Thursday, May 2, 2013

Driving Hwy 12 to Escalante

As we can't get into Red Canyon Campground until Friday, when it opens, we got one more night at Kodachrome. We had to move to a different spot, also full hookups, as someone was coming in our original spot. Once we got that taken care of, we decided to take a drive on the Scenic Byway 12 towards Escalante. This is through some of the Grand Staircase-Escante National Momument. This area and Capital Reef National Park are areas we want to get to the next time we are in the area. We could easily spend a month in those areas alone. There are lakes and 4 wheel drive and hiking trails off the Highway. Driving on the highway itself, we pass slickrocks, variegated buttees and mesas, canyons and rock walls. We stopped at the Upper Valley Granaries, where a small structure is tucked into the cliff face and was constructed by Ancient Puebloans.

We stopped at the Escalante Visitor Center, where it was we realized we need to come back here when we have more time.

We next made a stop at the Head of the Rocks Overlook.

The expansive views stretch out across the Escalante Canyons. The cream and red sandstone formations were sand dunes millions of years ago, now slickrock. You can see a number of mountains, such as the Henry Mountains and the Navajo Mountains and the edges of the Aquarius and Kaiparowits Plateaus.


Below is a view on the otherside of the highway.


On the way back we stopped at the Blues/Powell Point Overlook.


The overlook sits across from the pink limestone ledges of Powell Point, which rises to the elevation of 10,188 feet. The Blues is a badland of gray-green shales deposited around 80 million years ago when the area was covered by an island ocean. An interesting fact is that this region was one of the last "blank spots on the map" of the continental US. It was named after John Wesley Powell, who led the expedition in the late 1800's to map the region.



We had checked out some different areas that we had read about for boondocking. We found one right off Hwy 12 on Tom Springs Road, right before you enter the Red Canyon. There had been someone there when we first saw it but luckily no one was there when we arrived on Thursday.


There are some other sites further down this road, though most not very level or road too rutted for big beasts such as ours.

Not bad scenery and another no cost camping site. Love it. We are only about 15 miles from Bryce Canyon and that is where we are headed on Friday.


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