Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Highway 12


There is an amazing highway here in Utah that is one of the most stunning roads that I have ever been on (not just my opinion, it is ranked as one of the top 10 drives in the country) and I just got back from a little trip that had me traversing it's entire length of 122.9 miles.   I had traveled a small section before, multiple times, but had never continued on. What a mistake!

I started on the south end, so I met Hwy12 from Hwy89 and a short time later was near Bryce Canyon National Park, one of my favorite parks!!!!.

It almost doesn't look real, does it?

Even the trees are calm, due to their yoga.  :)  It looks like warrior pose to me...
It almost looks like another world...

After leaving Bryce Canyon NP behind, it was time to continue on Hwy12 thru the little towns of Tropic, Cannonville, and the like til we reached our first day destination of Esclante, which is a gateway to the Grand Staircase National Monument.

The next day we drove the heart of the highway, which is an amazing feat of engineering and sheer determination in the last area mapped in the continental United States.

The road was carved into the rock
The rock almost looks like snow, doesn't it?

The thing that impressed me the most was the diversity of the scenery in such a small geological area: red rock, white rock, smooth, textured, it was all on display during this 60 mile section and when you looked for the river another aspect came into view...

Follow the river....the trees know where it is...

Even away from the river, life happens...

I love this desert wildflower.
So glad I'm able to visit places like this...

At every turnout, you just had to look and be in awe of this amazing planet and the slice I live near....

The road runs through Boulder, Utah and we stopped for a break and got an AMAZING tip to drive the Burr Trail.  So GLAD we did...
The beginning of a little slot canyon off the Trail

The echoes you could produce were insane

It always surprises me where trees can grow.
One of my favorite things about being out in nature is the silence and when I got out of the car and explored, it was there, and in that silence you start noticing the little things, like patterns in the red rock or a little nook tucked away...
Love this...

A porthole in the rock

We ended up not driving the whole trail, but if you did you would end up at Bullfrog on Lake Powell.  I think the next time I go down, I will.....

With scenery like this, I could drive forever

I love the diversity so close together...

It was time to leave the Burr Trail and Boulder behind and continue on to Torrey, home of Capitol Reef National Park.  I know that this has been a photo bonanza of a post, but I don't want to leave a section out....

First up, the animals of Capitol Reef...  A deer who posed for me

A very shy Marmot that was sooooo cute as he ran...

A bird that didn't want his face to be shown...

Capitol Reef NP is the smallest, youngest, and least visited National Park in Utah.  (How lucky am I to live in a state that has 5!!!!)  I even have a habit of skipping it, not being to it since I was a little kid.  I won't be neglecting it in the future!  It is beautiful and has a mixture of drives and hikes so I think it is easily accessed by anyone.

Ancient cliff drawings by the Fremont Indians

Twin Rocks

Amazing scenery as a storm rolled in...

A slot canyon for cars....

Overlooking the mesas of Capitol Reef

I was lucky enough to have perfect weather, low 70's and even the clouds worked for me for the photographs, and since I went before Memorial Day, the crowds weren't even out!  I will definitely be doing this adventure again, hiking trails I missed and roads not traveled....

And just another reminder, visit your National Parks!!!  But while you are there, respect them....
and just a little blog reading tip, if you want to see the photos larger, just click on them.
Melissa




















3 comments:

  1. I love the photos and the description. I feel a need to do this roadtrip myself. Thanks.

    Marti

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