoodoos and pinnacles resulting from changes in temperature, as there are about 200 days of harsh winter. At this point, the Bryce canyon is very beautiful at sunrise. A tour of the Queen's garden path takes you to Navajo's trail and from there, you can go up to Sunset Point. Perhaps doing it the other way round might be easier. There is a trail from the latter to Bryce Point, but it is very long, only done during the summer and you can take a shuttle from Bryce Point to go back or vice versa. When we were there in the year 93 at this point we found a friendly deer at the canyon. I do not know if it was there at sunset. Last year I was there during the morning and the only animals that we saw were squirrels. We didn´t see anything else.