Capitol Reef National Park

Situated in the south-central part of the home of national adventure and amusement parks Utah lays Capitol Reef National Park, which opens its doors to visitors from all over the world. Capitol Reef admits visitors 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, so no matter what hour of the day or time if the year you plan to the park, its doors would always be open, so you can enjoy the warm hospitality of the park, with all the fun and exciting activities that accompanies it.

The main entrance to Capitol Reef is through highway 14, which cuts across the park. Capitol Reef National Park is very renowned among Utah state parks and is well acclaimed for its exciting natural wonders which provide an astonishing view of this desert landscape of immeasurable beauty. Capitol Reef also acts as a sanctuary that harbors a variety of fun sporting and recreational activities such as hiking, camping, climbing or canyoneering, fishing, biking and horseback riding, which could all be enjoyed by the park’s visitors all year round. One of the most exciting rides within the park is the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive.

Cathedral Valley Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Photo Credit: PhotoOutpost (Rex Biggers) on flickr

If you intend on visiting the park for your first time, or after a long period, then it is advisable to begin your tour of the park in the visitor center, where you would gain valuable information as to how to go around the park with minimum damage of the fragile and sensitive arena that surrounds the park, while enjoying the intriguing facilities offered by the park. Be sure to grab a map of the park from the visitor centre, including some of the interesting books and brochures which provide extremely valuable information about the park. The Visitor center is usually open all year round, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, though working hours may extend up to 6:00 pm in the busy summer periods.

An entrance fee of $3 is charged for pedestrian and bicycle owners who intend to go beyond Fruita Campground, while a corresponding fee of $5 is charged for private vehicles and motorcycles. However, you can gain exclusive one year entrance rights into Capitol Reef and a variety of parks in and around Utah by obtaining an America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, for only $80, which could be gotten at the park’s visitor center.

The Park is packed-full with fun recreational activities that would suit children and adults alike of all ages and sex. The Capitol Reef Scenic Drive would take you on a self paced ride of your life, and offer you a clear view of most of the magnificent structures in and around the park. This ride also gives you the opportunity to savor an exceptional all-round view of the desert environment of sheer sandstone cliffs, and excellently carved layers of shale and rocks which gives a clear narration of the earth’s history, while you enjoy a resounding feel of the dry desert wind on your forehead as you cruise deeper and deeper into this exciting natural museum and explore its breathtaking artifacts.

Famous Panguitch Quilt Walk

In the year 1863, a community by the name Fairview was established about 20 miles to the northwest of the now-called Bryce Canyon National Park. Now, that community goes by the name Panguitch and is situated on a valley that is just 6600 feet above the sea level and has all year cool temperatures. This makes it hard for people to grow their crops.

Grueling Winter Season

During the second season of winter for the Fairview community, there was deep snow that covered all their crops. This season came in very early and left the residents with immature wheat that they had planted. The immature wheat was difficult to grind. They then sought the option of boiling the wheat but still, the wheat was not well-edible. They then turned to fishing and hunting but again, this was a difficult task since they would have to compete with the red Indians for the available meat.

Sending of Troops

This left the leaders of the community in a tough situation due to the lack of food. This is when the leaders came together and decided to send out two troops to go and look for food supplies in the neighboring communities. One group was sent north towards Gunnison, which is 110 miles away. They decided to get through a series of trails that they anticipated would have less snow. The other troop was sent to the west on the other side of the mountain to a community called Parowan. This was a 45 miles trek.

Panguitch Quilt Walk
Photo Credit: Jim Pare on flickr

Hardship along the Journey

The party that headed towards Gunnison found their path was blocked by snow and they returned almost immediately. This left all hopes to the seven men who were bound towards Parowan. The Parowan-bound troop started off at a good pace as they travelled on wagon. This was only the beginning. As they continued with their journey, the snow started to deepen and it apparently became harder to travel by wagon when they came across a mountain pass. This meant that they would now have to continue with their journey on foot. As they went on, they made very little progress because their legs would regularly plunge into deep snow drifts. After noticing the hardship they had to endure, they lay down a quilt and started to pray for knowledge, assistance and guidance.

Realization of the quilt walk

As the men were praying, they noticed that the quilt they knelt on the snow was able to support their weight. With this realization, they stood and started laying a blanket after another in order to finish their walk over the mountain. At long last, they reached their destination at Parowan and went ahead to acquire as many flour sacks as possible that they would carry. The community at Parowan was very helpful as they assisted them as far as they themselves would reach up the mountain. Soon as the Parowan community reached their end point, the men started walking on their quilts again as they carried the heavy flour sacks. On reaching their wagons, they loaded the flour sacks on them and started their way back to Fairview. On arrival back to Fairview, they were welcomed with great jubilation by the residents as they had saved them from hunger. The expedition was estimated to have endured a total of fourteen days to the Parowan community and back.

