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3. Zion National Park
Leaving Vegas we headed 2.30hrs further north on the i15 into Utah and toward the town of Toquerville on the edge of Zion National Park.
Strangely enough the next town was a little place called Leeds although we never got there.
We stayed at a house i found while researching the road trip which had 3 rooms that were rented out to travellers. Check in wasn’t until 4pm so this gave us plenty of time to see Zion and Kolob Canyon.
We headed down to a quaint little town at the entrance of Zion call Springdale for lunch. The entrance fee for Zion is $20 but a yearly pass can be bought for $80 which gives you access to all state parks in the USA.
Zion National Park’s canyons and mesas boast an especially exquisite beauty, even in a state known for dramatic landscapes. Breathtaking Zion Canyon is the centerpiece of this 147,000-acre parkland that protects a spectacular landscape of high plateaus, sheer canyons, and monolithic cliffs.
For those serious hikers a trek up to Angels Landing is seriously worth the effort. (See second to last picture)
4. Kolob Canyon
Just a short drive away is the lesser know Kolob Canyon.
Drive carefully as you travel along the Kolob Canyons Road because it ascends 1,100 feet in five miles. You’ll drive along the Hurricane Fault, a 120 mile fracture in the earth’s crust, to a pinion woodland above Taylor Creek, through multi-colored layers of stratified rock where the road cuts through the hillside, past a huge rock scar where a section of the cliff fell.
Smaller but just as beautiful Kolob is worth seeing.
5. Bryce Canyon
After staying the night in Toquerville we drove north back through Zion and onto Bryce Canyon. We were staying at a cheap motel in Tropic which is next to the entrance to Bryce.
The drive takes approx 2hrs and takes in breathtaking scenery along the way.
Again, checkin was 4pm so ample time to see the canyon first and take some pics.
Bryce Canyon is not a “real” canyon. It is not carved by flowing water. Water is the active ingredient here, but in the form of “frost-wedging” and chemical weathering.
For 200 days a year the temperature goes above and below freezing every day. During the day, melt water seeps into fractures only to freeze at night, expanding by 9%. Now as ice, it exerts a tremendous force (2,000-20,000 pounds per square inch). Over time this “frost-wedging” shatters and pries rock apart. In addition, rain water, which is naturally acidic, slowly dissolves the limestone, rounding off edges and washing away debris.