Road Trip, Part 3 – Zion NP, UT to Simi Valley, CA, Sept. 10-11/14


We entered the high country of Zion NP from the east, and then descended through the tunnels to the valley floor. The campground was full. We had thoughtlessly chosen to visit this part of the Southwest when it is full of people and still pretty hot.

The high country along the eastern entrance to Zion NP

The high country along the eastern entrance to Zion NP

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Scarlet gilia

Scarlet gilia

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Strange sandstone rock - perhaps a concentration of hematite

Strange sandstone rock – perhaps a concentration of hematite

Cottonwood

Cottonwood along a watercourse

Cottonwood and chamisa

Cottonwood and chamisa

Cross-bedded sandstone

Cross-bedded sandstone

Cross-bedded sandstone

Cross-bedded sandstone

Cross-bedded sandstone

Cross-bedded sandstone

An ephemeral creek from the recent rains

An ephemeral creek from the recent rains

An ephemeral creek from the recent rains

An ephemeral creek from the recent rains

The high country along the eastern entrance to Zion NP

The high country along the eastern entrance to Zion NP

The high country along the eastern entrance to Zion NP

The high country along the eastern entrance to Zion NP

The Virgin River was full and running hard. We continued past St. George, down through the Virgin River Gorge, and into low-elevation Nevada.

The Virgin River at the mouth of the gorge

The Virgin River at the mouth of the gorge

The Virgin River just below the mouth of the gorge

The Virgin River just below the mouth of the gorge

Our destination for the night was Valley of Fires State Park, just this side of Las Vegas. I was put on to this place by a friend who had photographed there, with admirable results. As we approached, we discovered that a portion of I-15 west of Las Vegas had gotten flash-flooded and destroyed. The detour via the Moapa Valley, however, took us right to our destination.

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Desert bighorns, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

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An unusual combination of colors, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

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An unusual combination of colors, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

An unusual combination of colors, along with tilted strata, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

An unusual combination of colors, along with tilted strata, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

Approaching a small slot canyon

Approaching a small slot canyon

A sinuous drainage

A sinuous drainage

Slot canyon

Slot canyon

Slot canyon

Slot canyon

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Quite the palette, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

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Ripple marks

An unusual combination of colors, along with tilted strata, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

An unusual combination of colors, along with tilted strata, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

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An unusual combination of colors, along with tilted strata, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

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An unusual combination of colors, along with tilted strata, at Valley of Fires State Park, NV

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Pink and yellow

Wow, was it ever hot at Valley of Fires! 105 -110 degrees?. The temps moderated that night, but come the morning we were ready to get back on the road and put on some miles in the comfort of our air-conditioned van. The scenery at Valley of Fires was superlative, as I’m sure you’ll agree, and I’m ready for a return visit – just at a cooler time of year! That afternoon we pulled in to my mother-in-law’s ranchette, to discover that it was pretty darn hot there too!

Eucalyptus flower, Simi Valley, CA

Eucalyptus flower, Simi Valley, CA

Part 4 takes us to the beach (where it is always cooler than inland). First to Gaviota, and then to Carpinteria, for the family reunion. Stay tuned!

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
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One Response to Road Trip, Part 3 – Zion NP, UT to Simi Valley, CA, Sept. 10-11/14

  1. Pingback: Road Trip, Part 2 – Hanksville to Red Canyon, Utah, Sept. 9-10/14 | BelieveSteve (StevenRichardMiller)

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