Travel & Photography Trip
to southern Utah:

Paria Canyon,

(in Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area),

Cottonwood Canyon,

(in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument)

Natural Bridges National Monument

(Doug & Brian, May 2014)

Travel Trip Photo: Canyon walls in Paria Canyon, Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area, Utah

Doug and Brian took a road trip in late May 2014. The original plan was to go to Powell Plateau on the north rim of the Grand Canyon (the trip that had to be abandoned in Oct 2013 when the federal government shut down and, in turn, closed all the national parks). On arrival to the North Rim, they were greeted by heavy smoke! - from a forest fire to the south in Oak Creek Canyon, AZ. The weather changed during the night and, while clearing out the smoke, brought in clouds and rain. In the morning they packed up and headed out to Swamp Point, the trailhead for the North Bass trail, which also leads to Powell Point. As they drove the weather turned, for the worse, and by the time they reached Swamp Point, on a remote forest service road, they were in the middle of a thunder snowstorm! This, plus the fact that they had been warned that heavy winds were predicted, which could blow down some of the many dead (fire-burn) trees along the way and, possibly block the road into and/or out of Swamp Point. So again, it was apparent that Powell Plateau was not to be.

So Doug and Brian retraced their steps and headed back north to warmer and sunnier climes of southern Utah.

Website photos of their modified trip, with captions and slideshows (with music):
Paria Canyon: Hiking several miles down Paria River Canyon, (in the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area), down river toward its Narrows, as it traces from its headwaters in Utah and winds down until it finally flows into the upper Grand Canyon in Arizona;

Cottonwood Canyon: taking a scenic and scouting drive up Cottonwood Canyon, including a short side excursion to majestic Grosvenor Arch, enjoying and photographing the spectacular views and scouting out possible slot canyon hike for their Sept 2014 fall trip, to Cannonville, UT, then returning via the Skutumpah and Johnson Canyon road;

Natural Bridges National Monument: As almost an after-thought, on our way home, they decided to "check out" Natural Bridges NM, west of Blanding, UT and home of 3 of the largest natural bridges in the West, as well as numerous smaller ones. Although they only spent a few hours touring the rim drive and photographing the arches from overlooks, the National Monument has been put on the list as a return site, to hike down the 9+ miles of trails that will provide eye level, up-close views of the bridges;

Other: places we went to, things we saw - included a scenic reststop along Hwy 89; roadside views of North Coyote Buttes (we did stop at the Kanab, UT BLM office for Wave Lottery drawing on 3 mornings -- and sruck out all 3 times!); Catstair Canyon, near the House Rock Valley road turn-off, where we searched, with no success, for Ancient Puebloan pictographs; the Toadstools, that Ellen and Doug had visited and photographed earlier in May; the Mexican Hat, Utah area; and a juvenile golden eagle near Cisco, Utah.

Composite YouTube slide show/video:
Southern Utah

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