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ST GEORGE UTAH VACATION

My wife Renae and I left our home in Eastern Idaho and drove to St George Utah in early February to spend time with our friends, Scott and Ivy. Near their home are multiple state and national parks, national monuments and conservation areas.

Zion National Park

The first morning the weather was overcast with a little rain. Scott and I drove to Springdale, a town located at the south entrance to Zion National Park, and on into the park.

The Watchman, Zion NP – photo by Marc Bowen

Just inside the entrance there is a bridge spanning the Virgin River. This river runs north to south through the center of the park and is a tributary of the Colorado River. It is 162 miles long and was designated Utah’s first wild and scenic river in 2009. Looking down-river in the distance is a sandstone mountain called The Watchman. So named for its position watching over the entrance to Zion National Park.

Court of the Patriarchs, Zion NP – photo by Marc Bowen

Scott and I drove deeper into the park to an area called “Court of the Patriarchs”, an area named for three mountain formations individually named Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As we stood in this beautiful location Scott pointed out another peak named Mount Moroni (far right of the scene) and one called The Sentinel (far left).

Court of the Patriarchs, The Sentinel & Mt Abraham, Zion NP – photo by Marc Bowen
The Virgin River, Zion NP – photo by Marc Bowen

The next day we drove again into Zion National Park. This time we took our wives with us and the park gave us a different look with some snow added to the rain.

Zion National Park – photo by Marc Bowen
Zion National Park – photo by Marc Bowen
Zion National Park – photo by Marc Bowen

Arizona

A few days later we all took a day trip to the Page Arizona area.

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument – photo by Marc Bowen

We took the southern loop highway through the Kaibab Indian Reservation, south of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and on over to the Lake Powell area. We had made advance reservations on-line to enter the Navajo-owned Lower Antelope Canyon in Page Arizona.

A Navajo guide took our group down multiple flights of stairs, over 300 feet deep into a large cavern, part of an amazing slot canyon in the Arizona desert.

Lower Antelope Canyon – photo by Marc Bowen

We then went up another flight of steep ladder-like stairs into a labyrinth of pathways surrounded on all sides by colorful Navajo sandstone.

Lower Antelope Canyon – photo by Marc Bowen

We could still see the notches cut out of the sandstone that the Navajo people used to climb up into the next chamber before stairs were installed.

Lower Antelope Canyon – photo by Marc Bowen
Lower Antelope Canyon – photo by Marc Bowen
Lower Antelope Canyon – photo by Marc Bowen

This tour took about 1.5 hours to traverse the 1.1 mile long slot-canyon. Our Navajo guide was wonderful! He spent a lot of time describing the history of the area, answering questions and gave us plenty of photo opportunities.

Lower Antelope Canyon exit – photo by Marc Bowen

I captured an image of Scott exiting the slot-canyon. The exit really isn’t much more than a large crack in the sandstone.

After this awesome experience in Antelope Canyon we drove over to Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River. After finding a parking place we grabbed our camera equipment and coats (the wind was blowing and it was cccCOLD!!) and hiked over the hill to the overlook.

Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River, Page, AZ – photo by Marc Bowen

Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped bend of the Colorado River near Page Arizona and is also known as the “east rim of the Grand Canyon”. The photo gives an indication of how deep the canyon is with the boats moored on the edge of the river and the scattered colorful tents. This was late evening about sunset and the colors from the sky are being reflected onto the river’s surface.

Snow Canyon State Park

The next day back in St. George we visited Snow Canyon State Park.

Snow Canyon State Park, St. George Utah – photo by Marc Bowen

Snow Canyon is located in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. It is a canyon carved from the red and white Navajo sandstone of the Red Mountains as well as the extinct Santa Clara Volcano, lava tubes, lava flows, and sand dunes.

Snow Canyon State Park, St George Utah – photo by Marc Bowen
Snow Canyon State Park, St George Utah – photo by Marc Bowen
Snow Canyon State Park, St George Utah – photo by Marc Bowen

Dinosaur Discovery Site

We also visited the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm.

Dinosaur Discovery site – Johnson Farm – photo by Marc Bowen
Dinosaur tracks – photo by Marc Bowen
Johnson Farm Dino site – photo by Marc Bowen
Scott & Ivy – photo by Marc Bowen

Thanks to Scott & Ivy for sharing with us their beautiful backyard!! One of the most beautiful areas in this wonderful country we live in!

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