Evacuation and Return

Later on, a conflict ensued between the Native Americans and the other communities, including Fairview, which led to them being evacuated for some years. In 1871, the community returned to this area and they renamed the community Panguitch. Up to this day, the residents of Panguitch every year hold a celebration to commemorate the seven brave men who used the quilt to walk. This is done with a quilt walk event as well as a town memorial to honor the original settlers.
For a tourist, welcome to Panguitch and experience this famous event every year. Pack your bags and come experience the funn and historical nature of this town

The Astounding Bryce Canyon in Utah

The beautiful and amazing Bryce Canyon is a must-visit tourist spot in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. If you are visiting the state on business trip or on vacation, then make sure to visit this astounding Bryce canyon, mules and deer graze the wooded plateau, the alpine surroundings is home for several species of birds and animals. The natural beauty of Bryce Canyon is awestruck as the wind and water over millions of years of thaws and freezes have engraved into the upland eternal fields of the Nation Park’s unique red-rock pillars, which is also known as hoodoos are the best feature of the Bryce Canyon National park. This natural Amphitheater of the Park allows visitor discover its beauty and authentic formations.

Bryce Canyon looking East
Photo Credit: Mark Smith on flickr

Bryce Canyon – The Natural Geological Structures

1. The outstanding geological formation and grand colors are the finest features of Bryce Canyon National Park that makes millions of visitors visit the place and drench their thirst in its beauty.
2. The elevated hoodoos, natural bridges, narrow fins offer the hikers a lifetime thrilling experiences.
3. The BCNP (Bryce Canyon National Park) has biking and hiking trails where you can enjoy any level from plain and simple level to the most exciting and challenging level of hiking.
4. The most adventurous visitors can enjoy the multi-day package that comes with horseback ride or they can have an enchanting night hike experience with bright starry and moon-lit sky.
5. The astounding landscape of the Bryce Canyon National Park is definitely the visitors’ favorite.
6. Hikers must be very careful and look out for bristlecone pine trees, these trees are considered as the oldest trees globally, some of the trees are over 5,000 years old that you can find in this National Park

The gorgeous fins and hoodoos are formed with rainwater leaking into splits in the rock. During cold winter nights the water freezes and the splits in the rock expands. the narrow, deep walls are known as ‘fins’ are formed by melting snow and rain running down the slope from Bryce’s rim. Gradually the fins get holes which are called as a window, and when these windows grow bigger they break and create the fantastic hoodoos that all visitors globally are enjoying today.

The early morning and the late evening is the best time to visit Bryce Canyon, you can witness the gorgeous orange pink sandstones changes its color and transforms its shadow, color, and light. If you get a chance visit the Bryce canyon on a fool moon day to experience the unforgettable moments.

The highest elevation of Bryce Canyon offers the winter sports opportunity for skiers; this is something that is totally unexpected in this desert State.

Family Friendly Bryce

When visiting Bryce Canyon with your family, there may be many questions you have about what activities to take the family on. You may be wondering what activities are going to be the best suitable for the entire family to enjoy. No fear! We are here to help alleviate some of that stress and make your life a little easier. Here are the top 3 family friendly activities to engage in while visiting Bryce.

Hiking Trails

One of the more obvious activities to try would be hiking around Bryce Canyon. There are so many different, fun and easy trails to hike while here in Bryce Canyon. Hikes like Mossy Cave Trail, Rim Trail, Bristlecone Loop, Queens Garden and more. Hikes that the whole fambam can enjoy!

Wondering at nature's marvel : Bryce Canyon, Utah.
Photo Credit: N Mishra on flickr

Horseback Riding

Looking for more of a relaxing and up close activity in the wilderness? Try horseback riding! They say mans bestfriend is dog, but we are here to tell you its definitely a horse! Strong, bog, loyal and beautiful. Riding these amazing animals through sky high hoodoos and the stunning ponderosa pines will leave you breathless.

Sunset / Horse
Photo Credit: Alan on flickr

ATV Adventures

Exciting, thrilling and beyond fun! This activity will give you the adrenaline pump of a lifetime and will also give you and your family an up close and personal experience with the surroundings of Bryce Canyon. Experience stunning sights, steep traverses and much more.

For ATV Guided Tours Article
Photo Credit: OntarioMotorcycling on flickr

Petrified Forest

The works of nature is always astonishing and its beauty is ever portrayed in mysterious ways. Petrified Forest National Park is located in the counties of Apache and Navajo in the northeast of Arizona. The park is crossed by the historic U.S. Route 66 and Puerco River from east to west. The park covers a surface area of about 146 square miles and got its name from its large deposit of petrified wood in some parts of the park. Petrified wood could be defined as wood that has gradually turned into stone over time through a variety of natural compositions.

The park is usually covered in steppe, a semi-desert shrub, and also has a large area of colorful badlands that have experienced serious erosion over time. The park is noted for its large fossil deposit of fallen trees that used to exist about 225 million years ago, in an era known as the Late Triassic. These fossil deposits of logs extend into part of the Chinle Formation and create the beautiful and colorful sight that inspired the naming of the Painted Forest.

