S: Utah, August 2011
FC: Utah, August 2011
2: Angels Landing | The Angels Landing Trail is one of the most famous and thrilling hikes in the national park system. Zion's pride and joy runs along a narrow rock fin with dizzying drop-offs on both sides. The trail culminates at a lofty perch, boasting magnificent views in every direction. Rarely is such an intimidating path so frequented by hikers. One would think that this narrow ridge with deep chasms on each of its flanks would allure only the most intrepid of hikers. Climbers scale its big wall; hikers pull themselves up by chains and sightseers stand in awe at its stunning nobility. The towering monolith is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Southwest.
6: Emerald Pools | Waterfalls, pools and a dazzling display of monoliths create the Emerald Pool Trails.
7: Zion Narrows | The diverse trek through Zion's premier canyon is one of the most touted and breathtaking adventures in America. Extraordinary beauty and unique character decribe this amazing gorge. Hanging gardens burst from dramatically colored perpendicular walls while trickling water threads its way through moss covered boulders. Gentle slopes give way to sheer walls funneling streams of water into fluted slides and twisting channels cutting deeper and deeper as the journey continues its path southward. Along the sandy perches of banks, towering ponderosa send their roots downward, hungry for nutrients and water. The entire trip is wonderous. The Zion Narrows deserves its reputation as one of the best, if not the best, hikes in the National Park System.
12: We stayed at Flannigans in Spingdale and ate a delicious meal at the Spotted Dog Cafe.
13: To escape the heat we took a mountain highway passed Navajo Lake, to a small village called Duck Creek.
14: Mammoth Cave is a lava tube located on the Markagunt Plateau in the Dixie National Forest of Southern Utah, and is one of the largest lava tubes in Utah. The cave has over 2,200 feet of passage and is about a quarter mile long. It was formed by cooling lava and water less than 2,00 years ago. | Mammoth Cave
16: Peekaboo Hike | The Peekaboo Loop Trail is an equestrian trail in Bryce Canyon National Park that is also extremely popular among hikers. It begins up at Bryce Point, arguably one of the best vistas in the park, zigzagging down the rim into the canyon, where it splits into a loop trail that eventually meets up with the Navajo Loop Trail. Hikers descend almost 1,000 feet below Bryce Point at the far end of the loop, and then come back the same way, making for a strenuous climb.
17: The Queens Garden Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park is a short, though steep hike that takes visitors from the lofty perch of Sunrise Point and drops them more than 800 feet, into the amphitheatres and canyons below. | Queens Garden Trail
23: Peek-a-boo and Spooky Gulch
24: Peek-a-boo Gulch is a beautifully sculptured slot that runs for about half a mile to a wide, sandy wash. It is a hanging canyon with an arch just inside the opening.
25: Spooky Gulch is the next opening as you hike down Dry Fork. I offers a great slot canyon hike through beautifully eroded Navajo sandstone. The canyon is deep and it constantly twists and bends, creating the eerie and haunting nature captured in its name. The mouth of Spooky is wide but it quickly funnels into a tight slot. Spooky is the narrowest slot normal-sized adults can get through. In many spots you have to squeeze through side ways, your chest and back touching the opposing walls.
26: Devils Garden | A unique collection of Entrada Sandstone formations.
28: Sulphur Creek Hike | One of the most fantastic hikes in Capitol Reef National Park, Sulphur Creek offers easy access to awesome canyoneering, complete with waterfalls, a 600-foot gorge, and great oppertunities for wading, swimming and rock scrambling. This is a easy hike, that provides a rewarding experience for all skill levels and ages. The route is six miles long, and drops over 500 feet in elevation.
31: In Moab, we stayed at the Kokopelli Lodge.
33: This is the world-famous Slickrock Trail near Moab, Utah. This 10.6 mile loop twists and rolls through Navajo sandstone to a breathtaking view over the Colorado River.
39: The Monitor and Merrimac Bike Loop is a newly-repackaged slickrock ride north of Moab. The apex of the loop offers a view of the two rock formations, named Monitor and Merrimac in honor of the civil war ironclad warships. The ride is 6.1 miles in length. Beginning altitude is 4450 feet. There is 500 vertical feet of climbing on the ride, almost all of it on open rock. | Monitor and Merrimac
41: Porcupine Rim Trail | Porcupine Rim is arguably the most diverse of all local Moab rides and definitely one of the most memorable. Technically, it's extremely challenging. A narrow mining track is followed by an unforgettable stretch of double-track leading along the edge of Porcupine Rim, with stomach churning views straight down on Castle Valley. From a jungle of juniper-pinon, sandstone outcrops, and cacti, you'll begin a long descent down rugged double-trach teeming with drop-offs that often come at you when you least expect it. This leads to single-track, sometimes smooth and other times boulder-strewn.
48: Longest of the maintained trails in the park, the Devils Garden Trail leads to eight awe-inspiring arches. Beyond Landscape Arch, the trail becomes more challenging as it climbs over sandstone slabs; footing is rocky; there are narrow ledges with exposure to heights. Spur trails lead to Partition and Navajo Arches. | Devils Garden Trail
52: Delicate Arch Hike | Delicate Arch, the quintessential formation of Arches National Park, is a spectacular natural arch, and one of the most photographed natural wonders of the world. The arch-once known as "Cowboy Chaps," thanks to its resemblance to the leather leg coverings worn by many a rancher-teeters on the rim of a sandstone bowl with the scenic La Sal Mountains as a backdrop. This icon of the American Southwest remains as one of the most rewarding hikes in the national park system.
55: Balanced Rock