Utah

Up until a few years ago, I had never been to Utah and had never really wanted to Utah. I had no idea the state had so many great national parks within it and after visiting once, it is high on my list of places I want to go back to. We only had time to visit Bryce Canyon and Zion, both of which were amazing, but are hoping to get back sometime in the not to distant future to see more of Zion and Canyonlands, Arches, and everything else the state has to offer. This photo was taken in the main canyon of Zion, from a well placed bridge that crosses the Virgin River.

Main canyon of Zion National Park in Utah

Living on the edge

This photo was taken from the top of Angel’s Landing, one of the more popular hikes in Zion National Park. After reaching the top, we took in the views for a couple minutes then found a place to sit and enjoy a snack. The chipmunks in Zion have clearly learned that hikers are a good source of food, as they have no fear approaching people or their backpacks to try and find something to eat. This particular chipmunk was especially brave, not only because he scurried around inches from the edge of a cliff that dropped off thousands of feet, but because he had no problem running across the backpack which was literally inches in front of me. Sadly for him, his quest to find a snack was unsuccessful.

Chipmunk scurrying around in Zion National Park

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of several great national parks in the state of Utah. One of the appealing things about Bryce Canyon is that it is a relatively compact national park and you can see the highlights in a single day (or an afternoon and the following morning, as we did) and not feel like you missed too much. This is good since there are many other great national/state parks a stone’s throw away. Bryce Canyon is known for it’s hoodoos, tall irregularly shaped columns of rock. The Bryce Amphitheater (pictured below) is filled with an impressive collection of hoodoos and several amazing hiking loops to get down into the canyon and get a closer look at the hoodoos. This photo was taken from the top of the Peek-A-Boo loop hike in the late afternoon.

View of the main amphitheater of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.