We took a day to drive all the way up to the tippy-top of the Grand Staircse and visit Bryce Canyon National Park. We started at the very bottom when we left Flagstaff, driving up Scenic Route 89, passing the Grand Canyon and Vermilion Cliffs. It was really neat to see the top of this geological sequence.
This Dixie National Forest area was on the way to Bryce, I wanted to stay longer. There was a bike trail that looked pretty incredible, along with some nice camping spots. At least I got a picture of their brown sign, love that forest service seal! See the matching tree in the background? :)
We're recognizing and pursuing patterns in our way of travel. The most obvious one, is that we try to stick to the green on the pages of our atlas as much as possible. These are state and national parks, forests, monuments, wilderness areas, etc. And Utah has a LOT of green. (Go Utah!)
Usually I have no words for the incredible sights in our national parks, but walking up to Inspiration Point and seeing this for the first time, I was just "Whaaat?" These rock features are called hoodoos, and I was singing this song all day.
From Inspiration Point, we hiked along the Rim Trail to Sunset Point and down into it (it's not actually a canyon) via the Navajo Loop. We hiked to Queen's Garden, and up to Sunrise Point, then all the way back along the rim trail again.
Can you see the people? The native Paiute in the area believed the hoodoos were Legend People who had been turned to stone by that trickster, the coyote, because they had lived too heavily upon the land.
LBJ, I wholeheartedly agree.
It's a pretty magical place. Wish we could have stayed longer, (I hear the night skies are incredible) but I'm thankful for this glimpse.