Utah is big, very big, with just over 3 million people live in a huge area. There are therefore a lot of places that are very desolate. The last parts of Utah first appeared on the map 100 years ago – until then the map was “blacnk” – and when on a road trip, one can really feel that there is a lot of space. There are plenty of national parks, such as Bryce Canyon, but also over 50 parks run by the state of Utah.
Kodachrome National State Park
Just outside Bryce is Kodachrome State Park. It is named after a (former) widely used film from Kodak! Yes it is true! The name was “given” to the park after a photo team photographed Chimney Rock in this park in the early 50’s!
The park is, like many others, very well organized, with marked routes and indication of difficulty levels, etc. As we have hiking boots, we just got a long round trip where you get up and where you are a little afraid to look down!
Escalante Petrified Forest
Utah also has its own fossilized forest. It is not as big as the one Arizona, but it is there and there are good opportunities for good (and challenging) hikes. In short, you meet a lot of wood that is not wood. The trees aren no more wood, as it has been replaced with silicon some million years ago.
The road from Tropic to Torrey in Utah is fairly new. The road to Boulder City (Boulder is quite small – 230 inhabitants) was built during the depression in the 30’s, and is nothing short of a very very beautiful drive through a rough rocky landscape – fantastic. The last part from Boulder to Torrey near the Capitol Reef National Park was first completed in 1985 – until then, it was either a detour of 300 km or 50 km on mule back that was only open during the summer.