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Utah National Parks

Capital Reef National Park

sunny 66 °F

Today we traveled the 210 miles from Kayenta, Arizona to Capital Reef National Park. We chose some back roads which provided some superb views and crossed the Colorado at the back waters of Lake Powell.

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We then entered Capital Reef National Park. Partially in Wayne County, Utah, the area was originally named "Wayne Wonderland" in the 1920s by local boosters Ephraim P. Pectol and Joseph S. Hickman. Capitol Reef National Park was designated a national monument on August 2, 1937, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to protect the area's colorful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths; however, it was not until 1950 that the area officially opened to the public. Road access was improved in 1962 with the construction of State Route 24 through the Fremont River Canyon. After a sandwich, we took a nice 2 mile hike through Capital Canyon, which is at the end of the "Scenic Drive".

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Posted by rpickett 16:16 Archived in USA Tagged park national capital reef Comments (0)

Utah National Parks

Monument Valley, Navajo Nation Reservation

sunny 65 °F

After three wonderful nights in our cabin on the Colorado River in Moab, we packed up and headed south to continue our adventure. On the way to our overnight in Keyenta, Arizona, we entered the Navajo Reservation to travel through Monument Valley.

Monument Valley (Navajo: Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, meaning valley of the rocks) is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft (300 m) above the valley floor. It is located on the Arizona–Utah border, near the Four Corners area. The valley lies within the territory of the Navajo Nation Reservation. Monument Valley has been featured in many forms of media since the 1930s. Director John Ford used the location for a number of his best-known films and thus, in the words of critic Keith Phipps, "its five square miles have defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West.

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Posted by rpickett 15:53 Archived in USA Tagged monument valley Comments (0)

Utah National Parks

Canyonlands National Park

semi-overcast 70 °F

Today's sojourn was to Canyonlands National Park, about 40 minutes away from Moab. There are two entrances, one at Needles and one at Island in the Sky, which is where we went. It's a wonderful mesa at 6000 feet elevation.

The park preserves a colorful landscape eroded into numerous canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries. Legislation creating the park was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 12, 1964. The park is divided into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the combined rivers—the Green and Colorado—which carved two large canyons into the Colorado Plateau. While these areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character. Author Edward Abbey, a frequent visitor, described the Canyonlands as "the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth—there is nothing else like it anywhere."

Unfortunately pictures can't come close to capturing its magnificence. You really do have to visit!

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Posted by rpickett 16:20 Archived in USA Tagged park national canyonlands Comments (0)

Utah National Parks

Arches National Park

sunny 73 °F

I have traveled to all seven continents, more than 60 countries and all 50 states, but I am continually amazed by the beauty of most parts of the USA. After a 560 mile drive from Nampa , Idaho to Moab, Utah, we entered the Arches National Park just after 9:00am this morning. Just like Disney, we went all the way to the back of the park (North) and worked our way out. Most people stop at the first turnoff in the park and work their way in. As proven today, the crowds are less when you work your way out. October is my favorite time to travel - the crowds are smaller but, according to our hotel staff, there is no real off season here - just times when there are less people.

More than 2,000 natural sandstone arches are located in the park, including the well-known Delicate Arch, as well as a variety of unique geological resources and formations. The park contains the highest density of natural arches in the world. The park consists of 76,679 acres (119.811 sq mi; 31,031 ha; 310.31 km2) of high desert located on the Colorado Plateau. The highest elevation in the park is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and the lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. The park receives an average of less than 10 inches (250 mm) of rain annually. Administered by the National Park Service, the area was originally named a national monument on April 12, 1929, and was re-designated as a national park on November 12, 1971. The park received more than 1.6 million visitors in 2018.

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Posted by rpickett 16:50 Archived in USA Tagged utah Comments (0)

The Utah National Parks

Idaho

sunny 69 °F

My brother and I have planned a trip to the Utah National Parks for the last year. On the way out, we spent some time with my daughter and her family in Nampa, Idaho - a suburb of Boise. Since my brother had never been to Idaho, we decided to go to Celebration Park to see the Snake River and typical Boise Idaho landscape.

This park features in-situ petroglyphs- rock carvings made by Native Americans dating from historical times to more than 12,000 years ago. During the winter, the Paiute lived at lower elevations along the Snake River like at this site, and this region was also home to Shoshone. A fresh water spring in the park area made it an ideal camping spot for many generations. The park's Guffey railroad bridge over the Snake River was built 122 years ago in 1897, to carry gold and silver ore from Silver City in the Owyhee mountains to Nampa for smelting. It has been refurbished and is open for walking and horseback riding. It is the only Parker-Through-Truss railroad bridge in Idaho and is the state's largest historic artifact; it was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

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Posted by rpickett 16:13 Archived in USA Tagged idaho Comments (1)

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