To Bryce Canyon

Zion National Park

Departing Aquarius to Bryce Canyon / Zion
On the drive southwest towards Escalante, Bryce Canyon and the Grand Staircase on Scenic Byway 12 is an unbelievable section of road called the Hogsback. It’s a magnificent ride of a few blocks’ length-a two-lane ribbon of blacktop with a foundation of slickrock. On either side of you is a thousand-foot drop into canyons. At the bottom of this thrill ride is the beautiful Calf Creek Recreation Area. A hike to Lower Calf Creek falls is a strenuous walk through loose sand but is worth the effort to see the 126-foot falls and bask in its coolness.

Calf Creek Falls

Grand Staircase / Escalante National Monument

Climbing this staircase would be quite a long and laborious trek. It rises more than six thousand vertical feet. Each “riser” is a colorful view displaying vermilion, white, gray or pink cliffs or slopes reaching as high as 2,000 feet. Each “tread” is a terrace, flat or plateau stretching as much as 15 miles wide. These cliffs, terraces and slopes are a geological treasure, millions of years old and offering a wealth of scientific information.

The Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument is divided into three sections: the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau and the Canyon of the Escalante, covering a total of 1.7 million acres.

The Vermilion Cliffs house many fossils of fish and early dinosaurs from the Triassic period. A step to the North lie the White Cliffs composed of Jurassic sand dunes. Above the White Cliffs are the shaley Gray Cliffs, deposited when the ocean covered the land. These Gray Cliffs show signs of marine life-sharks’ teeth, seashells and layers of coal formed from compressed marsh and swamp plants. An ancient freshwater lake deposited the Pink Cliffs at the tops of the Grand Staircase; even more of these are located in Bryce Canyon National Park.One cannot view the Grand Staircase from just one vantage point; it is a vast isolated and remote land. If you are looking for solitude and space, here is where you can find it. Additionally, hiking is popular in the Monument.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park
Near the end of spectacular Scenic Byway 12 is Bryce Canyon, Utah. When the final curtain of green pines has parted, you find yourself standing at the edge of eons of carved and sculptured beauty. Here wind and water seem to have worked over time, but took millions of years to create what lies before you. Hundreds of red, pink and cream capped spirals and columns flow to the green of the forest and beyond to the multicolored cliffs reaching and merging to the blue of the lofty heights of Boulder Mountain. One is captivated and enthralled at Bryce Canyon by the different windows, arches and high columns found in this most wondrous of canyons. Queen Victoria, Thor’s Hammer, Alley Oop and Dinny, and hundreds of other formations just waiting for the imagination of a creative visitor to give them a name make Bryce Canyon . See the canyon from Bryce’s most famous viewpoints-Sunrise, Sunset, Rainbow, Yovimpa and Inspiration Point. No matter the season you choose to visit, you will go away with a greater appreciation of the endless beauty of this great country and perhaps just a little more peace given as a gift from the quiet beauty of this wondrous canyon.

Red Canyon Area Road

Red Canyon Area
Still traveling West on Highway 12 is more scenic beauty, Red Canyon, where you can enjoy the magnificence of red hills adorned with lofty pinnacles reaching to the blue of the sky. Green pines finish the picture of such breathtaking proportions, only the Master could have created. The drive through Red Canyon is only a mile in length with a number of parking spots along the road. There are two man made arches to drive through, making Highway 12 even more picturesque and enjoyable.