At the end of my trip in 1995 to the Colorado Plateau I new that I would have to make the same trip again -- there is just so much to see and it is all spectacular. Well, after 6 years and a long time without any vacation, I found myself with the opportunity to repeat (more or less) the Colorado Plateau tour! We followed a different route through the sights and this offered me a new perspective. Also, I had aquired a good digital camera which allowed me to take many many more pictures. Some of the pictures are pretty good! Also, I  took advantage of digital stitching techniques to create panoramic views for many of the locations where the scenery is not well served by a narrow field of view.

Here is a list of the places we visited:

  • Petrified Forest National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Colorado Springs (side trip ;-)
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  • Arches National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Banff National Park
  • Jasper National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park (North and South Rim)
  • Escalante Staircase National Monument
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Colorado National Monument
  • Canyonlands National Park (Northern Section)
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Yoho National Park
  • Kananaskis District

 

As you can see we did visit a number of places that were not part of the Colorado Plateau at the tail end of the trip. Unlike the previous Plateau trip in 1995 this time we went north (rather than south) since it was spring and the weather was getting warmer rather than colder! This trip was similar to all of my other trips in that it was based on camping and driving with stopovers in hotels where necessary to get from place to place. This time, however, there was just two of us -- no crowd ;-).

We took a bit of a longer route to Arizona from Ontario than needed, but it offered a nice scenic drive. We left Ontario and headed south on Interstate 81 travelling through the Shenandoah, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. After only modest adventure (a flat tire in Gallup), we arrived in Arizona to start the camping segment of our trip!

Petrified Forest National Park

The Petrified Forest NP contains a large number of petrified logs and also looks out on some great vistas over the painted desert. We arrived at the park in the early morning just as it was opening. The oblique slant of the sun provided some very colourful shots of the petrified wood. The first photo below shows an area strewn with a number of log fragments.

This next photo shows a close-up of a single log.

Here is a large log standing upright and showing clear origins as a tree. Behind, in the distance you can see the painted desert.

At the northern end of the park, you can see some spectacular views of the painted desert. Below, you will see a photo showing a panoramic view of the desert.