My first trip to Utah's desert area began in Zion National Park. Rounding the bend toward Springdale in our 1991 Ambulance, converted into adventure camper, my mind was already blown by the brightly colored rocks towering either side of the road. Entering the park I knew we were in for an adventurous few days of hiking, exploring and photo taking. Each hike we did had it's own unique view of this incredible canyon. From the vastness of the Canyon Overlook trail, to the jaw clenching cliffs of Angel's Landing, to the washed out entrance of the Narrows and the stunning sunset at The Watchmen I couldn't take a step without having my camera ready for another shot. The beauty of this place can not be described in words and instead has to be seen first hand. What struck me about Zion National Park is that it's awe inspiring views really are accessible to all. A free shuttle that runs through the park gives passengers views up into the canyon in all directions and plenty of short paved trails allow one to get close to the brightly colored rock. For those with more mobility moderate trails are well maintained, and the adventurous souls have no shortage of elevation to gain, as over over mountain and around every bend, there seems to be a new valley to explore or peak to be summited.
As the sun illuminates the iron rich rocks of Bryce Canyon, Utah, I wander down deeper into their shadows. Peering up I am amazed at their jagged form that has taken millions of years to be carved into these shapes by the wind, sun, water and snow in the sedimentary rock. "Do you see the hunter and the rabbit?" someone asks, pointing off into the distance at one of the Hoodoos. Bryce Canyon National Park is said to have the most abundant number of these tall skinny spires of rock called Hoodoos that often form shapes sending children and adult's alike on a scavenger hunt through the park to spot them all. Driving out of Bryce Canyon at sunrise, these panicles slowly disappear in the rear view mirror as we return to a landscape more familiar, almost as if we are coming back to earth from an adventure on a far away planet.