National Parks Part 1
by Chris Towle


I visited the national parks and 2 state parks in Nevada and southern Utah last fall.  Also one national monument in Nevada.  I would like to thank Eldon Mayer for his research on his trip just prior to mine and sharing his information on the island web site.


I only had my kindle fire to take the following photos.


My trip started in Las Vegas where I drove approximately 45 minutes to Red Rock National Monument.  There is a beautiful scenic drive with quite a few pull outs.  Also, quite a few trails.  I only spent a few hours there.  IÕm glad I did.  ItÕs hard to believe a place so close to Las Vegas can be so quiet and scenic.




My next stop was Zion National Park.  I had no idea what to expect.  I had not done any research prior to this trip.  Zion turned out to be one of my favorite parks.  I spent 4 nights in Zion Lodge which is right in the middle of the park.  The entire park is huge.  I stayed in this popular section and hiked the famous trails.  Angels Landing and the Narrows to name a few.


View from the top of Angels Landing:


View from behind weeping rock:


The narrows is a slot canyon carved out by the Virgin River.  The hike takes you through the river:




Another smaller slot canyon


A natural arch at the end of the trail ŌHidden CanyonĶ


Sun setting over red rock:


There was so much of the park that I didnÕt get to see.  I was very happy with what I was able to experience with the few days I was there.  IÕm really looking forward to going back!


My next stop was Bryce Canyon.  Again, another amazing place and experience. 




Tower Rock


Hat Shop


Hoodoos:  Inspiration Point Rim Trail


In The Canyon, Looking Up



Next stop, Capital Reef.  This is one of the lesser known and thus not as crowded park.  There are also orchards where you can pick the fruit that is in season.  I almost had the whole park to myself.






Moving east to the desert of Moab the final two parks in the ŌMighty 5Ķ  Canyonlands and Arches.


I spent the afternoon in Canyonlands and did a few shorter hikes.





On the way out of Canyonlands, I stopped at Dead Horse State Park for a couple of hours.


Horse Shoe Bend:



About 25 to 30 minutes from Canyonlands is Arches National Park.  There are supposedly thousands of arches in the park.


Fragile Arch:



Landscape Arch:


Double Arch:


Balance Rock:


On my way back to Las Vegas, I stopped at Valley Of Fire State Park.  ItÕs a very popular park and only about 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas.




Pictures really canÕt do these places justice.  Thank you for reading and looking.  If anyone has any questions, I would love to answer them.  Please feel free to e-mail me at  Stay tuned for part 2.