Tucson – December 2022 – Snow on the Mountain

One of the great things about living in Tucson is you can have a nice warm 60 degree winter day and make the 25 mile drive up Mt Lemmon to snow!

This particular snow has not yet left enough snow for skiing, but it is getting close.

The road to the very top is always closed off for the winter, but it makes a great sledding hill.

The town of Summerhaven does a great business when the snow flies, and the road crews clear the road up the mountain.

As you make your way back down the mountain the snow gets less and less, until once you are under 6000′ elevation it is gone.

And before you know it you are back in the desert and 60 degrees.

Tucson – October 2021 – Late Afternoon on the Mountain

An afternoon trip up Mt Lemmon to check out the leaves.

The late afternoon drive offered numerous shadowing shots.

A climber near Windy Point made her way to the top.

The views towards sunset caused dramatic effects.

We reached the valley floor just before sunset.

A quick trip through Saguaro National Park as the sun finally set.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada – October 2022 – Part 1 – Aztec Sandstone Formations

The Valley of Fire State Park is about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, but a million miles away culturally. The Aztec Sandstone formations are a result of 150 million year old petrified sand dunes.

One of the more interesting aspects of Valley of Fire is the variation in the colors of the rocks.

It is difficult at times to judge the scale of the landscape, until you notice the couple at the bottom center of this photo.

The erosion has left some strangely shaped rocks.

Park City, Utah – September 2022 – Scenic Drive Through Guardsman Pass

Park City is only a 35 minute drive from downtown Salt Lake City if you take the freeway. It is a much longer trip taking the road up over Guardsman Pass, but well worth every minute.

As with other high altitude drives on this trip, once you got up over 8000′ in elevation the trees were spectacular with their fall foliage.

Eventually you drop down into Park City.

Provo, Utah – September 2022 – Utah Lake

Least you forget the name, Utah Lake is in Utah County in the state of…Utah. It is the largest freshwater lake in the state, covering approximately 148 square miles, but only up to a depth of 14 feet.

At one time there were thirteen different types of fish native to the lake, but after the settlers arrived in the late 1800s they introduced carp into the lake, along with pollution and over fishing. As a result only 1 native fish remains, the Utah sucker, with the carp being well over 90% of the fish in the lake, although birds seem to like it.

Situated in the Utah Valley (of course), mountains surround the lake.

Being the only lake around it is a popular place for sailing.

Utah Lake, Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah.

Beaver Canyon, Utah – September 2022 – The Aspens Are Changing

The Utah road trip continued north until we reached the town of Junction. From here Utah Highway 153 heads up the mountains and eventually into Beaver Canyon.

It is 40 miles from Junction to the town of Beaver, the first 20 miles is gravel and dirt, the last 20 back down are paved. With the leaves on the aspen trees, and others, changing, the drive was spectacular.

We took one last look back into the Sevier River Valley.

The drive continued until we topped out at 10,000′ elevation, about 4000′ above the valley floors.

The road passed Puffer Lake.

Utah advertises 11 scenic routes in the state. While we didn’t take them all, the others would be hard pressed to be better than Utah Highway 153/Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway.

Bryce Canyon National Park – September 2022 – Sunrise

Every sunset I have ever seen has resulted in a subsequent sunrise, and our night at Bryce was no different.

Once again we were up before dawn, this time driving to the far southern end of the park to Rainbow Point, as well as a couple of the other overlooks.

As with sunset, different cameras and slightly different angles gave very different lighting, but all were outstanding.

Bryce Canyon National Park – September 2022 – Sunset

After a long day of hiking at Willis Creek Slot Canyon, Kodachrome Basic and Bryce spending the sunset hours overlooking the amphitheater area of Bryce was a welcome reward.

These photos, while taken chronologically, were done with different cameras, or pointed in slightly different directions, resulting in vastly different lighting.

Ironically the iphone seemed to capture the lighting and overall look best.

And with that the sun set.

Kane County, Utah – September 2022 – Kodachrome Basin State Park

The colorful sandstone geology of Kodachrome Basin State Park lead to it’s name – The National Geographic Society named it such, and despite potential legal risk from Kodak films the name was adopted.

The monolithic spires rise up throughout the park. The sandstone seems so fragile that just brushing up against it seems to take off a layer.

I am unsure of the name of this rock.

We took the Grand Parade hike, which leads past most of the highlights and into a couple of the box canyons.

The vegetation that is in the area was in bloom from the recent monsoon rains.

Our visit complete, we headed off towards our next stop – Bryce National Park – but not before enjoying more of the scenery of the area around Kodachrome Basin.

Southern Utah – September 2022 – Long Canyon to Escalante

The final section of the Burr Trail took us through Long Canyon.

By far the easiest slot canyon to hike into is Singing Canyon. It is about 100′ off the road, and a nice open path for a short distance until the canyon ends.

A few more scenic views before the Burr Trail ends at the town of Boulder, Utah.

For a short distance along another scenic road, Utah Highway 12, you pass by farms.

A short distance later and the scenery changes dramatically again as you go across the Hogback.

Once we dropped into the valley that the town of Escalante is, the farms return. Escalante was the end of this fabulous day.