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Mt Carmel, UT

Stop #22 Mt Carmel Motel and RV

sunny 55 °F
View Western Loop 2013 on scpurvis's travel map.

Now we are doing the last leg in reverse, so, I will just turn the previous pictures around. Just kidding. You do get a little different perspective going the opposite direction. Plus, some nice sights leaving I-15 heading towards Mt Carmel up hwy 59.

We are staying in Mt Carmel which is very close to the entrance of Zion National Park. Great view from park.
mt_carmel_rv2.jpg Our neighbor hiked hill to take pic of our trailers.

Day 1 - Sat, Oct. 12, 2013
THE PARKS IN UTAH ARE OPEN! Today we head to Bryce which is about 45 minutes away. The drive through the Red Canyon was spectacular. I have probably said this before, but, the rock formations and colors just amaze me.

Entering into Bryce Canyon, we continue to be amazed. We decided to head over and do a short hike on the Navajo/Queens Garden loop. I had read online to start on the Navajo Trail at Sunset Point as this was the steeper of the two, ending at Sunrise Point off the Queens Garden loop. The park map suggests just the opposite, so, we weren't sure but decided to go with recommendations online....glad we did. P1010685.jpg Sunset Point, start of Navajo Trail Thors_hammer.jpg Thor's Hammer Rock formation
P1080669.jpg switchbacks going down into the canyon on Navajo Trail

As we go down, I keep thinking, at some point we are going to have to go back up! It was a long way down. Once you reach the bottom, you are on "Wall Street". From the pictures, I am sure you can see why it is so named.

Out of the confines of "wall street", we find ourselves in the grand amphitheater.

Continuing on the trail, we arrive at the Queen's Garden loop which will take us back up to Sunrise Point.P1010709.jpgP1010717.jpgP1010724.jpgP1010732.jpg

The climb back to the top starts, but, online reviewers were right! It wasn't nearly as steep, but still, quite a climb.
P1010737.jpg amphitheater from Sunrise Point P1010739.jpg

Back in the truck to finish the tour of Bryce National Park. We stopped along the way at the various overlooks.
P1010742.jpg Fairview Point

Views at the Natural Bridge Overlook

Ponderosa Point

Rainbow Point

Leaving Bryce, we travel up to the Cedar Breaks National Monument which is another natural amphitheater stretching 3 miles across and has an elevation of 10,000 feet at the rim. With the higher elevation, we did find some snow on the ground which is always worth mentioning when you are from Florida. Views from Sunset Point at Cedar Breaks amphitheater

We crossed the Markagunt Plateau and came upon the Navajo Lake which was created by a creek which was blocked by lava flow.
P1010769.jpgP1010775.jpgP1010776.jpg Navajo Lake

We passed Markagunt Plateau volcanic field which is a blocky unvegetated lava flow known locally as the 'Black Rock Desert. This lava field is calculated to be 1000 years old.

Also found on the plateau is the bristlecone pine trees which are estimated to be 900 years old, having taken root after the last volcanic eruption.
bristlecone-pine.jpg No one said they were beautiful...but if you were 900 years old, you'd probably look like that, too.

Day 2 - Sun, Oct. 13, 2013
Today we go to Zion and have planned to do the hike up to Angel's Landing. We are entering from the east side and the drive in is beautiful. We do have to travel through the 1.1 mile long tunnel which was built in 1930.
P1010782.jpg end of tunnel

Zion vistas

Court of the Patriarchs -- the three pinnacles names, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

Zion Canyon on the hike up to Angel's Landing

Portion of hike called Wally's Wiggle because of the 21 switchbacks up the mountain

Before the final assent, you come to an area called "scout overlook". From this point on, you use chains as handrails going up the rocks for 1/2 mile. We were very careful! Six people have died from falls here since 2004. We were lucky as we had a few drops of rain just before we started going up and were afraid we would have to abort because the rocks get so slippery. But our luck held and it didn't rain until after we had started down on the "wiggle".

From here, the precarious trip up:
P1080785.jpg look closely for the people going up the rock

Once at the top, the views are incredible:
P1010819.jpgcircled area is the park shuttle P1010829.jpgP1010830.jpg

Then, the precarious trip down:

It was truly worth the climb, the view was just indescribable!

Day 3 - Mon, Oct 14, 2013
Today we are headed back to Zion to do a short hike up to the Emerald Pools; lower, middle and upper pools. The trailhead starts out at the Zion Lodge where you cross over the Virgin River and proceeds from there.
P1010859.jpg Virgin RiverP1080819.jpg Lower emerald pool P1010878.jpgMountain reflection in Middle Emerald Pool P1010881.jpg View on TrailP1010887.jpg Lower pool viewed from top upper-emerald-pool-2.jpg Upper Emerald Pool (none of pools looked emerald to me)

Not much water in pools as it has been very dry in Zion. We were thinking of doing the Narrows hike but since the weather was so cool, we thought it might not be a good idea since you hike in the river. Sounds like a good summer hike!

Finally, we get to see ONE lone bighorn sheep

Day 4 - Tues, Oct 15, 2013
So glad we got to see Bryce and Zion. Now BACK to Arizona!

Posted by scpurvis 07:03 Archived in USA Tagged zion bryce

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Shirley, the pictures are so fantastic and the area is so beautiful. Wow!!! What a marvelous vacation!!! So glad you are having such a beautiful trip. I love traveling, too!!! Thanks for sharing!!!.......Lorine

by Lorine Clayton

Lorine, we were so lucky that Utah opened up their parks! We would have missed so much if we hadn't gotten to go to Zion and Bryce!

by scpurvis

Neat pictures. Good yob, ya'll!

by Robert Morrissey

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