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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, April 22, 2013

Enjoy Red Rock Therapy During National Parks Week

 Parunuweap Canyon, by Dave Webb
This is National Parks Week (April 20-28, 2013). Entrance fees are waived at properties managed by the U.S. National Park Service. That includes Utah's 5 national parks, our national monuments and our national recreation areas.

Special activities are being held at some parks. We encourage you to get to know our parks, and to enjoy the scenery, activities and adventures they offer.

The Utah Office of Tourism sponsors a blog with tips and information to help people interested in traveling to Utah. In this post, writer Ben Dodds describes a trip to southwestern Utah where the beauty and serenity helped him find relief from physical ailments. He talks about his adventures in the Needles District of Canyonlands, Natural Bridges National Monument and the Sand Island area on the San Juan River near Bluff. Here are excerpts from his blog post:

...I explored Chesler Park. An 11-mile roundtrip hike into a world of spires, whose contrasts, colors, and shapes are amplified by the rising or setting sun. I carefully and deliberately made each step on the trail, so as not to aggravate my back. The surreal experience of hiking through such intensely colored rock and spectacular beauty was heightened by the absolute silence and perfect serenity of Canyonlands.

...A few minutes later, I observed a coyote walk into the river just a few hundred yards upstream. It noticed me and stopped. Locked in eye contact, I remained absolutely motionless until it decided I wasn't a threat. It moved deeper into the river until the current carried it downstream. It continued paddling to the south bank of the river and pulled itself up a few hundred yards downstream from me. The fleeting interaction, no more than a minute, left me awestruck, and will be an enduring memory.

Read the entire post.

Photos of Zion
The Office of Tourism also has this page showcasing beautiful photos of various destinations in Zion National Park. The images are outstanding and fun to view.

I was pleasantly surprised to find one of my photos displayed among the collection. It is a shot of Double Falls, on the right Fork of North Creek in the Kolob Terrace section of the park.

It's a nice photo, but I don't consider it one of my best.

The page has numerous photos from The Narrows, The Subway and the Angels Landing areas, which is understandable because they are very popular destinations.

I found it interesting that the page does not include any photos from Parunuweap Canyon, which I consider to be one of the most interesting and photogenic in the area. Parunuweap is similar to The Narrows, deep, dark and narrow, but more challenging to explore. Hikers are allowed to descend a wild section immediately east of the park, but are not supposed to follow the canyon downstream into the park itself. (Maybe that's why it is not represented on the page.)

I've used one of my Parunuweap shots to illustrate this blog post. See more of my Parunuweap photos here.

- Dave Webb


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