WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2010:

Today I would drive a total of 210 miles.

All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

On Wednesday morning I began the day by driving south out of Torrey, Utah on the Highway 12 Scenic Byway.
At this point the highway crosses over Boulder Mountain in the Dixie National Forest.
There were several scenic viewpoints along the way. The mountain summits at 11,283 feet.
View from Utah's Boulder Mountain View from Utah's Boulder Mountain

36 miles south of Torrey is the town of Boulder. From there I took a very interesting side trip on the Burr Trail.
The Burr Trail is a backcountry route extending from the mountain town of Boulder down through
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument into Capital Reef National Park and then to Bullfrog in
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This very scenic route covers about 68 miles.
The Burr Trail takes the adventurous traveler into some of Utah's most beautiful and extraordinary country.
Views of the Henry Mountains, the colorfully contorted Waterpocket Fold, red Circle Cliffs,
and Long Canyon all await the traveler who wishes to drive this interesting back road.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

17 miles east of Boulder the road enters Long Canyon, and it follows this colorful canyon for the next 7 miles.
Long Canyon is a narrow canyon enclosed by sheer sandstone walls which tower hundreds of feet above the road.
The sandstone has fractured and eroded, forming alcoves. Some of the dark red sandstone has been leached
by water to a whitish shade, and black desert varnish stains the vertical walls.
Long Canyon along the Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Long Canyon along the Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Long Canyon along the Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

There is a wide variety of canyon and desert scenery along the Burr Trail.
I started the drive not knowing how far I would procede before turning back.
There was something new and interesting to see around every bend in the road.
I was compelled to keep pushing on.
The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

31 miles east of Boulder is the western boundary of Capitol Reef National Park.
To the east is a panoramic view of the jagged, brilliantly-colored west side of the Waterpocket Fold.
The Henry Mountains can be seen from this viewpoint.
Surrounding this area are the Circle Cliffs, named by John Wesley Powell.
This is also the point where the paved road ends and the road turns to dirt.
One should be sure there are no pending storms before continuing as the road can become impassable when wet.
The Burr Trail enters Capitol Reef National Park The Burr Trail enters Capitol Reef National Park The Burr Trail enters Capitol Reef National Park

34 miles east of Boulder are the top of the switchbacks into Burr Canyon. The scenic view to the east is superb.
The Burr Trail switchbacks steeply through the canyon.
Burr Canyon along the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park Burr Canyon along the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park Burr Canyon along the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park

36 miles east of Boulder is the bottom of the switchbacks in Burr Canyon.
Here in Burr Canyon, the Navajo sandstone has been eroded away, leaving a huge notch in the Waterpocket Fold.
My car was so dirty at this point I couldn't see a thing through the red-dirt-covered back window.
Burr Canyon along the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park Burr Canyon along the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park Looking down the Burr Trail toward the Waterpocket Fold

It was at this point that I reluctantly turned around and went back the same way I came.
I would have loved to have continued on to the end at Bullfrog but that would have been another 32 miles,
making it a 136 mile round trip since I was heading in the exact opposite driection of where I was heading.
The Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument The Burr Trail entering Long Canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

It was 36 miles back to Boulder. The ride back was just as enjoyable.
I spent about 4 hours on my 72 mile roundtrip journey on the Burr Trail.
The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

The video below is the complete Burr Trail video lasting over 24 minutes.

When I got back to Boulder I headed west on the Highway 12 Scenic Byway.
The road continues through the Escalante canyons with panoramic views over miles of colorful slickrock.
View along the Highway 12 Scenic Byway in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument View along the Highway 12 Scenic Byway in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument View along the Highway 12 Scenic Byway in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

The eleven minute video below chronicles my travles on Utah Highway 12.
The first part is of the journey south from Torrey as the road climbs over Boulder Mountain.
The second part show my travels west through the beautiful Grand Staircase-Escalante
National Monument after I left the Burr Trail.

About ten miles southeast of Cannonville, Utah is a small but beautiful State Park, Kodachrome Basin.
Sixty-seven monolithic stone spires called sedimentary pipes accentuate multi-hued sandstone layers revealing
180 million years of geologic time. The color and beauty found here prompted a 1948 National Geographic
Society expedition to name the area Kodachrome after the popular color film.
Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park

Kodachrome Basin is a spectacle of massive sandstone chimneys, ever-changing from gray and white to shades
of red with the day's mood. Numerous rocks and coves offer solitude, quiet and unique desert beauty.
Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park

The five minute video below shows the pristine beauty of the small Kadachrome Basin State Park.

My numerous side trips off the Highway 12 Scenic Byway had me arriving late afternoon in Bryce Canyon
National Park. I quickly checked into my hotel, the new Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel.

I stayed at the new Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel.
You can check it out in the two minute video below.

