BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kolob Canyons, Utah

On Monday, June 20 (as part of our 3 week trip out west),  George and I drove first on Scenic Highway 14 to Cedar Breaks.  (I will blog much more on Cedar Breaks at another time).  Anyhow--after leaving Cedar Breaks,  we drove through Cedar City and headed south on I-15 to KOLOB CANYONS.

Kolob Canyons is a lesser-known section of Zion National Park --but is in a fabulous location (just off of Interstate 15 south of Cedar City).  Even though it is not as popular as Zion and not nearly as large,  Kolob (sometimes called the Finger Canyons) offers soaring cliffs of red Navajo sandstone and deep pocket canyons just waiting for someone like us to discover!!! We loved it there since it was so peaceful and serene----AND there weren't nearly as many people around!!!! Yeah!

The word "Kolob" is from Mormon scripture meaning "residence closest to heaven".  We took the scenic byway (which is only about 5 miles long).  This route followed along a ridgeline,  climbing over 1100 feet in elevation, while we enjoyed the deep reddish-orange cliffs,  protruding abruptly from the ground as the road  followed portions of Taylor Creek,  the headwaters for Kolob Canyons.  The road ended at a turn-around place called the Timber Creek Overlook, which was a nice place for a hike.

This scenic road we took runs along the Hurricane Fault,  a fracture in the earth's crust,  stretching over 150-miles from the Grand Canyon to Cedar City,  marking the western edge of the Markagunt Plateau, a plateau in southern Utah.  Erosion along the Hurricane Fault  has served to change the landscape of Zion.  

The first inhabitants of the Kolob area were the Anasazi (or "ancient ones").  Very little is known about them or why they disappeared from the southwest region about 1200 AD.  The Paiutes were next to establish themselves in the area, and they still consider Kolob to be a sacred place to receive emotional and spiritual sustenance.

The Spanish explorers, Dominguez and Escalante, first documented the Kolob Canyons as they tried to establish a trail from New Mexico to California.  Mormon pioneers settled the Kolob area in 1852.  They used the area for a variety of purposes (timber, raising livestock, prospecting minerals).  Kolob Canyons was set aside for protection as a national monument in 1937 and added to the Zion National Park in 1956.

Here are some pictures we took from Kolob Canyons when we were there.  Above shows one of our first views of the canyons when we entered the park.  All we could say was WOW!  It doesn't look real, does it?




George took this picture of me as I admired Kolob Canyons at one of the overlooks.  Behind me is the Horse Ranch Mountain,  one of the tallest peaks,  at 8926 feet.




We stopped all along the road to take pictures of these massive and gorgeous cliffs.  I read that we should come back in spring to see some waterfalls cascading down the rugged cliffs.  OR--maybe we should come in winter to see some snow on the cliffs.  OR--maybe we should come in Fall to see some of the Fall colors...  Ah Heck---let's just come every season!!!!




I took this picture of George at one of the overlooks.  It was interesting that it named all of the mountain ranges in that area.




The cliffs appear solid and motionless.  But the visible scars tell a different story.  In July of 1983,  a huge slab  broke off the cliff marked with an oval.  It left a buff-colored scar and tons of rubble at the base. The entire event was over in minutes.

These canyons are not permanent scenery.  Many rockfalls shaped the dynamic and evolving canyons.  Dramatic facelifts like the 1983 rockfall are relatively rare,  but frequent small piles of rocks on the roadway reveal this terrain's volatile personality.




George found this adorable little flower while hiking the Timber Creek Overlook Trail.  So of course, we had to take a picture of it... This is a SEGO LILY,  the state flower of Utah.  I had never heard of one or seen one before.  They are SO pretty.   Did you know though that the bulbs of this lily were roasted, boiled or made into a porridge by Native Americans and were also used as a food source by the Mormon pioneers?  (Isn't it interesting what we can find when we search for more info!!) 

The Sego Lily has 1 to 4 flowers,  each with 3 white petals.  They bloom in early Summer and are 6-18 inches in height with linear leaves.  This plant is native to a number of western states.




Find the hanging valley!!!!  The tracks give it away.  Dark mineral stains on the wall (below the oval) indicate an occasional waterfall that pours over the cliff after heavy storms.  Waterfall tracks can also indicate that a hanging valley lies above them.

So what is a Hanging Valley, you ask!!!!  It is a tributary valley with the floor at a higher relief than the main channel into which it flows.  The upper valley appears to be 'hanging' above the main valley.  Often,  waterfalls form at or near the outlet of the upper valley (as the picture shows above).  If you have seen Bridal Veil Falls in Yosemite National Park,  it flows from a hanging valley.

