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Edward Hahn | profile | all galleries >> hobbysite >> September 2009 - Southern Utah tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

September 2009 - Southern Utah

Went on a trip to Southern Utah from 20 September - 2 October. First up, some aerial shots from the airline flight (both coming and going)...I was lucky to get some interesting terrain and a reasonably clean window seat each time.

First stop was Zion National Park. Photographs just do not do this place justice - the sheer cliffs are a couple of *thousand* feet high, with a very narrow valley between them. We stopped for sunrise at The Court of the Patriarchs, then went to the Temple of Sinawava at the end of the road, where we hiked up and into the narrows. Note to self - pack the water sandals next time! After the hike, we went to explore Grafton, a ghost town south of Zion, which was abandoned in the 19th century. The descendants of the original settlers have maintained a few of the structures and the cemetery.

The next morning, we had breakfast at the Zion lodge, then started a hike from across the road to the Emerald Pools (lower, middle, and upper). This was a very interesting and relatively easy hike into Heaps Canyon, with some parts of the trail at the edge of some of the dropoffs. Nothing too scary or strenuous though. With this hike, we said goodbye to Zion, and made our way east through the Zion tunnel to Cedar Breaks National Monument. This was an unexpected treasure, as we encountered both the (literally!) breathtaking views from 10,000' elevation, as well as finding aspen trees approaching peak color. More about these later...

After Cedar Breaks, we checked into our hotel near Bryce Canyon, and planned to get up for sunrise at Sunrise Point. We got there just as the sun was peeking over the horizon. We then paused for a quick breakfast, and then commenced a hike from Sunrise Point, via the Queen's Garden Trail, to the Navajo Trail (west branch), then to Sunset Point. This is a great hike, although you may wish to take it in the other direction, as the last bit near Sunset Point (known as Wall Street) is rather vertical.

The next set of photos are from various overlooks in Bryce Canyon National Park, and also a few shots of aspens - we backtracked to Cedar Canyon Road and Panguitch Lake Road to catch the cedars again. Even did some goofy zooming while the shutter was opened.

After Bryce Canyon, we went on to Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument (although we stayed mainly on the eastern side of the area). This is one of the least sparsely populated areas in the country, but with plenty of interesting sites off of Hole-In-The-Rock Rd. Make sure you get a 4WD vehicle, as the roads and trails require high clearance and/or sand capability.

First, we did a short hike down to the Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch, to the slot canyons there. If you plan to do this, you'll need to bring plenty of water and *limit* the amount of gear you bring with you (e.g., maybe a pocket camera and a pair of water shoes at most). We both brought too much gear with us (lenses, tripods) and this actually hindered us.

We ended up camping off of Willow Tank Slide Rd, mainly because we were unable to get up the road to the ledge halfway up Fifty Mile Mountain even with a 4WD! Shots of sunset, the moonlit landscape, and sunrise were taken. The next morning we visited Egypt, and ran into an expedition rappelling and hiking down the canyon. We then drove on to Devil's Garden, where we had lunch among the jaw dropping rock formations. Finally, due to a high wind warning, we decided to bag the second night of camping, and went back to the town of Escalante in search of a hotel room.

Our final day in the wild took us to Kodachrome Basin State Park, and Grosvenor Arch, south of Cannonville. Kodachrome Basin was named by National Geographic photographers in the 40's - and permission was granted by Kodak to use the name. It's an interesting park, with a nice 3 mile hike (Panorama Trail), but I'd drop it from an itinerary before I'd drop the Devil's Garden, even though the latter is much smaller in area. Grosvenor Arch is ten miles south of the park along a dirt road, and is truly an impressive sight. The blue skies we had there were very unreal. Afterwards, we returned to Escalante, and began to pack for home.

The trip home dawned a brisk 27F. We encountered a cattle drive along the main highway just outside Escalante, and also encountered frosted-over irrigation equipment along the way.
Coyote Gulch
Coyote Gulch
Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Dreams of the Aegean
Dreams of the Aegean
Evaporation
Evaporation
Sowats Canyon
Sowats Canyon
North Canyon/Boulder Narrows
North Canyon/Boulder Narrows
Monument Valley
Monument Valley
Great Sand Dunes
Great Sand Dunes
Sunrise at the Court of the Patriarchs
Sunrise at the Court of the Patriarchs
Clinging
Clinging
Surviving
Surviving
Temple of Sinawava
Temple of Sinawava
Flow Hollow
Flow Hollow
Walking
Walking
Big Bend
Big Bend
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Homestead
Homestead
Grafton
Grafton
Grafton Cemetery
Grafton Cemetery
Wire Valley
Wire Valley
Heaps Canyon
Heaps Canyon
Lower Emerald Pool Falls
Lower Emerald Pool Falls
Path to the Grotto
Path to the Grotto
Upper Emerald Pool
Upper Emerald Pool
The Spearhead / Red Arch Mountain
The Spearhead / Red Arch Mountain
Coyote Repast
Coyote Repast
Navajo Lake
Navajo Lake
Cedar Breaks
Cedar Breaks
Jericho Ridge
Jericho Ridge
Arch Canyon
Arch Canyon
The Castle
The Castle
Chessmen Ridge
Chessmen Ridge
Bryce Canyon Sunrise
Bryce Canyon Sunrise
White Pinnacles
White Pinnacles
Arch Sunrise
Arch Sunrise
Curt Among the Hoodoos
Curt Among the Hoodoos
Bristlecone Pine
Bristlecone Pine
Pink Tower
Pink Tower
The Garden
The Garden
Whatever It Takes
Whatever It Takes
Gnarly Dude
Gnarly Dude
The Gully
The Gully
Wall Street
Wall Street
Silent City
Silent City
Sunset
Sunset
Pink Cliffs
Pink Cliffs
Ravens
Ravens
Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge
Paria View
Paria View
Wall of Windows
Wall of Windows
Bryce Amphitheatre
Bryce Amphitheatre
Bifurcated
Bifurcated
Fairyland Canyon
Fairyland Canyon
Colossi
Colossi
Fairyland Hoodoos
Fairyland Hoodoos
Aspen Lane
Aspen Lane
Aspens and Pines
Aspens and Pines
Candy Warp
Candy Warp
Dry Fork
Dry Fork
Voids
Voids
Peekaboo Palette
Peekaboo Palette
Sedimentary
Sedimentary
Nazca
Nazca
Lens Flare at Chimney Rock
Lens Flare at Chimney Rock
Moonscape 2
Moonscape 2
Moonscape 3
Moonscape 3
Glen Canyon Dawn
Glen Canyon Dawn
Campsite Sunrise
Campsite Sunrise
Henry Mountain Sunrise
Henry Mountain Sunrise
Outcrop
Outcrop
Expedition
Expedition
Devil's Garden
Devil's Garden
The Twins
The Twins
Ceci N'est Pas Une Pipe
Ceci N'est Pas Une Pipe
Metate Arch
Metate Arch
La Ventana
La Ventana
Landscape for Dali
Landscape for Dali
Anasazi Room
Anasazi Room
Baling
Baling
Wall Of Ancestors
Wall Of Ancestors
Yearning
Yearning
Torch
Torch
Kodachrome Basin
Kodachrome Basin
Grosvenor Arch
Grosvenor Arch
Seeing Double
Seeing Double
Mesa View
Mesa View
Drive
Drive
Frosty Irrigation
Frosty Irrigation