Our 2009 Summer Trip - Arizona and Southern Utah - Part 4
3 State Parks

The 3 state parks in the title are 1) Anasazi State Park in Boulder, Utah; 2) Escalante State Park with its petrified wood; and 3) Kodachrome Basin State Park, south of Tropic. To get to the state parks we drove the very scenic and challenging route 12 from west of Bryce Canyon to Boulder, Utah and back through Topic to Kodachrome Basin.


Route 12 is a wide mountain road with steep grades and, in places, drop-offs on BOTH sides. No real need to fear, especially with a good driver like RoseMary.

First stop - Anasazi State Park in Boulder, Utah. The term "Anasazi" is a Navajo word meaning "ancient enemies". Needless to say, modern-day Pueblos and Hopis dislike the term and archeologists no longer use the word, preferring generally terms like "Ancient Pueblo People" or "Ancestral Puebloans".

The group at the sign at the entrance to the anasazi State Park The museum and a dwelling reconstruction behind it. The doors are pretty small, giving an idea of the size of the ancient pueblans.
The teens go in and out of the reconstructions. Zeke, Jaxson and Jeannette in the reconstructed dwelling. Jeannette and Cassie by the reconstruction.
Another family found the geocache, and we shared in it. There are a couple of excavations at the museum. Looking at one of the excavations.
RoseMary looks at an excavation. Sign explaining history of the anasazi site There were a lot of reasons for picking a particular site for a pueblo. Scenery was important, as well as more practical considerations like water.

Back down Highway 12 to the town of Escalante, named for an early Spanish explorer of the area. On the outskirts is Escalante state Park. There was a bit of a hike to the top of the mountain, but it was worth it for the views as well as the amount of petrified wood around.

Here we are at the entrance to the state park. Looking out over the town of Escalante Nice scenery
The first 3 petrified logs, all lying parallel to each other. In the "blow up", notice the pen at the left on the first log And the desert shall blossom .... Prickly Pears come in several colors, not just pink like these. Where the trails converge on top, there's a nice collection of petrified wood.
More logs along the trail. Kenny's sitting on a good-sized slab of wood. Lots of pieces in a nearby wash.
This is the largest log in the park. Alex and ryan are shown standing by this log. Click here for a closer view.

The day was growing late and we still had one more park to get to and then a surprise for dinner. I'd heard stories about Kodachrome State Park and they were true! It really does rival Bryce Canyon, but on a smaller scale.

When we pull into an unfamiliar area, there's always a difficult decision about what we should do. Because of the shortness of time, we chose the self-guided nature hike, recommeded by the attendant at the entrance station..

Here's the BMW in the middle of colorful hills, hoodoos and pinnacle. There are many theories about the origin of these pinnacles. All we can say for sure is that they are definitely sedimentary in nature. The pinnacles are exposed through the forces of erosion, and eventually toppled by those same forces.
Ryan, Alex and Lindsey by a pinnacle along the trail. A dead juniper tree mimics the lines of the hilltop in the background. As we left, I was able to get this panorama of the basin.

That's our day at the three state parks. Kodachrome would be "worthy" of at least a full day by itself. I'd have liked a few more hours at the others as well, but the amount of time we spent at each was long enough for the kids. Our original plan called for visiting the three parks in reverse order, and continuing over to Moab after leaving the Anasazi State Park.

For that matter, we could have spent several days at Zion and Bryce and I personally could have enjoyed a full day watchin' the paint dry at the Grand Canyon.

Next stop - Cove Fort and Manti

San Francisco Bay Area

Part 1 - Parties and Graduation

Part 2 - Jelly Belly, Big Trees and Natural Bridges
Southern Utah and Arizona Part 1 - Travelling, camping and Zion Part 2 - Grand Canyon
Part 3 - Bryce Canyon Part 4 - 3 State Parks
Part 5 - Cove Fort and Manti temple Pageant
Northern Utah Part 1 - Visit to Kayleen and Andy's, Oquirrh temple, Bear Lake and Heritage West Center Part 2 - Fourth of July at Lewiston, other Cache Valley pictures, Saint Anthony Dunes and Idaho Falls wedding

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