Two parks in one day? Well, really a day and a half. It’s very hot, the grandkids are weary of all the driving and the setting up and taking down of camp, so we’re moving on to California after brief stops at the last two of Utah’s parks on our list of “must-sees”.
Wind and water have created a magical landscape of cliffs, hoodoos, and castles in the eastern wall of the high plateau that makes up Bryce Canyon. The best way to appreciate it is to take a hike down in the canyon, but we’ll have to save that for next time when it’s cooler. Even at almost 9000 feet, it’s 90 degrees here.
A closer look at the result of erosion in producing the arches and hoodoos in the amphitheater.
On to Zion, at lower elevation, and much hotter on this travel day. Spectacular views through windows in the rock made the grandkids gasp, “wow”, as we entered the park from the east side through a long tunnel.
Striking red and buff-colored cliffs loom over us as we walk the trails at each of the tram stops in the park.
At places along the riverside walk up to the Narrows slot canyon, water runs through the rock rather than down through a more impervious layer. Ferns, moss, and a few wildflowers cling to the canyon walls.
At Weeping Rock…
I found a few Columbine flowers
The Virgin River that cut the canyon in Zion is a gentle stream today, but must have been torrential in previous eons to cut such a steep canyon. Making hoodoos on the river rocks is a popular activity.
Eldest grandson tests his mechanical engineering skills to construct a tall hoodoo.
Ground squirrels are common on the riverside trail, and come right up to visitors to beg for food. The park service has instituted a $100 fine to prevent feeding of wildlife.
After a picnic lunch in the park, we’re headed for California, and the annual backpacking trip in the high Sierras.