After leaving behind us the city of vice, we drive up towards Utah to reach the wonderful national parks there. I read that almost 70% of the state is protected public land. It is not that surprising as it is so beautiful. The highway drive through the mountains is very scenic. We reach Zion Canyon near Springdale towards the middle of the afternoon. It is a very hot and beautiful day and the light reflects on the red walls of the canyon.

After parking our car, we take a shuttle bus which brings us to different stops inside the park. Zion Canyon is the result of a process that took up to 150 million years. Quite young compared to the Grand Canyon (2 billion years)!

As the contrast between the shaded areas and the illuminated walls was so big, I had to take most of these pictures using a high dynamic range technique, which is involves taking multiple pictures exposed differently and merging them afterwards.

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After walking next to river, we decide to do a small hike to reach the Emeralds Pools. The pools take their name from an algae that grows in them. We had some very nice views of the valley but the downside was that because of the water, there was lots of mosquitoes.

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After Zion Canyon, we drove out to the other side of the park (through a tunnel inside the rock) and stopped at a roadside motel. I love the Motel signs!


Continuing our journey, we stopped at a small cute Antiques shop that looked very interesting from the outside.


After a couple of hours of driving, we reach our second destination in Utah, the magnificient Bryce Canyon.


Bryce Canyon is quite a sight! The area is much higher than Zion. The ridge is at 8500 feet (around 2500 meters). The rock formations are called hoodoos and we were formed by the harsher weather conditions as the area can get frost and snow during winter.

We started by a pretty long hike inside the canyon. Very nice views but it was getting pretty hot.


This is a typical view of Bryce Point with the famous amphitheater.

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Going down into the Amphitheater.

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The Hoodoos. You can even see 3 sisters in the background.

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These pictures are taken in an area just before (or after) Bryce called Red Canyon.

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This concludes our chapter on Utah. We are now heading towards Arizona and the Grand Canyon!

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