Originally, in the one pictured above,  the upper side canyon's stream was a tributary connected to the main canyon's stream. Uplift along the main canyon wall separated the side canyon.  In time, the side canyon was marooned,  hanging a thousand feet above the main canyon floor.  Interesting, huh?




Finally,  this picture was taken at the  turn-around place at Kolob Canyon.  They told us that the light late in the afternoon (when we were there) was best for photography with a breathtaking view of the Kolob Terrace.   I think it was.   What say you?????

One thing that many people want to see at the Kolob Canyons is the Kolob Arch.  It is considered to be one of the longest natural arches in the world second only to the Landscape Arch at the Arches National Park.  Kolob Arch is 287 feet long and Landscape Arch is 290 feet long.  We didn't hike to see the arch (although it would have been a great hike).  I think I read that it takes about 14 hours round trip!!!!!

Hope you can visit Kolob Canyons when you are in that area.  As I said above,  we'd love to visit during EVERY season.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.
Hugs,

70 comments:

Mildred said...

Good Morning Betsy, Beautiful pictures and a very interesting post. Such unique vistas! I love the sweet little lily! Hope you both enjoy your weekend.

Arkansas Patti said...

What awesome pictures. Parts of the US almost look like they belong to another planet.
Kind of glad you and George didn't take that 14 hour hike. Yikes.
The neat thing is how much you learned about each area you visited. Thanks, now my world is a bit broader.

Beth said...

What I noticed immediately in the first pic was the color of the road. It's a clay color, isn't it?
It' lovely in this photo. And then I went back and looked at the pic again after your comment and agree with you that the canyon doesn't look real-almost too goo to be true. It's like the old time movies---beautiful scenery background, but not real.

I can only imagine yours and George's feelings as you observed this marvel! At times like that, I just stand quite still and absorb it all in. Even words are sometimes too much.

I enjoy all your detailed explanations. That about the lily was esp. interesting. I wonder how those first natives knew the bulbs weren't poisonous? Did they appoint some lowly member as taste tester?!;>) Beautiful flower.

Incredible place--thanks for sharing with us--you do it so well.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I had never heard of this place until today.Reading your blog is better than watching the Travel channel on TV.This place is beautiful,and Yes,that evening light gives a wonderful look.Have a wonderful weekend.

Darla said...

All of these photos look like paintings to me. Love,love the lily!

Lucy said...

Incredible. One time on my way up to Utah (I swear my car could go there all by itself I've driven that road so many times) I turned off from 89 onto 14 coming out at Cedar City. It was longer than I thought it would be but so worth it. Just beautiful

Jo said...

Horse Trail Mountain, Timber Creek Overlook, Hanging Valley, WOW, what awesome names, Betsy And your images bring it all closer to little ole me tucked away on the other side of the world.Thanks for sharing. Blessings and (((hugs))) Jo

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

We never made it to Kolob canyon, but I have been to Zion and I have to say it is my absolute favorite patch of earth anywhere. Just so incredibly gorgeous there. I hope I have the chance to return one day.

Catherine said...

Wishing you and George a terrific weekend Betsy! Hope you have perfect weather!
xo Catherine

Sandra said...

when that first photo popped up I thought "the road less traveled" and it looks like music. i enlarged it and just stared at it for a minute. just perfect in every way. these, all of them are so fantastic.
hanging valleys and rocks falling, this is all amazing to me and i would so love to see it all, so thanks for my trip.

texwisgirl said...

such incredible colors in those rocks and mountains. i would have appreciated the 'less people' part too. you'd make an excellent tour guide, so yes, looking forward to the next 3 seasons! :)

Dorothy said...

Fabulous pictures, Betsy!!! That first picture is a big WOW!

Linda said...

These are absolutely gorgeous, Betsy. Doug and I read a lot (all) of Louis L'Amour's westerns, and hanging valleys often show up in his stories. Thanks for that enlightenment.

imac said...

Cant see getting there any time soon Betsy, so many thanks for showing.

The Incredible Woody said...

Red rocks and blue skies are two of my favorite things:)

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

This canyon is beautiful too. I like the green colors scattered about in the canyon.

Becca's Dirt said...

What an awesome place. I find it fascinating the natural changes that take place to form such a magnificent place. Thanks for sharing.

Happyone : ) said...

Wow! Amazing pictures. The first one especially looks like it was colored. Those colors are brilliant. Just beautiful!!!

Tricia ♥Charming Barn Hunter♥ said...

WoW! The rock suggests HOT where nothing could possibly grow, but then there's all that green, so it DOES grow! =)

And I vote for every season, every season!!! heheheee =)

They ate lilies? Well, I guess ya gotta eat something... ?

