Twenty years ago we planned a spring vacation trip to the Utah/Arizona area with Megan. It was primarily a sightseeing trip and we wanted to see as much as possible in the week, so we only had a day or two at each location. We went Jeeping in Moab, attended Easter sunrise service in Arches National Park and headed to Four Corners area so we could put hands and feet in four different states at once. From there we headed to Canyonlands and the Grand Canyon; we saw part of them through clouds and mist. Then things went bad. We drove to Bryce Canyon National Park and found the park filled with clouds. Couldn't see anything at all. Road to Zion National Park was washed out so we couldn't get there either. So, twenty years later Pat and I are going back to Bryce and Zion. This time the primary focus :-) will be photography. Need material for Camera Club and Christmas calendar.
Our plan is to fly into Las Vegas, drive to Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks with side trips to Grand Staircase-Escalante and Goblin Valley before flying home a week later.
Our trip started Monday afternoon. We dropped Summit and Tuckerman off at Karla's and headed to Dover to get the bus to Boston.
We arrived at Las Vegas and after an hour process of getting our rental car we headed off to Springdale, Utah at the entrance to Zion Natural Park.
Sunrise photo shoot.
After breakfast we took the shuttle into the Canyon and took a few hikes.
At the end of the day we had early dinner at Zion Canyon Brewing Company. Out this evening for a sunset shoot of The Watchman, an iconic Zion scene.
Up early this morning (Thursday) for a sunrise shoot at the Court of the Patriarchs; three peaks named Issac, Abraham and Jacob.
After breakfast we headed out on our way to Bryce Canyon. Just outside of Springdale we visited the ghost town of Grafton. Only a few buildings, but nice photo location.
Grafton Ghost Town
We arrived at Bryce Canyon and explored the various points of interest.
Up early for sunrise shoot of the canyon. The light makes the lighter portions of the hoodoos almost appear transparent.
Today we hiked down into the canyon on the Queen's Garden and Navajo Loop trails.
This evening was the full moon, so we hoped to get some shots of the hoodoos illuminated by the moon. No go.
Today we leave Bryce Canyon and head along Scenic Route 12 to Torrey. Our first stop was Kodachrome Basin. Many unique formations called chimneys.
We continued east on Scenic Route 12. That's its name, and it is well deserved. We entered the Grand Staircase-Escalante region. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM). Outstanding views that are hard to capture effectively.
Above is the view that can be seen from Head of the Rock Overlook on SR12.
We took the Burr Trail off SR12 in Boulder on our way to Capitol Reef. In the image below you can see the Burr Switchback as it descends from the ridge to canyon floor.
We just reached Capitol Reef at the end of day. We tour it tomorrow.
Capitol Reef gets its name from the long rock formations that look like marine reefs and the white rock formations that look like the US Capitol dome.