Bryce Canyon Utah to Zion National Park Utah

Today’s journey started with temperatures of 31 degrees and feels like 21. Is it June? Global warming? Forecast of snow showers in the mountains. Yes we were in the mountains and we did see snow showers. Our elevation was between 8000-9000 thousand feet. It was a brisk cool morning for the Otterman’s.

After entering the park, we drove to our first lookout point. I looked at Missy and she looked at me and our eyes got big and we both went “Wow.” Bryce Canyon is absolutely beautiful. The canyons rim is eroding at a rate of 1-4 feet per century. Limestone, siltstone, dolomite, and mudstone make up the four different rock types.

Closeup of Rock
Flowers in bloom in Bryce Canyon
The rock formations are called Hoodoos

The Paiute Indians inhabited this region for hundreds of years before the arrival of the white man. A sacred oral tradition of the Paiutes states that the hoodoos are ancient “Legend People” turned into stone by Coyote as a punishment for bad deeds. It is custom for the Paiutes to tell this story only in the winter season. Spring, summer, fall is for hunting, gathering, and storing food. It is out of respect for the custom that the authentic story is not repeated here.

Our next journey took us to Zion National Park also in Utah. Zion is different from Bryce Canyon but just as impressive. The altitude is not as high as Bryce Canyon but has more vegetation growth because of the Virgin River.

Just before we entered the park there was a heard of Buffalo with at least 13 calves. Buffalo are huge animals.

One of the calves

Zion is a park where you drive through the canyon floor. There is hiking and overlooks to view the huge canyon walls. The canyon walls are reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone eroded by the North Fork of the Virgin River.

Zion lacks the iron in the soil to make the walls as reddish as Bryce Canyon. Zion is where water and sand meet.

Utah has 5 national parks. Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands. We are blessed to get to see 3 of them and each one was breathtaking. We had a full day and I highly recommend visiting both of these national parks.


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