So I'm guessing that there's actual land up there at the top of the cliffs & they don't just jet up, since the waterfalls over them after heavy storms... they actually look like they jet up.

camp and cottage living said...

Betsy, you would make a wonderful tour guide. You not only share your beautiful photos, but give us great info to go with it.
By the way-how was that drive up?
I know some of those ascending road can get pretty scary!
Enjoy your weekend.

From the Kitchen said...

We never have to leave our country to see some of the most beautiful sights in the world. I'm enjoying your trip immensely!

Hope you and George have a great weekend.

Best,
Bonnie

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Beautiful! I was there forty years ago but do not have any pictures of the place. So glad you shared today! I also am taken by how the county or state had even used red rock in the roadway! Have a great day!

Karin said...

So much new information for me. It's great that you're sharing all this educational material alongside those fantastic photos! We truly only know soooooo little about this amazing planet God has deemed to be our earthly home! And the beauty down here doesn't begin to compare with the beauty that awaits us in our eternal home! Awesome!!!

LV said...

Thanks for another great vacation day.

Big Dude said...

My only non-winter ski trip to Utah was a train trip from Denver to St Lake City (across the dessert)and a drive up into the Wasatch, so I've not seen any of this. My son visited the same parks as you several years ago and raved about them.

Rose said...

Oh, wow, Betsy...it is a beautiful, beautiful place. What we all need is a lot more time and money to explore all these wonderful places.

Ginny said...

Thanks for the tour, now I don't have to go! My favorite pictures are the first and last! And the lily, I thought it was a lily before I read what you said. It is so sweet and pretty. I have never heard of it! I love that picture of George standing in front of the scenery with a big picture of the same thing! Very cute! What a lot of stuff you taught me today. Sandra and I are very glad you went instead of us, the falling rock thing, you know. Did they have warning signs up? Here on the parkway, they do! They have big signs along the road to be looking for falling rocks.

Ms. A said...

Such magnificent beauty! Are the red roads common?

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

What a gorgeous place! And so many interesting facts!

Diane AZ said...

Hi, I had not heard of Kolob Canyons, but after seeing your pictures, I'd love to visit there. Also, I've never seen a Sego Lily, very interesting info, great post!

Daisy said...

Very interesting post and beautiful pictures of the canyons, Betsy. You and George really went on quite a trip, didn't you! Have a nice weekend! :-)

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful pictures Betsy. What a gorgeous country we live in. I have been enjoying all your pictures and postings. Great info too. I love the Sego Lily. In eastern Washington in the similar type of country grows a Lily called Mariposa Lily--similar but a tad different. MB

Out on the prairie said...

It is fun to explore like you did and find new things.i used to go into a box canyon Cochise hid his tribe from the US gov't for 11 yeas always hoping to find something someone hadn't/

Fred Alton said...

Betsy, I never cease to be amazed at the beauty that lies just beyond the main routes that most people travel in and around the USA. In a way, I suppose it's like life. Such beauty is missed because we take the easy way - the way traveled by the mainstream. ☺

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are right; it does not even look real.
Oh, so beautiful....what a magnificent sight to enjoy!!!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Shug said...

Good evening Betsy..

I am so enjoying all your fabulous pictures...the places are absolutely beautiful.

Have never been to Utah, but sure looks like we need to make a trip up there...

Have yourself a great weekend..
shug

Chip "Rocket Man" Allen said...

A friend is always telling about how beautiful Utah, her native state, is but it's even more gorgeous than I imagined. Great series!

Lady Di Tn said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks for taking us along. Peace

carolina nana said...

Hi Betsy, I've been taking a break catching up on my blog reading this evening. Your pictures from your vacation are so beautiful,all of them, but that last one in the late light is one of the prettiest for sure.
You sure have some great memories.
Blessings for a great weekend.
Marilyn

Susie Swanson said...

So much beauty you've shared and I thank you for the trip and the beauty..Hope you have a nice weekend..Susie

Janice K said...

Everything in that area is so colorful. I remember when I visited the Zion Natl Park area with my parents many years ago, my dad couldn't get over the fact that the trees grew right out of the rocks. Thanks for all the interesting background information.

Pedaling said...

Ive been on that very road. We drove up it in the fall--it is one of the most beautiful places.
Your pictures are stunning!
I didn't know all the history though, you two are thorough travelers!
though I did know what Kolob meant...but not all the other history details. :)
Have a fabulous week-end!

Ann said...

Amazing pictures. What a wonderful tour guide you are too :) I love that lily, it's so pretty. How interesting that it has been used as a food source

Diane said...

Great pictures Betsy. Really great shot of the Sego Lily. A lot of history in these parts. Diane

Diane said...

Great pictures Betsy. Really great shot of the Sego Lily. A lot of history in these parts. Diane

Janie said...