After getting settled in my accommodations I set out to explore the park.
Bryce Canyon National Park is named for just one of many canyons which form a series
of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters on the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah.
Erosion has carved colorful Claron limestones into thousands of spires, fins, arches and mazes.
Collectively called "hoodoos," these unique formations are whimsically arranged and tinted with colors too
numerous and subtle to name. The viewpoint at Inspiration Point consists of three levels that provide varied
spectacular perspectives of the main amphitheater. From here, visitors look toward the Silent City
with its many rows of seemingly frozen hoodoos set against the backdrop of Boat Mesa.
All who look out from this point are bound to be inspired, considering the intricacies
of the hoodoos and their formation through the erosion of the Claron Formation.
Bryce Canyon National Park Entrance Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

From Bryce Point, one of the most scenic vistas of the full amphitheater and all its wonders amaze the visitor.
Bryce Point is famous for its extraordinary sunrises. From here you can watch the tops of hoodoos set alight
as if by fire from the first rays of the rising sun. Like fire, the orange light quickly spreads driving
shadows from all but the deepest recesses of the amphitheater.
Bryce Point in Bryce Canyon National Park Bryce Point in Bryce Canyon National Park Bryce Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

I arrived at Paria View just shortly before sunset.
Here one prominent and photogenic castle-like hoodoo rises high above the canyon floor to absorb
the last rays of the setting sun. Paria is a Paiute word meaning "water with elk" or "water with mud".
Paria View in Bryce Canyon National Park Paria View in Bryce Canyon National Park Paria View in Bryce Canyon National Park

Sunset Point offers vistas of some of the most famous and breathtaking of Bryce Canyon's hoodoos.
Directly below the point and to the south, the Silent City rises from the canyon floor, a maze of
hoodoos and fins packed in tight formation. Just below the overlook on the northern edge,
Thor's Hammer stands alone. Striking in form due to its isolation from other hoodoos.
Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

I made the most of my time in the park, staying until every last bit of light was gone and the sky filled with stars.
All the pictures below were taken at Sunset Point after the sun had completely set.
Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

The eleven minute video below is the first of two videos of Bryce Canyon National Park.
The video below features the places shown in the pictures above along with the beautiful sunset.
Click onward to see tomorrows video of my morning visit to the park.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON JUNE 2, 2010
Hello Everyone,

Today was a great day. Where I stayed last night is only 115 miles from where I am staying tonight but it took me almost 10 hours to get here. I started the day by driving about 40 miles south of Torrey (where I stayed last night) where I picked up the Burr Trail. The Burr Trail is a 75 mile long, mostly dirt road that crosses The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the southern part of Capitol Reef National Park. I didn't do the entire 75 miles because it was heading the exact opposite direction I wanted to go. But I did get about 40 miles into it before I turned around and headed back. The first picture was taken at the beginning of the trail.

The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

It was a beautiful day. Next the trail headed into Long Canyon.

Long Canyon along the Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Long Canyon along the Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Thirty miles into the trail I reentered Capitol Reef National Park.

The Burr Trail enters Capitol Reef National Park

There was great solitude out here. It took me four hours to do the round trip on the trail and I only saw about a dozen other cars the entire time. You can see the dirt trail in the picture below.

The Burr Trail enters Capitol Reef National Park

A really scenic portion is Burr Canyon. In the picture below you can see the switchbacks to the bottom of the canyon. In the distance you can see the cliffs of the Waterpocket Fold.

Burr Canyon along the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park

The picture below is of my dirty car at the bottom of Burr Canyon. The back window was so dirty I could not see out of it at all.

Burr Canyon along the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park

It was at this point I turned around and went back. In the picture below I'm climbing back up the switchbacks.

Burr Canyon along the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park

Even though I was traveling the same road back it never got boring. The scenery was spectacular.

The Burr Trail in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

After getting off the Burr Trail it was about 80 miles to Bryce. Scenic State Road 12 continued its way across the huge Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. I ate my lunch at one of the many scenic overlooks.

View along the Highway 12 Scenic Byway in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Before getting to Bryce I took another side trip. This one to Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park

Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park

Got to my hotel here at Bryce Canyon after 6:00. After getting settled I headed into Bryce Canyon National Park which is only 3 miles from my hotel. My first scenic viewpoint was Inspiration Point.

Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

My second stop was at Bryce Point.

Bryce Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

My third stop was Paria Viewpoint. The setting sun really brought out the colors in the rock.

Paria View in Bryce Canyon National Park

My last stop was fittingly Sunset Point.

Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

Below is a picture of sunset from Sunset Point.

Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

The final picture of the day was also from Sunset Point. The sun was completely set and it was almost dark.

Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

It was a very long but fantastic day. Once again it is time for me to go to bed.

More Later,

Tim
Click on email photos for the large full-size photograph.


Click on the arrow above to see tomorrow's adventures!



TIM'S HOME PAGE SITE INDEX
AreasDescription# of Pages
About MeCurrent Picture of me and my home.
Information about myself.
2
BiographyPictorial biography of myself.
Pictures range from birth to adulthood.
4
Family FilePictures of my family
and a little information about them.
11
Local SpotlightPictures, Links, and Information for
Indianapolis, Richmond, Plainfield,
and Mooresville, Indiana.
6
Tim's TravelsPictures, videos and travelogs from
my travels around the world.
200+
  Vacation Videos   Over 1100 videos from
my travels around the world.
1