Great American Tour-Canyons

the Grand Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Zion Canyon

We visited 3 canyons in Utah-the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon. The Grand Canyon is, well, grand! It’s so large, you can’t see the other side. We went to the north rim & did walk around quite a bit. Bryce Canyon is viewed from the top down, like the Grand Canyon. But Bryce is filled with fantastic stone formations, caused by the erosion of water & wind. Some look like standing people, which was a Native American legend. Zion is viewed from the bottom, looking up. Steep canyon walls of varied shape & color, some seeping water with plants growing on the sides & birds nesting in them. Zion has a really nice shuttle bus system, & explaining about different features of the park along the way. The shuttles frequently come by every stop, so it’s easy to get off whenever you want & just catch another one when you’re ready to move on. I think Bryce was my favorite, while Steve liked Zion more. He said he would’ve liked to have stayed longer & gone on some of the trails. Personally, I think that idea is a bit ambitious-alot of the trails are labeled strenuous or difficult-I’m not into difficult these days!!!

We saw bison @ the Grand Canyon, ravens & chipmunks @ Bryce, & @ Zion, we saw mule deer, squirrels & chipmunks, & a really annoyed prairie dog who was loudly chirping @ all the humans around him/her!

A word or 2 about the park rangers. All we encountered have been so nice!! Unlike border guards, who tend to be surly, these men & women seem to have endless patience. No matter how long the line is behind us, they are willing to explain whatever asked, show you the map, highlight the areas of interest. They have alot of knowledge about their area. They were wearing a black band on their badge when we were there-it was in honor of a ranger in Washington state who was killed while attempting a rescue. And you do see people doing stupid things that put themselves & others @ risk.

The national parks are such a treasure. And so big! And a bargain-I’m not sure of the other prices, but Steve purchased a senior pass for $10-this entitles him to enter any national park free of charge FOR LIFE!! (they charge by the vehicle, not each person in it, so only one person needs a pass.) As crowded as the parks are @ times, I wish everyone could have some of the experiences we’ve had.

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