Utah Scenic Highway 12 and 24
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The state of Utah offer unmatched natural beauty from rugged mountains, extended forests, to red rock canyon and cliffs. The beauty is not confined to the cluster of national parks, but also hundreds of miles of scenic byway. This make the driving part in this trip quite a delight. This page is on the stunning view of Scenic Highway 12, which connects Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef Nation Park, and Highway 24, which we began at Capitol Reef and ends at Interstate 70 near Green River.
Scenic Highway 12 the All American Road.
Leaving Bryce Canyon. The last 2 pix were taken at Powell Point, a historic landmark for being the survey point of the Green River and Colorado River expedition led by John Wesley Powell in 1869-72. The first passage to the Grand Canyon was opened in that expedition.
A lookout near the small town Boulder. What a view! The panorama covers Aquarius Plateau (1st pic), the Henry Mountains (3 pix), and the Navajo Mountain (last pic).
More as we drive along. See the lone house under the red sandstone cliffs in the last pic? Pretty cool eh?
Scenic Highway 24.
Drive along, the topography changed. We passed under giant boulders and cliffs.
Pass Boulder, UT, we headed straight up the Boulder Mountain. Temperature decreases with elevation gain, we began to see snow on the road.
When we see the strip of red sandstone in a distance, we know we're approaching Capitol Reef National Park.
Scenic Byway 24. Near Capitol Reef, Highway 12 turns into 24. Except for the section passing through Capitol Reef National Park, Highway 24 is not as famous as 12. However, it's also quite spectacular in its own way.
Leaving Capitol Reef, the landscape change dramatically from reddish sandstone into these crummy-looking grayish dunes.
The formations of these dune or butte of sandstone look very similar to those in Capitol Reef. The different tunes from the red sandstone probably come from a large amount of dirt mixing in it.
After passing these devilish dark castles, the tune of the landscape slowly turn a little reddish again.
Viewing the Boulder Mountain from a distance.
Small Towns in the red rock state. Boulder (1st row, 3 pix); Tropic (2nd row 1st pic, near Bryce Canyon); Torrey (2nd row, 2nd pic, near Capitol Reef); Beaver (last pic). I've always admired these little places in a wide open country. You wake up in the morning, look outside the window, and there they are, these boundless, majestic landscape. It just kinda open up your mind.
Wildlife in Utah. Fortunate to met these guys, considering it's winter time. In the first 2 pix is a Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis) in Canyonland. Next 3 pix, a group of Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in Bryce Canyon.
Little ones. A busy little Chipmunk in Canyonland. A Woodpecker (likely a Three-toed Woodpecker, Picoides dorsalis).
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