This past April, we ventured out to southern Utah for some relaxation and photography. We briefly visited Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks about five years ago on a tour. It offered us a little taste of this scenic area, and we vowed to eventually make a trip back. So flew out, rented an SUV, and stayed in two basic locations: a ranch/lodge in Teasdale and the park lodge inside Zion. Our accommodations were wonderful, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. It wasn’t too hot or too cold, and there wasn’t a drop of rain anywhere we went. Each area we visited has its own unique beauty.
So where did we go on this grand exploration? We skipped Bryce on this trip, but we spent a lot of time discovering all of the nooks and crannies of Zion and Capitol Reef National Parks. The main canyon and Mt. Carmel Highway in Zion were busy, but there were hardly any souls visiting the Kolob Terrace Road and Kolob Canyon areas. And Capitol Reef is huge in size and the amount of visitors was substantially less than the well-known National Parks.
living on the edge, Zion National Park
red cliffs, Capitol Reef National Park
We traveled on Utah’s Scenic Trail Byway State Route 12. This state highway is legendary for its western scenery. Along the way, we breezed through the Dixie National Forest, including the Red Canyon area, and also explored the famous Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
hoodoos of Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest
cottonwood trees welcome spring in Long Canyon
Burr Trail, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
We visited some state parks too. I’ll tell you more about those in second post! (P.S. Don't forget to click on the photos to see them bigger!)