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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Utah: Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

If you haven't been to Utah, be sure to put it on your bucket list. Much more than Mormons and the Sundance Film Festival, the state has some of the most spectacular and unusual scenery anywhere on earth. Because (as they say) a picture is worth a thousand words, and I'm feeling pretty lazy, I'll let you look it over for yourselves:

Arches National Park

The campground in Arches is nestled in the sandstone monoliths.

Always red, the sandstone almost glows towards sunset.
Along the trail on "Park Avenue"

Looking out across the park along the Windows Trail

Snow covered peaks of the Rockies, just over the state line in Colorado,
 create a dramatic backdrop to the sandstone.

Balanced Rock
Double Arch, made famous in the opening scene in the third Indiana Jones movie.

Delicate Arch, so iconic it landed on the back of the Utah quarter.

Hiking in Arches: not for the acrophobic.

Landscape Arch

Window Arch. If you look very closely, there are people sitting on the rock outcropping in the
bottom  of the photo.

Canyonlands National Park

Islands in the Sky

One of the horseshoe bends on the Green River.

The White Rim Road is a 4 wheel drive trail through the canyon.
Haven't done it yet--it's on our list.
Bright blue potash evaporation ponds look out of place in the red landscape.

Critters and Petroglyphs:
A horse and rider share a portrait with a lizard.
A miniature arch with a garden of desert flowers.

There are thousands of rabbits that inhabit the desert surrounding Arches.
A leopard lizard posing for the camera.
Indian Paintbrush

Another media-savvy reptile.

Desert Big-Horn sheep must have been more prolific in the past. Maybe
the guys on horseback had something to do with their disappearance.

One in a continuing series entitled "Mark in Holes"
These photos were taken on our 2006 trip through southeastern Utah. Next post will include our eventful trip home.

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