This June visit included the iconic canyon country National Parks of Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef. These parks exemplify the stark beauty of the southwest, and this trip reinforced my fascination with the red rock country of the Colorado Plateau.
Zion NP and Bryce Canyon NP are relatively close together in southwestern Utah, and both show the beauty and power of natural erosion, but they are very different viewing experiences. In Zion, one views the power of the Virgin River from the bottom of the canyon with sheer cliff faces rising over one thousand feet above.
Bryce Canyon is higher in elevation, and shows a different geological layer of sandstone. This canyon is largely the result of freeze-thaw erosion, which creates "hoodoos" instead of canyons. This canyon gives spectacular views from both the rim and the bottom.
Both parks have very dark skies with little light pollution, and offer excellent opportunities for night photography.
Capitol Reef gives another view of the geology of the Colorado Plateau, showing the western edge of Waterpocket Fold. This giant wrinkle in the earth made east-west travel difficult for early pioneers and made this area one of the last in the lower 48 states to be settled.
To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Southern Utah location galleries at:
Bryce Canyon - http://www.mikebucherphotography.com/p800781180
Capitol Reef - http://www.mikebucherphotography.com/p893597911
As always, your comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated.