Much of the southwest side of the Colorado plateau is defined by the epic formations in the Navajo Formation, a layer of sandstone deposited over millions of years. I thought I'd show a few pics I have that give a good view of the layers.
We start at the Kolob Canyons, a little known and seldom visited section of Zion National Park.
This is the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek, inside the Kolob Canyons. Its a great 5 miler, if you don't mind crossing the stream 63 times.
moving a little farther down, we get into the main part of Zion National Park.
Here's a view looking up at Cable Mountain. Cable mountain is interesting, you have a massive red sandstone wall, capped off by a layer of white rock know as the "Temple Formation" It's also about a 15 mile round trip.
Even farther down, you get into the bottom of the Navajo Formation, towards the Kayenta Formation (a relatively soft layer) The canyons open up a little more towards the bottom, because the rock is a little softer. Here's a great example in the "Red Cliffs Desert Reserve", an favorite among locals. There's a mt. bike trail, horse trails, and lots of single track.
the last two are not related to Zion at all, but are part of the Colorado plateau. They are about 4000 feet higher than zion, and are part of the Wasatch and Wahweap formations in Bryce Canyon National Park
of all of these, Bryce canyon takes the longest for me to get to, about 1.5 hours. Red Cliffs is one of my favorite areas, and will be my primary trail training area over the winter.
Trail Running is the best.
Uh oh... now what?
We have been fortunate to have passed, and paused, though your area, have camped
and got out and about in Zion, Cedar Breaks, Bryce, the Grand Staircase-Escalante,
Capital Reef, and some unnamed spots. I think it is five times, never repeating a route.
The mesas, buttes, cathedrals, gullies, canyons, washes and so forth have a beauty
all their own. The folks who only see the desert realm from their car as they cross on
the highways miss one of America's truly beautiful and mysterious areas.
Beautiful pictures, thank you.
Aha! An early in the morning moon above Zion--August 2004.
Gorgeous pictures, both of you! I need to get out west for a running trip sometime.
Just beautiful! I've never been to Colorado, but it's photos like this that have led to my husband and I deciding that CO and some surrounding states will be our next vacation in the US....
Awesome, I've wanted to visit that area for a long time now. Hope I can make a trip sometime in the near future.
Faster Than Your Couch!
So beautiful, thanks for sharing your pictures (John, too!).
Years ago, when I was young, I traveled through these areas, and hiked there a lot. I think they are spectacular, and I would like to visit there again (and run!).
One of the prettiest landscapes I have seen was Bryce Canyon covered with a layer of snow. Even though I have lost the pictures during one of my many moves, I still remember it and can recall the feeling of being there, early in the morning and during the day, admiring the scenery.
Run for fun.
Oh, and BTW, all of these pictures were taken in Southwest Utah.