About MeI live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I explore the deeper reaches of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem while also trying to raise awareness about light pollution and the importance of dark skies through photography and video.
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Rain and Snow-Melt Waterfall in Zion National Park, Utah
Another site on my trip I was anxious to get back to and get some new, updated shots was Zion National Park in southern Utah. I was trying to get there before a big cold front was coming there and upon driving south on Highway 89 to get there, I discovered I didn’t quite beat the cold front. From out of nowhere it began snowing just as hard as anything I’ve seen here in Jackson Hole. Given that it was snowing all the way in, I was excited to get into the park and get some shots of it covered in snow, something I had yet to see and had always wanted to see. By the time I reached the entrance station however, the biggest part of the storm had passed and the snow was melting fast!
Light Breaking Through Clouds in Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah
I actually can’t say enough great things about this state park! I had passed by it before a few times not thinking much of it and finally on my way back on this trip decided to stop in and see what it was all about. Kodachrome Basin State Park lies in southern Utah just off of Highway 12 about ten miles down a paved road starting from Cannonville, Utah. The state park branches off and heads north while the main road continues on and becomes a rough dirt road called Cottonwood Canyon Road bringing you through some impressive scenery of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The park itself features all kinds of uniquely eroded sandstone formations and is believed to have once been a Yellowstone-like area with geysers and hot-spots that have filled in.
A massive eroded overhang covers part of Coyote Gulch in southern Utah
I didn’t have many plans or destination on my road trip, but one thing I was determined to do was backpack into Coyote Gulch, even if only for a night. I had seen a few photos and knew I had to get back there. On my way down to Phoenix, I missed my opportunity due to a big storm that had come through and threw off my chance to get there at that time. On my way back, yet another storm had come through, but I had luckily gotten trapped in the area because of that very weather system. The next day I headed out there after checking with the Visitor’s Center in Escalante, Utah about the road conditions.
One way into Coyote Gulch is to backpack in from the Hurricane Wash Trailhead in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Grovesnor Arch towers above the landscape in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
One drive I was wanting to try out along the trip that I was ultimately a bit disappointed in for various reasons was Cottonwood Canyon Road in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Perhaps it was just the wrong time of day and perhaps I was just being too picky for a campsite, but I drove through it particularly a little frustrated with the amount of power lines running through the most scenic parts. However one stop along the way was well worth the journey, and that turned out to be Grovesnor Arch. It was a pretty colossal double-arch that made you want to get out and admire its beauty. There’s even a short trail to get a little closer.
Some of the intricately eroded forms of the mountains in Dinosaur National Monument, Utah
This is the first opportunity I’ve had in posting an update from my road trip thus far, which is going incredibly well! This was from my first night in Dinosaur National Monument which actually spans both north-eastern Utah and north-western Colorado. The Colorado section wasn’t quite open yet so I camped in the Green River campground and got to go to sleep to the sound of the Green River rushing by. I had passed by it back in 2004 and wasn’t able to go in but was always curious about it. I finally had my chance last week and I’ll be going back into the main section on my way back home. At this point I’m still making my way down to Phoenix having gone through, Dinosaur National Monument, Canyonlands National Park, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Natural Bridges National Monument, drove the Burr Trail through Capital Reef National Park and finally waited out a cold front in Zion National Park.
An aerial view of the Green River flowing through Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Last night my original plan was to get outside and take advantage of one of the few clear, night skies we’ve had here recently. Unfortunately, I came down with an odd bit of nausea and dizziness that kept me indoors. It was gone later that night but by then I was ready for bed. While resting up, I began looking back through some old photos I have of Canyonlands National Park to help me get inspired for an upcoming trip I have in the southwest in a couple of months. After going through these photos and looking up some information, I’m halfway tempted to spend an entire week just in Canyonlands. However I’ve already decided to spend one week getting to Phoenix, Arizona and one week coming back.