Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!
I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state in my series is
Utah became the 45th state on January 4, 1896. The Capital is Salt Lake City.
As we drove through Utah exploring national and state parks the scenery was spectacular. There were red sandstone cliffs and hoodoos, multicolored striped mesas, white cliffs, red slick rock, arches and balanced rocks, canyons carved by river water, and twisting narrow highways with steep grades.
We had our first views of Utah as we entered the state from the southern border with Arizona.
Our first Utah destination was Bryce Canyon National Park. After setting up camp at Ruby’s Inn we headed to Bryce to take an afternoon drive through the park. Just a few overlooks later our drive was cut short as the rain started coming down. By the time we got back to our campsite the rain was coming down in buckets. With better weather the next morning we returned to Bryce for some more views of the red sandstone formations called hoodoos.
As we traveled on scenic Utah Highway 12 from Bryce Canyon to Torrey we stopped for lunch at Kodachrome Basin State Park.
After lunch we continued to Torrey. The narrow highway climbed upward with several 8% and a couple of 10% grades. We were both happy when we arrived at Sand Creek RV Park safe and sound. There were no other campers in the park and our site had a great view of red cliffs and mountains.
The next morning we left the camper in the campground to make the 20 mile round trip scenic drive through Capitol Reef National Park.
Traveling on Highway 24 from Torrey to Moab the scenery changed from red cliffs to all white cliffs to grey and gold mesas near a town called Luna Mesa.
Portal RV Park in Moab was our home for a few days while we toured Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and enjoyed several Moab restaurants.
We made several visits to Arches National Park and went on a few short hikes. I have a terrible fear of heights and was hesitant to do the Delicate Arch hike because there is a section where the trail is very narrow and high above ground. I am very happy that I didn’t let my fear keep me from making the hike that was the highlight of our visit to Arches.
There were many other arches and formations in Arches National Park that we saw as we toured the park and walked on many short trails.
Dead Horse Point was a short drive from our campground in Moab. The view from one of the overlooks provided a spectacular view of the Colorado River and the deep canyon.
We arrived at Canyonlands National Park just as the afternoon storms were rolling in.
Of all the Utah parks we visited, Zion is my favorite. Maybe it’s because we had this view from our campsite beside the Virgin River in the Watchman Campground. Or maybe it’s because our first night we watched the moon rise over Watchman.
Or maybe it’s my favorite because of the beauty of the park. To hop on the shuttle for a ride through the canyon all we had to do was take a short walk from our campsite to the Visitor’s Center. One day we took Blondie on a four mile hike on the Pa’Rus trail beside the Virgin River. Another day we took a ranger guided shuttle tour through the canyon in the morning and drove through the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel to the East entrance after lunch. The landscape changed on the other side of the mountain and we discovered a herd of Big Horn Sheep.
Our adventures in Utah continued as we towed our fifth wheel through the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel to our next destination, Gouldings Lodge and Campground in Utah near Monument Valley which is in the Navajo Nation Reservation in both Arizona and Utah.
The elemental effects of nature on the earth are evident all over the state. Water and wind created these magnificent formations on the earth.
To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas