I have long pondered the beauty of Utah’s spectacular national parks. I have studied photos, watched many videos, and read about their geology; but all on the computer at home. It was time to travel to these western parks and see them for myself.
My son Dan and I visited Utah in early March. We learned that many parks were still in the embrace of winter snow, with many trails still closed, but we were lucky to avoid the crowds. At Arches National Park, we were the objects of curiosity by resident ravens.
At Goblin Valley State Park, we were unprepared for the hilarious mudstone formations.
Bryce and Zion parks were already busy despite still being late winter.
Bristlecone pines are abundant on ridges at Bryce, and are among the longest living organisms known.
At all parks, park rangers spoke about the challenge of an ever-lengthening tourist season, greater crowds and traffic in summer, and stable and declining funding for staff and programs. To deal with crowds, Zion has a new public transportation system and a ban on cars to prevent traffic jams.
Be content with living indoors: Nevermore!