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1997 West Vacation - September 13 through 27, Part 4


My 1997 West Vacation - 14 days, 5440 miles.
Days 8 (continued) to 10, Grand Canyon NP (North Rim) to Cedar Breaks NM

Grand Canyon National Park (North Rim) - September 20

Even though it's only 9 miles from the South rim to the North rim, its 214 miles by road, through some pretty desolate desert. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a very different place than the South Rim. Its 1200 feet higher than the South Rim, and it's hard to believe this is the same park until you reach the rim and look out...

There is less access to the rim here from a car, and the views are more impressive on the South Rim, but if you have the time you should see it.

Grand Canyon, North Rim
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I got to Pipe Spring National Monument...after it closed for the day. But I got a picture of the Entry Sign!

Pipe Spring National Monument
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This was the one time not having reservations wouldn't pay off. After trying a couple of different chains, the closest room I could get would be in St. George, Utah. I should have just driven into Virgin or other town to see if I could get a room, but pre-world wide web, you weren't sure what was there. If nothing was available, it would add 50 miles onto the day and we'd still end up in St. George.

Zion National Park

Court of the Patriarchs
Court of the Patriarchs, Riverside Walk, Zion National Park.
Zion was and is Utah's first NP. Literally translated to "the Heavenly City of God", it was originally called Mukuntuweap National Monument. It finally became Zion National Park in 1919.

While man has probably inhabited the area for a thousand or more years, it was the Mormons that put names on most of the peaks and unusual formations: The West Temple; The Three Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Angels landing; the Pulpit.

Zion National Park, Zion Canyon - September 21

The most available part of the park, as well as the centerpiece of Zion, is Zion Canyon, carved out of the rock by the Virgin River over the past 13 million years. Two to three thousand foot high walls line the canyon, making you stand in awe looking at nature's handiwork.

Zion National Park, Riverside Walk
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Zion National Park, Canyon Overlook Trail - September 21

If you follow Utah Route 9, rather than turn into Zion Canyon, you'll come to the end of a canyon carved out by Pine Creek. There's a hiking trail there that'll show you some magnificent overlooks down the valley.

Zion National Park, Canyon Overlook Trail (Mt. Carmel Highway)
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Zion National Park, Kolob Canyons - September 21

On the west end of the park, available only by taking I-15, are the finger canyons of the Kolob. They were named after the central sphere of the universe, in Mormon Book of Abraham.

The three areas of Zion pretty much took the entire day. We spent the night in Parowan, Utah.

Zion National Park, Kolob Canyons
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Cedar Breaks National Monument - September 22

Cedar Breaks National Monument is an amphitheater 3 miles across and dives down over 2000 feet. It'd be a pretty spectacular place if it weren't surrounded by the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon...

I'd also have been more in awe of this place, if it hadn't been early, cold, windy and had a decent amount of oxygen. We dragged the winter coats out from the trunk and still shivered. So, it was just an abbreviated stop down into the desert.

Cedar Breaks National Monument
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End 1997 West Vacation - Part 4.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

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