I love your photos! We hiked to Kolob Arch ... well, it was about 18 years ago. Amazing that it's been so long.
I didn't know what Kolob meant. Interesting. You have some great history and geology in this post!

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Great shots. We love the red coloring in the rock.

Darryl and Ruth :)

Ann said...

The road is covered with the red dust or is the road red?

Was it deliberate that you chose that T shirt to blend with the environment. Just watch out, you blend so well that people might not be able to find you should you wander off the main route and your son is looking for you? LOL

SquirrelQueen said...

What a gorgeous area, those red cliffs are just breathtaking. As someone else mentioned, the red color of the road is very unusual.

The little Sego lily is so pretty, I have heard of them but have never seen one. We aren't all that far away from Utah, one of these days we have to drive down that way.

Happy Weekend!

mudderbear said...

It is so much fun to see your viewpoint of my own home state. I am really enjoying your fresh point of view. There is a lot to see down there. I'm so glad you got to see it.

diane b said...

Amazing beautiful scenery. The colours are magic. We stayed in Cedar City.

Mary said...

The colors are amazing in those hills and cliffs. Lovely! I really like that flower.

ladyfi said...

Wow - that is some amazing scenery!

Lynda said...

Although I am not the first to mention this, my first thought was 'the road is reddish-orange, too.'
All of your pics have been beautiful but this scenery may be some of my favorite of your trip.

Denise said...

That must have been a wonderful adventure Betsy. The scenery is so incredibly gorgeous. I love going on road trips, and I hope to see this area one day.

nanny said...

I'll bet you said Wow several times during this drive....so beautiful...you're right, doesn't look real!
Have a good weekend!

Barbara said...

Just amazingly beautiful, what a place I have never seen this before, gorgeous, and your smile is so precious, you do love life and have such fun living it, hugs my friend.

Retired English Teacher said...

Thanks for vicariously taking us along on your trip. These photos captured some amazing places in Southern Utah.

It has been years since I've seen Sego Lilies. Are they just the most amazing little flowers? Your photo of them is really great.

Andrea said...

Happy Sunday Betsy, thank you so much for the sceneries i will not be able to see in this lifetime. Is this the mountain where the Mormons have the library underneath? When we are in this expanse of space, we feel our own vulnerability, our smallness, our insignificance, yet maybe we are the only creatures who can appreciate its expanse, significance, its beauty. OH how blessed you are for enjoying a good life. So thank you for sharing the great positive thoughts.

Peggy said...

I have actually been there!! About 5 years ago I rode with William in the semi and we stop alot for sightseeing and this was one of my favorites. So much color and beauty though I never saw the Lily. Have a blessed weekend my friend.

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful post and photos, Betsy! The canyons and cliffs are so pretty and colorful. They bring back nice memories of my families trip there.

Pam said...

Betsy, your photos are breathtaking. What an amazing place with those beautiful flowers and rock colors, but the falling rocks are mighty scary.

hugs,
Pam

~mel said...

You look like you should have a canteen of water and be riding horseback through that country. It looks like it's straight out of the western movie that Slim is watching. What a pretty lily! It looks almost like a peace or calla lily; but daintier. Thanks for sharing.

Lynn said...

Betsy, These pictures are wonderful! The last picture reminds me of Sedona. I have always wanted to do Zion and the slot canyons. On the other hand, I get claustrophic so....not a good combination as I have heard some pass throughs are really narrow. Did you do any slot canyons? I know you said this was a quieter part of Zion. This was such a marvelous trip you two took. Fantastic memories and photos.

Lynn

JDS said...

This is one of my favorite blogposts I have ever read! It is filled with information and the pictures make me think of John Ford Westerns. I've wanted to go to Zion since I was a teenager, but somehow I've never heard of Kolob Canyons and now I want to go even more.

agrigirl said...

Gorgeous pictures Betsy! Thanks for coming to the West.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I think all of Utah is gorgeous from your photos and others I've seen from that state. It is really a state I hope to be able to explore in depth someday. I loved all the very interesting information you gave in this post, Besty! The lily was a wonderful find.

Loren said...

WOW WOW WOW Betsy! The pics are breath taking! I truly could not imagine the in person....Just awesome!

That lily is gorgeous and what a gift God gave you two to see it! HE knows your love of lilies and led you straight to that one! HE is so wonderful!

Thanks for always teaching us as we look at your photos! It is soooo interesting to read your posts~ I learn all the time :)

Cicero Sings said...

Such sights you did see! How very interesting. So glad I get to see this through your eyes as I will probably never get there myself. Nice to have the background information!!!

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

The first picture does look unreal. Such beauty and so much red!