utah: points southwest

As part of our “Canyon & Cactus Road Trip” in October-November of 2020, we spent two weeks exploring the National and State Parks in southwest Utah. This “video/slideshow” encapsulates our two week trip through this fabulous state.

In southwest Utah, we: met with our son and his girlfriend in Green River. Hiked the narrow slot canyon, Little Wild Horse Canyon, in the San Rafael Swell. Wandered amidst goblin-shaped rock formations at Goblin Valley State Park after picnicking at a red picnic table. Hiked throughout Capitol Reef National Park and learned about the Mormon community and the orchards there. Stopped for astounding scenic overlooks at Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Strolled among towering sandstone chimneys at Kodachrome Basin State Park. Encountered more bulbous columns called hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park on the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop Trail. Celebrated my 65th birthday, officially becoming a senior citizen in Bryce. Climbed ever upward in snow and 4°F temps to Cedar Breaks National Monument, where my fingers nearly froze off in just a few minutes of being outdoors. Hiked the Scout Lookout Trail at Zion National Park, where Ariana was the only one of us to make it to the top of Angel’s Landing. Hiked the Kayenta Trail and the Emerald Pool Trails at Zion, where we had fabulous views of the Virgin River. Decked myself out in neoprene socks, water shoes and waterproof pants to hike and wade up the Narrows at Zion. Observed changes in plant species from wildflowers and willows on the canyon floor to cacti and pinyon pines at higher elevations. Enjoyed a fabulous bacon-wrapped meatloaf Napoleon at Switchback Grille in Springdale, and said our goodbyes to Alex and Ariana as they headed back to Denver the next morning. Squeezed in a couple more hikes in Zion and then drove to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Enjoyed an excellent belated birthday dinner in St. George at the Painted Pony Restaurant. Hiked the Petrified Dunes Trail at Snow Canyon State Park.

Our top 10 sights to see in southwest Utah were (in descending order):

10) Cedar Breaks National Monument & Cedar City
9) Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
8) Dixie National Forest & Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
7) Goblin Valley State Park
6) Snow Canyon State Park
5) Kodachrome Basin State Park
4) Capitol Reef National Park
3) Little Wild Horse Canyon in San Rafael Swell
2) Bryce Canyon National Park
1) Zion National Park & Springdale

We explored southeast Utah in 2018; I’ll make another video about that trip later.

Below is the map showing our route through southwest Utah.

Thank you for watching! 🙂