Saturday, May 3, 2014

Beautiful Utah

We left Las Vegas last weekend, but before heading into California we took a detour to southwest Utah to visit Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.  Cedar City looked like a good central location, close to I-15, and we found a Best Western with 10 full hookup sites.

Snowy peaks in the distance

Our site at the Best Western











We picked an empty site in the middle of the row, and got settled.

Site 156

We had a French Bakery right on site, and there was a nice grassy park across the street for walking Casey.

Walking Casey in the park

French Bakery

She hasn’t seen grass for a long time, so the first time Nicolas walked her she rolled around in the grass . . . she looked so happy!


We had quite a change in the weather, though . . . in Vegas we were running the A/C non-stop, but in Cedar City we needed the heat pump at night!  The mountains surrounding us had snow on them still!

We spent one full day hiking at Zion National Park,


and another full day at Bryce Canyon.

Hiking into the canyon

(Those will each be a post of their own, and photo-intense!)

We loved Utah – the combination of red rocks and green landscape was beautiful!  The drive from Cedar City to Bryce Canyon was especially picturesque! 

We drove up the mountains,

On the way to Bryce Canyon

into the snowy countryside,

Snow on the mountaintop











to the summit where we could see Zion Canyon in the distance (at least I think it was Zion!!).

Zion in the distance

We drove through the Dixie National Forest, enjoying the beautiful springtime landscape.

Springtime in the mountains


Birch Trees


National Forest Visitor Center


As we made the turn onto Scenic Byway UT-12, we entered Red Canyon, also in the Dixie National Forest.

Dixie National Forest


Red Canyon

Red Canyon











It was a preview of things to come in Bryce Canyon!

Red Canyon Tunnel

After four full days in Utah, we back-tracked our way south on I-15, through the Virgin Canyon in the northwest corner of Arizona (Bryce was driving, so I could get some pictures).

Virgin Canyon












Driving through the canyon would be interesting under normal conditions, but add construction on top of that, and it gets REALLY interesting!

Narrow lanes in the construction zone!


More construction










Traffic was light, though, so we made it through the construction without issue,


and made our way back through Nevada.

Back in Vegas -- just passing through!



We breezed through Las Vegas, stopped for diesel at the NV-CA border (on the Nevada side!), and made our way into California, another new state for us!








As we made our way down in elevation, into the Mohave Desert, the temperatures heated up – all the way to 102 degrees!

Mohave Desert

325 miles later, we were settled in the Walmart parking lot in Barstow, California . . . we continue west tomorrow!


  1. We loved both Bryce and Zion...both very different. My memory tells me in Zion we were always looking UP and in Bryce we were always looking down!! Zion was green and Bryce was red, with a bit of white as it did snow when we were there;o))

  2. That's a lot of miles driven but can only imagine the scenery you saw. looking forward to seeing those posts.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.


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