Day 0: Las Vegas
I’m not much of a gambler or a lover of snazzy sights, but despite that Vegas certainly has the redeeming quality of teeming with life even at midnight on a Wednesday evening (when this photo was taken). The city truly never sleeps.
And, while I’m sure the Europeans cringe to see the faux Renaissance artwork (see below), I kind of find it nice. Probably because I’ve never been to Europe.
Day 1: Scenic route to Lake Powell
Caught some great scenes of Zion National Park on our way to Lake Powell and did a couple of short hikes. We returned to Zion on the last day of the trip, so left the more exciting stuff for later.
A slightly long detour took us to Cedar Breaks National monument close to sunset for some breathtaking views of the jagged mountain face.
Day 2: Glen Canyon and Monument valley
Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir and owes its existence to the Glen Canyon Dam. Although a lot of political and cultural controversy surrounds the lake, it certainly offers spectacular views of the Glen Canyon area up close. And it also makes it easier to access Rainbow Bridge National Monument (below).
Another 3-hour drive away from Lake Powell is Monument Valley, a Hollywood favourite location depicted on screens since 1939. Forrest Gump, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Doctor Who have all featured these lands. The landscape’s grandeur has to be seen to be believed.
Day 3: Antelope Canyon, and route 89
The waves of rock at Antelope Canyon were pretty much the point of the trip. It was all that we expected, and more.
We drove back to Zion after Antelope Canyon. The route is remarkably scenic, with alternating vistas of limestone and sandstone.
Day 4: Zion National Park
Woke up before dawn to catch the fabulous sunrise over Zion’s tallest canyon walls.
What Zion is best known for, of course, is the river hike through the Narrows, and it was a wonderful experience (see below). We didn’t manage to go all the way this time, lacking some gear and having to catch a flight the same evening after driving 3 hours back to Las Vegas; but I definitely want to visit Zion again. One day was way too short.