Day 32: Friday, May 31, 2013
Start: Springdale, UT
End: Bryce Canyon City, UT
Miles Driven Today: 187
Total Miles: 4,737
Today was a driving day, moving from Zion to Bryce Canyon. Leaving Zion and going to Bryce was as breathtaking as the trip in. Given that we drove in around 4pm and left around 11am…the landscape was vastly different. The light made the area look so very different; or perhaps we were less in shock as we drove through the incredible vistas. I do think I took more pictures of Zion today than I did yesterday!
The trip was only about 2 hours long primarily up Highway 89. We needed a few groceries and personal items, so we decided to drive down 89 to Kanab (the largest town around) and pick up the needed items. While it was about a 35-mile detour, we were in no hurry today and the drive was beautiful.
After we left Kanab, we motored up Highway 89. We passed a few small towns that consisted of trading posts and rock shops or a few small houses and businesses. Many of the road-side businesses were shut down…a sign that ‘recovery’ is relative.
Highway 89 skirts the Dixie National Forest, and since we couldn’t check in to our next hotel until late, we decided to detour through the Forest. We took Highway 14 to 148 and then through 143, making a loop through both the Dixie National Forest and the Cedar Breaks National Monument. It was a great detour. We climbed to over 9,000 feet and saw the temperature drop from about 70 degrees to the low 50’s. At the peak, we encountered some serious remaining snow banks! What? We passed Navajo Lake and Panguitch Lake, saw an Elk ranch (with a paddock of Elk).
As we were on the way down the mountain, we saw what we thought was Bryce; it was, in fact, Red Canyon. We later drove through Red Canyon on our way to Bryce.
Today’s drive was beautiful, memorable and vastly diverse. We went from high desert to dense forest and back to sandstone and rock. It was a great discovery drive and a beautiful day.
Of course, the dogs thought that the best part was attacking Tom after we got to the hotel.
Tomorrow, we’ll explore Bryce Canyon. We’re thrilled to see yet another natural wonder. Grand Canyon, Zion and now Bryce. What a trip!!!