Exploring the Southern Utah Wonderland
Utah is a magical playground. There is a reason Edward Abbey loved to escape into its hallowed hills on a road trip. Between giant rock columns, sweeping vistas and solitude for miles around, it also carved out a spot as one of my new favorite states. Wandering through with my mouth ajar at each new view, or grinning on yet another awesome bike ride, I was already making a list of places to visit again!
Our route took us from the SW corner, coming in from Las Vegas to Gooseberry Mesa, then NE through the five major national parks in the state: Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Arches and Canyonlands, plus some fun in Moab. In between, we free camped high on mesas overlooking valleys (Gooseberry is seriously amazing), on ridges over canyons in the Grand Staircase – Escalante, along rivers, among pine trees at 8,500 feet near Bryce Canyon, and even braved a night in fight-for-a-campsite Zion National Park, perhaps the busiest place on earth in the late spring.
The mountain biking trails were fantastic (I’ll write a summary post about that sometime) and the hiking was equally scenic. Waterfalls in hidden canyons and hoodoo rock formations lined trails and vistas were point-your-camera-anywhere pretty for photos. Even though it was late May, the high elevation kept the weather crisp and perfect under a clear blue sky.
Enough chit chat. Let’s see some pictures, because that is the best way I have to convey the Wonderland of Utah. Get here when you can! You won’t be disappointed.