After arriving in the area in the afternoon, we took a little drive into Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. For the little time we spent on this first visit, it seemed to live up to the other four National Parks in Utah we have visited.
Mossy Cave (Bryce Canyon National Park), Grosvenor Arch, & Kodachrome Basin State Park Driving Tour - Utah
Today we visited a small section of Bryce Canyon National Park that isn't accessible from the main park road (Mossy Cave). After a short hike and lots of photos there, we drove into the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument to see the impressive Grosvenor Arch before taking a quick drive through Kodachrome Basin State Park on the way back. It was a cold, but pretty day for more wonderful scenery.
After our fantastic hike in Bryce Canyon National Park yesterday - Figure 8 Hike - we decided to take it easy on our feet today. So we did this scenic drive that included several short walks and more beautiful scenery.
This was the first day of our first visit to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. We spent a couple of hours getting acclimated and checking out the many viewpoints on the canyon rim. It is a beautiful place.
Hidden Canyon Hike & Photo Tour of the East Side of the Park - Zion Canyon National Park - Utah
Today we did a hike that included narrow ledges and chains to hold onto attached to rock walls. Then we did a driving tour on the east side of the park which has it's own unique beauty that is different from the more popular Zion Canyon section.
Taylor Creek Trail (aka Double Arch Alcove Trail) - Kolob Canyons Area - Zion National Park - Utah
Today was a hike in the quieter, less-visited part of Zion National Park known as Kolob Canyons. Looking back on the photos, I don't think I gave this hike enough credit. It's a really pretty hike along a stream with great red rock views.
We arrived in the area of Yosemite National Park in November and were treated to lovely Fall colors on this day-trip. However, it was a little too late in the year, and after this visit, snow closed many of the park roads for the year. So, while we intended to do more exploring of the park, it will have to wait until another time. Still, we're glad we go to see so much of this iconic park in this one day.
Redwoods National & State Parks Plus A Great Wildlife Viewing Day - California
What a great day we had. We visited a couple of state parks, did a scenic drive, had some nice ocean views, saw a bunch of elk and a few seals, and got a great look at one of our favorite birds - the American Dipper, a little gray songbird that is as comfortable in the water as out.
Introduction to Redwood Country & Whale Sighting - Redwoods National Park - California
Today we got up close and personal with the tallest trees on earth in the Redwood National & State Parks. Until you stand next to a Redwood, you have no idea what a big tree is. As a bonus, we spotted some whales at an overlook near the end of today's drive.
Today we went to wildlife-rich Lamar Valley. We were in search of bears, but had no luck. We saw lots of other wildlife though including elk, pronghorn, bison, and more. Then we visited four waterfalls including the very picturesque Lower Yellowstone Falls.
Today we visited more thermal areas of Yellowstone - Mammoth Hot Springs, the Norris Geyser Basin, and Artist Paint Pots. We also had wildlife sightings and checked out the beautiful Gibbon River Falls. Another great day in America's first National Park.
Thermal features, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, and an Old Faithful eruption. We covered a lot on our second day in Yellowstone National Park, and there is still a lot more to see.
Scenic Drive on Badlands Loop & Sheep Mountain Road - Badlands National Park - South Dakota
This was a fantastic day checking out the Badlands Loop and seeing Desert Bighorn Sheep, Prairie Dogs, and Bison in addition to all of the amazing overlooks and viewpoints within Badlands National Park. And then the bonus was going all the way to the end of Sheep Mountain Road, where few visitors attempt to travel, and getting to see more outstanding views of the Badlands terrain.
I had been looking so forward to our first visit to Acadia National Park. Unfortunately, that visit came in peak season and the crowds were unbelievable. It didn't take long to determine that would be like it better in the less crowded "shoulder seasons" when we visit most other National Parks.
We were working at a campground in northern California this summer, and one of the lesser known National Parks, Lassen Volcanic National Park, was less than an hour drive away. Though it was still early in the year and the park road hadn't fully opened yet due to snow, we got a great overview of the park and got some great photos with the snow as a beautiful accent.
Nature Travelers • Howard & Linda Payne • Howard@NatureTravelers.com • www.NatureTravelers.com
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