Southwest Tour

The weekend of February 19, 2010, Jessica and David came out for one last hoo-rah before they became parents. Since it was the dead of winter, and it seemed to be snowing as much in southern Utah as it was in the mountains, we decided to make a whirlwind trip that included Zion, Lake Powell, the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Bryce Canyon. We had three days to do it, but that was still a lot of driving. The first stop was Zion. We stayed in Springdale, UT, on Friday night, and then hiked around Emerald Pool on Saturday. We also hiked out to the end of the trail at the Narrows. There was considerably less snow than when Tracy and I were there about 3 weeks earlier, but it was drizzling all day.

After leaving Zion, we headed to Lake Powell. David enjoyed the Glen Canyon Dam, and, as always, the lake was really pretty, but we didn’t stay long before heading on to the Grand Canyon. We came to the park from the east side, and the snow was pretty bad on the road once we got into the park. David and Jessica were incredulous that it wasn’t supposed to snow at the Grand Canyon…it was pretty funny! But after taking it slow, we finally made it to the hotel in Tusayan. On Sunday we went into the park and learned something new: it’s actually possible NOT to be able to see the Grand Canyon! Here was the biggest hole in the ground on the continent, and we couldn’t see one foot of it because of the snow and low cloud cover! Jessica was not happy. After three trips to the Tetons, she’s never seen them because of snow clouds, and now she couldn’t even see the Grand Canyon because of snow clouds. It was pretty crazy. I expected there to be snow, but there was a lot of snow there, and we literally could not see the canyon at all. Standing at the overlook, you truly had no idea there was anything at all there. It was bizarre.

So we left before Jessica got sadder. We drove to the Hoover Dam, and David and Jessica took a tour of the dam while Tracy and I just wondered around. It was sunny and warm down at the dam.

We also checked out Lake Meade, and then tried to find a hotel outside Vegas. We decided it was too early to stop, though, so we drove closer to Bryce Canyon for the night. On Monday we got up and headed to Bryce Canyon. Bryce was snowed in and cold, but the weather was clear, so Jessica was at least able to see it! The contrast of the red rocks and white snow is pretty at Bryce. After Bryce we made the long drive back home to finish out the long loop. I think Jessica and David had a good trip, but I know they were disappointed that they won’t be able to mark the Grand Canyon off their list.

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Bryce Canyon

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Bryce Canyon 37.603400, -112.156700 Southwest Tour ReportBryce Canyon Report (Directions)

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