We were almost over the red rocks by the time we made it to Bryce Canyon, but quickly realised this was a site quite different to the others. Thousands of red, orange and white needles of rock poke up from the canyon, giving a ripple effect as the sun passes over in the afternoon. And even better than standing at the top looking down, you can follow a few well worn paths into the canyon, and get lost at the bottom. I’d love to go back to see Bryce Canyon in winter, because the snow fall would really light the place up!
Monument Valley is the ultimate movie set – for John-Wayne-style westerns, at least. The famous red rock monuments all line up on the horizon and change colour and size throughout the day, depending on where you’re standing. We did a one day trip through the main valley and the one next to it, Mystery Valley. It was hot, red and dusty, as you would expect – but with some amazing sights along the way. As usual the best times for photos were morning and evening but with such a long day in the sun, I unfortunately I didn’t make either! But these pictures will have to do – enjoy!
Our second stop in Moab was to Canyonlands National Park, which, as the name suggests, is full of canyons. About an hour from Moab, the park is massive. There are a number of different viewing points, loads of trails and even one canyon rim that would take two days to drive around. But in the absence of a 4WD, we stuck to the viewpoints of Mesa Arch, Green River, Grand View, Needles and Wooden Shoe. The sights were beautiful but in the middle of summer, the best bet is to visit early morning or late afternoon. We were rewarded with the best light in the afternoon at Grand View Viewpoint, which is my favourite photo from the set. Between all of that and Arches, I am almost convinced that Utah is made entirely of National Parks.
And so the official road trip begins! Today’s trip was to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, for sunrise. We made it just in time to see the sun hit the Northern Window, and light up Turret Arch. Absolutely beautiful. After that, we made it through the park quite quickly, hoping to beat the heat and the crowds. But still we were there for almost seven hours, checking out a few different sites. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to Delicate Arch, which is probably the most famous site in the park. But with the desert heat, I think I’ll come back in winter sometime instead!