Friday, 20 January 2017

Part 12 of our holiday - Visiting Bryce and Zion Canyons

Michael and Mary collected us from the Grand Canyon Lodge at 10 am on 3 July 2016 and we said thanks and farewell to Gaelyn, who was busily back into work mode. It is a 4.5 hour drive to Bryce from the Grand Canyon, so we arrived in the early afternoon. Bryce Canyon is a national park in southwestern Utah and is famous for its unique geology, consisting of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheatres, carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. There was plenty of time to have a look around the various named features, and to see the sunset across the canyon. Erosion by  weather has shaped the colourful limestone rock strata into bizarre shapes, including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called "hoodoos." Bryce Canyon has the largest collection of them in the world!
Just before arriving at Bryce, we drove through this natural red arch.


Arriving at the Canyon National Park entrance.


Our first sighting of hoodoos! Their colour seems to change with the light conditions.

Yet another natural arch with hoodoos over the top.


As you can see, elevation 8,627 feet  (2,630 metres). It's not quite oxygen territory but impressive enough!

A panarama shot across the canyon just before sunset.

Sunset across the amphitheatre at Sunset Point.


On the opposite side of the Lodge complex, we went on the following morning to Sunrise Point. More hoodoos in a very dramatic landscape!
An unending variety of hoodoos.

We left Bryce  after viewing the sunrise and having a good breakfast at Ruby's Inn, just outside the park, and then we headed off to drive through Zion National Park.  We were heading home to Mesquite, but a drive through Zion in South West Utah on the way was a "must see". A  completely different landscape from Bryce, it has steep red cliffs, but as you can see above, there are also some natural caves and arches..

The scenic drive passes right through the primary area of the park and, being the 4th July holiday weekend and a lovely day, there was heavy traffic congestion!  This photo above is of the short tunnel on the scenic drive,  but there is also a long tunnel, completed in 1930, which is  1.8 km (1.1 miles) long and the longest of this type in the U.S.A!

Views taken of Zion landscape from the car..

The view as below without us in the way! How did those rectangular patterns in the rock get there? Odd but spectacular!

A quick stop, so we could take a photo proving that we had actually been there!

Another view of Zion Canyon before heading back to Mesquite....

and another amazing sunset back in the desert landscape there.

There is one more part of this holiday which is our last afternoon in Las Vegas before flying home, but this will now have to be postponed, as it is now less than a week before we leave for Southern Africa.  I will be back in March (I hope) with the final USA blog, followed by some very different African subjects. Not forgetting, of course, our visits, in December to Le Mans (more to it than just a motor racing centre!) and Rouen (with its amazing medieval old town)  still waiting for a write up!  One day I might just catch up!!!



Also see my daily diary HERE


and My Life Before Charente (updated  25 September 2016) I will get back to this eventually!  


30 comments:

  1. So glad you got to see these amazing national parks, each so unique.

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    1. It was thanks to your idea that we asked Michael and Mary if we could visit, so thanks to you for the suggestion an thanks to them for taking us, It was a great trip all round. Diane

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  2. How spectacular...each in its own way...and that sunset!

    Enjoy Southern Africa...well, of course you will!

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    1. Each of the canyons are so different and we were lucky we managed to see as much as we did in such a short time.

      Yes of course we will :-))))) Take care, both of you Diane

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  3. Hi Diane - great to see what you do post ... isn't the geology in this part of the States extraordinary ... and Hoodoos have wonderful alternative names ... tent rock, fairy chimney or earth pyramid ...

    Enjoy South Africa - oh how jealous I am! Have fun ... and see you in March - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary and for the extra information. I am sure you are jealous as I know how much you enjoyed SA when you were there. Will think of you while there. Cheers Diane

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  4. Beautiful pictures! Safe travels to South Africa, and we'll see you in March!

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    1. Thanks Marjie and I a sure all will be well and yes see you in March. Take care, both of you Diane

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  5. We spent a wonderful month in the states last February revisiting many of the west coast national parks. Bryce Canyon is one of our favourites - a snow storm came through and we were nearly blown off the look out points. They closed the park and we were one of the last to leave. A great experience.
    Regards Janine

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    1. Thanks so much for your visit and comment. Wow what an experience at Bryce in a snow storm. All the best to you for 2017 Diane

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  6. Hello Diane. So glad you put the photo of you and Nigel in there. We always take photos of such interesting places that we have visited but forget to include the proof 😊😊 I have never been to the USA, not sure if I will , thanks for sharing your superb trip and photos with us too. ENJOY SA.. love to both Anne x

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    1. Thanks Anne you are so right, we seldom take photos of ourselves! We had a great time in the USA, lots of it because we had such good friends there. Not sure that we will return though. We are so looking forward to SA and the sun :-) Take care and look after yourself. Love from us both Diane and Nigel xxooxx

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  7. Bonsoir Diane,

    Je suis ravie de voir ces belles photos d'un parcs que je rêve de visiter un jour! Les photos sont superbes! Merci beaucoup!

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  8. Αγαπητή μου φίλη Diane
    Σ΄ευχαριστώ που με ταξιδεύεις με τις υπέροχες φωτογραφίες σου, σ΄αυτήν την υπέροχη φύση!
    Χαίρομαι που είστε καλά και ταξιδεύετε! Είναι το ωραιότερο πράγμα στον κόσμο!
    Πολλά φιλιά

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  9. Wow! Lucky you who have actually been there and seen it in real! Happy holiday!

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  10. The Bryce canyon looks incroyable Diane, what amazing landscapes you have seen and captured forever! I have a feeling there will be many people put off visiting USA for a while which is a shame. Enjoy being back in South Africa :)

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  11. I always enjoy my virtual travel via your blog posts Diane. Hope you and Nigel are both keeping well.

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  12. You are living my dream Diane! Traveling all over with your husband and an awesome camera. Thanks for letting us come along on all of your adventures. Amazing photos!! We went to Zion a few years back - it was so beautiful and amazing. We couldn't make it to Bryce due to snow/weather/bad roads. I will definitely be going back to see it someday!

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  13. OK, so Grand Canyon maybe impressive because of its size, Diane, but your photos show that Bryce Canyon winds, hands down, for natural beauty. It's absolutely stunning.

    Have a wonderful time in southern Africa, and take good care - - - Richard

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  14. Great photos, that is a gorgeous part of our country. Safe travels to Africa!

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  15. Wow those hoodoos and arches are spectacular. Have a lovely holiday in the sun. X

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  16. What a spectacular landscape. The atmosphere must be incredible too, so awe-inspiring. Have fun in Africa. How you gad about!! :)

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  17. I am envy lol, I haven't seen these beauties in person and I can't wait to be given a chance to. My kids would be awed in seeing this!

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  18. I have so enjoyed your posts…I've not been to this beautiful part of our country. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos.

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  19. Don't worry about catching up when you are having such wonderful adventures. It rained a little when we were at Bryce Canyon . It sure is an amazing place . We walked through Zion too that was lovely. USA have fabulous National Parks. You are probably in SA now. Hope you are having a super time.

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  20. Hello Diane,
    WOW, impressive photos of these canyons!
    It would easily make me wish to go back to the States!
    Are you really sure you were there????
    Maybe pic n° 14 was photoshopped?!!!!! LOL! Only teasing!
    Enjoy your afternoon and the coming week, warm hugs :)

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  21. What a wonderful place. I have to go there and soon.

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  22. what a trip you had! your photos are beautiful!

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  23. What beautiful places you guys explored! We haven't been to any of the places you visited here in the US.

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