FUN-travel: 2nd 2015 Road Trip – Utah – Zion

August 17, 2015 by  

  • This year we are happy to say for the first time since Chris retired we are not leaving North America! For a nice change of pace, we are enjoying our vacations by driving and not being subjected to the “horrid hassle” of commercial airline flights.
  • This trip was scheduled around rafting down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. On the way we had an incredible experience seeing two of Utah’s National Parks in the western portion. We started at the very northwest portion of Zion (by accident) as we missed the turn. But that was actually a bonus as we got to see the Kolob Canyons area.
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Northwest Zion

  •  A five-mile scenic drive climbs past the spectacular canyons and red rocks up to the top of the mountain where we took a one-mile hike to reach the farthest edge at the Kolob Canyons viewpoint. From there we could see as far as the Grand Canyon.
  • Our next stop was Zion Canyon and we were very lucky to find parking close by the main entrance. You can’t drive into the park unless you’re staying at the Zion Lodge so you need to take the shuttle. We hopped off by the lodge and took a nice hike on the lower Emerald Pool trail. The mountains here are more jagged and peaked versus the flat topped we saw first. The colors were amazing shades varying from terra cotta red, brown, beige, and gray.
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Zion Canyon

  • From there we made our way to Bryce Canyon via the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway which was an incredibly beautiful 12-mile drive that travels up steep switchbacks and through the historic Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Along the way the mountains next to the road looked like they had been covered with whipped frosting spread with a giant spatula.

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FUN-fact – Streams, oceans, deserts, and volcanoes deposited thousands of feet of mud, lime, sand, and ash to create Zion rock formations.

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