Petrified Forest NP, Jr.
Photo Credit: Eric Henderson on flickr

Petrified Forest offers a good adventure trip for anyone who loves hiking, photography, backpacking and sightseeing. However, a larger portion of the approximately 600,000 annual visitors come to the park to explore its rich composition of fossils that holds information from up to 225 million years back. The park opens its doors 364 days a year, with the exception of December 25.

Among the many scholars and researchers who visit Petrified Forest to explore its rich remnants include people from varying fields of study such as Geology, Paleontology, History, Biology and Archeology. The Geologists and Paleontologists explore this forest’s rich rock forms in order to decipher certain myths of nature.

The rich fauna Petrified Forest which includes about 447 animal species attracts a lot of Biologist and animal lovers to the park, who come to admire and learn more about these exciting species. Some of the most common animal species that could be found in the park includes coyotes, bobcats, and pronghorns. This forest alone is also home to about 10 different bat species. You could also find rare insects in their natural habitats such as scorpions, praying mantises, cicadas and centipedes. The colorful western meadowlark birds are also frequent the park to transmit their beautiful melodies to listening fans at Petrified Forest.

Archeologists have formed about 600 sites around the Park, and have been able to prove that the first inhabitants of the park settled there about 8,000 years back. Petroglyphs could be found carved into rocks at strategic locations of the park such as Puerco Pueblo, with mysterious meanings yet to be unveiled.

If you would love to learn more about the volcanic activities within the forest and the whole idea of Petrification, then take a rendezvous with David Storck on the Meadow Walk. This is an exciting half mile guided walk that would thrill and educate you on all you need to know about petrification and the petrified fossils. You would also see deposits of volcanic material as high as 100 feet, which contains material such as iron, rhyolite, obsidian and petrified wood chunks. This is also an opportunity to come in close contact with native trees such as douglas-fir, madrone, live oaks, and rare flowers.

Cedar Breaks National Monument – Cedar Canyon

Cedar Breaks is a magnificent National Monument that is almost forgotten most of the time due to its location to three major National Parks; Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and The North Rim of The Grand Canyon. Which is pretty sad considering that Cedar Breaks is absolutely stunning. Think of it as like a miniature Bryce Canyon, except the hoodoos and rock formations are almost more vibrantly red than the ones you will find in Bryce.

Cedar Breaks Sunset
Photo Credit: Nishanth Vepachedu on flickr

The roads that lead to Cedar Breaks are absolutely captivating all in their own. With wildflower meadows, aged bristlecone pines, streams and cool refreshing air. If you’re looking for a scenic relaxing drive, or trying to get out and do some hiking, this is one of the best places to go. Due to the little amount of tourism here, it is almost secluded. There are multiple hikes all along the sides that you can pull of that are short and simple with spectacular views. If you are heading to Cedar Breaks from the Cedar City side, you will have the opportunity to stop at The Zion Overlook, where you can see Navajo Lake and Zion National Park from Cedar Canyon, which is by far one of the most remarkable Views.

Prepare to be amazed as you reach the Cedar Breaks Amphitheater destination. Standing at a staggering 10,000 ft. elevation, and dropping down int o the amphitheater to its bottom 2,000 ft. down. This monument will take your breath away as you gaze upon the many stunning and bright red rock formations and hoodoos which contrast strongly against the green bristlecone pines. This really is one of the most magnificent monuments in the U.S.

Many say that is Cedar Breaks was not located in such close proximity to Zion, Bryce and The Grand Canyon that it would be one of the most sought out Tourist locations. With good trip planning, you can hit all four parks and be amazed at all stops.

Red Canyon Next to Bryce Canyon

For many centuries, many people have always been fascinated with Red Canyon. The amazing rock formation and the Ponderosa Pines make the whole place different and stunning. This is by far one of the best places that tourist should visit.

For your first stop, you should head to the Scenic Byway Information Kiosk which is located near the entrance the Red Canyon. Going to the information kiosk is a big help as you can get the necessary information that you need. You get to have the overview of the byway and all the features. When you visit the Red Canyon Visitor Center, you get to have information on different activities like sightseeing, picnicking, camping and hiking. There is a campground across the visitor center.

Red Canyon offers amazing trails. There is the Birdseye Trail which is an .8 mile hike which gives you amazing views of the red rock formations. Another nice trail that you can try is the Losee Canyon Trail which is a 3 mile hike where you get to see the rugged Red Canyon. If you want to try off-highway vehicle, you can try the Casto Canyon Trail. Before you go, check out the visitor center.

Located at the east of the visitor center is the Red Canyon Trailhead Kiosk. You can access more than 5 different trails open for different activities like biking, horseback riding and hiking.
Red Canyon is open all year round. The trails are also available any time of the year even during winter season. During this season, you can enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skis.

Red Canyon, Utah
Photo Credit: Brian Gilmore on flickr

For more information regarding Red Canyon and the activities you can do there, check out the Visitors Center. They can provide you will all the right information and most of the tools and equipment you will need to have a good time!