Southern Utah is full of striking natural beauty; it’s not just in the national parks but all over the state. Particularly the drive from Capitol Reef National Park, through Hanksville and down into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) on the 95 was a treat for the eyes. Dramatic transitions from rolling dry hills on the road from Capitol Reef to barren desert after Hanksville and then to river formed canyons in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Southern Utah provides so much variation.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area was formed in 1972 “to provide for public use and enjoyment and to preserve the area’s scientific, historic, and scenic features.” The NRA borders a number of significant national parks including Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and the Grand Canyon as well as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the Navajo Indian Reservation. Glen Canyon is also close to the Natural Bridges National Monument where we were heading. We were only passing through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area but a quick internet search shows that its wildly used for recreational water sports, camping and outdoor adventure stuff. The weather was really hot and a swim would have been simply divine but unfortunately we didn’t discover a safe water entry point on the route we took.
Many times I found myself staring out the window as I drove through this land, wondering what kind of adventures I could have in this strange but incredible place if only I had more time. Southern Utah really is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
When evening approached we found a hidden spot to park for the night off to the side of the road on the edge of a canyon style ledge. We were able to set our camp chairs on the canyon edge and watch the sky gradually change colour with sunset. Despite being really close to the only road which passed through the area there was hardly any traffic and our camp was nice and tranquil.
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