Today we decided to take a road trip, a 200 mile loop, beginning at the Cottonwood Canyon 4-wheel drive road off of Highway 89. We entered the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and drove 25 miles along the wide dirt road until we reached the South Cottonwood Narrow Canyon entrance. The hike was about 1 1/2 miles through the canyon, with deep and wide walls of vertical cliffs of Navajo sandstone. At times the walls were so close I could stand on both sides. We came back out onto the road and walked the mile back to our jeep. Then it was on to Grosvenor Arch, to visit this unique sandstone double arch, named in honor of Gilbert Grosvenor, a president of the National Geographic Society. The two sandstone arches tower 150 feet above the ground and the largest arch is 100 feet in diameter. We walked right to the base of the arches and loved the rich color of the rocks and the impressive size of the arches.
We finally got back on the highway and drove to Bryce Canyon National Park, established in 1928, and named after its first homesteader Ebenezer Bryce in 1874. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore this Park so we drove out to Bryce Point at 8296 feet, still snow on the side of the road, and walked to the edge to view the wonderful shapes and colors of the hoodoos. Then on to Sunset Point at 8000 feet where we saw the extraordinary Amphitheater. There are several hikes to explore but we will have to save them for our next visit. We still had over 100 miles to drive back to our RV, the drive was worth the time and effort.