Utah, Part 1

There are so many places to see in Utah, but I wanted to limit myself to a few areas and not drive all over the state.  Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Goosenecks State Park would have been interesting, but were over on the east side of the state.  I decided to go as far east as Capitol Reef National Park, then west to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.

So, again I was southbound on I-15, heading to Salt Lake City.  I was going to meet Mary, who I worked with at Dell but had never met because she worked remotely from Sandy, just past SLC.  We planned to have lunch, and I could catchup on Dell news.  It’s always fun to meet the folks you work with from across the country/world.  Then I headed to Nephi to camp in the Uinta National Forest.  There are some dispersed campsites up Salt Creek Canyon Road.  The next day we drove down to Torrey and Capitol Reef National Park.  The huge rock faces run for miles to the south and are just stunning.  There is a nice campground in the park, but was full. I ended up at a commercial campground in nearby Torrey.

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef

From Torrey I took the Highway 12 scenic drive that connects to Bryce Canyon National Park.  The road immediately climbs high into the Dixie National Forest and has an overlook above Capitol Reef.

Above Capitol Reef

In the Dixie National Forest above Capitol Reef

Along the way the road passes through some very interesting rock formations.  At one point the road is on a thin spine, called “The Hogback”, with the road dropping off of on both sides.

Back in Wheatland, WY, Alan (the Englishman I had met) told me about a nice camping spot across the highway from Bryce.  It was a good spot to disperse camp for a night.  The next morning I drove into Bryce Canyon very early and was able to get a good campsite at Sunset Campground.  Found a nice shady site.  That way I could leave Riley in the rig for a few hours without it getting too hot in there while I hiked.  Dogs aren’t allowed on most hiking trails in the National parks anymore.  Usually there is one trail in each park that allows dogs.  Generally it is some paved trail from the campground to the visitor center, or something like that.  In Bryce the trail from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point is dog friendly.  So we did that first thing.  It was pretty crowded and lots of folks wanted to stop and pet Riley.  He is always happy to meet people that want to pet him!


Bryce Canyon

Early the next morning we drove to the end of the canyon (Rainbow Point) and drove back, stopping at all of the view points along the way.  I decided to stay another night and took the shuttle to Bryce Point and Inspiration Point.  At about sunset I took the Navajo loop down into the hoodoos.  On the way back up the skies were really stormy looking.  I probably took about 400 photos of Bryce Canyon.  It’s just gorgeous and changes all day long as the light changes.  So glad we stopped there.

Here is a gallery of photos.  For some reason WordPress isn’t allowing me to create a slideshow.  But, you can click on the first photo and it will open into a slideshow.

After Bryce Canyon we visited Zion National Park and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  I’ll write about those in Part 2.

4 thoughts on “Utah, Part 1

  1. I remember the “Hogback”, not fondly. Beautiful drive but sitting up high in our 37′ MH was scary to someone who has a fear of falling. Are you back in Texas now?

    • Hi Phil! Yes, it’s unpleasant to drive that Hogback section. Just tried to keep it between the lines. Yes, back in TX for the holidays. Working hard with my dad at designing and installing a solar system for the rig. Also, doing other upgrades (faucet, antenna, etc.). Will be heading to Quartzsite early in January. Will you and Karon be traveling next year?

  2. I was wondering where this dispersed camping that you mentioned near Bryce Canyon was. I am taking a vacation their with my family and would like to stay there. If you could give me any details I would appreciate it.

    • Hi Mike, sorry for the delay. Been in Yosemite without Internet connection. Here are the directions as Alan gave them. I had no problem finding the site. “From junction of State Road 12 and SR 63, turn towards Antimony (this is away from Bryce Canyon). After 4 miles, at 3rd cattle guard, turn left after the cattle guard. Park anywhere. This is 10 miles from Bryce Canyon NP entrance.”. There are also some sites across the road (turn right at 3rd cattle guard).
      Have fun and take plenty of camera batteries. You will wear out your camera at Bryce!

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