Heading West out of Bryce Canyon National Park you drive through Red Canyon
on Highway 12. This is a gorgeous place to mountain bike, hike, and camp.
Two tunnels through the red rock.
Turned up Highway 14 over Duck Creek
. The fall colors were brilliant in the rain and scattered sunshine.
Lava flow among the trees
Turned up the road to go to Cedar Breaks National Monument
. It was raining and I was up in the clouds, so I couldn't see much.
Visitors Center closed for the winter.
Since it was still early in the day I decided to take the back roads back to Vegas. I had breakfast in Cedar City and then went to see Iron Mountain Stake Park
. Not much to see here except the remains of the charcoal kiln and the foundation of the foundry.
Near Enterprise, Utah I came across this obscure monument called the Jefferson Hunt Memorial
. I looked Jefferson Hunt up on the Internet. It is a very interesting story. He is tied to the Death Valley 49ers who burned their wagons at Burnt Wagons in Death Valley.
On this drive I also passed the Mountain Meadows Massacre
site. Another interesting and tragic historical incident to look up on the Internet.
Finally, I passed through Gunlock State Park
on the way back to Nevada. Obvious signs of the long drought.
To sum up, my three day two night loop through Southern Utah took me to:
Two National Parks: Zion NP and Bryce NP
Two National Monuments: Grand Staircase Escalate NM and Cedar Breaks NM
Three State Parks: Kodachrome Basin SP, Iron Mountain SP, and Gunlock SP
Several Scenic Byways, many arches, and several historical monuments. Not bad for a short break from work.