Support Your Local Museum

The Paunsaugunt Wildlife Museum is located near Bryce Canyon National Park. The wildlife exhibits are mainly of animals that live in the park and the surrounding area. There are also exhibits of butterflies and artifacts from native Americans, like the Anasazi and Piute. You can also feed several species of deer that live on the museum property. The exhibits are very professionally designed and please don't forget to bring your camera if you visit.


Panorama Trail Petrified Lightning

One interesting geological feature can be found at the beginning of the Panorama Trail in Kodachrome Basin State Park. Soon after passing the "Fred Flintstone Spire" you will see a sign that reads "Petrified Lightning." There are numerous cream-colored fractures that zig-zag down from the red sandstone cliffs. They look strikingly similar to bright lightning strikes flashing down from a red sky. This is just one of the many interesting points of interest along this popular trail. More information about the park and trails can be found by viewing a brochure of the park (in .pdf format).


Lower Calf Creek Falls

The lower Calf Creek Falls is one of the only year long active waterfalls in southern Utah and is of the most popular hikes in the area. You can find the parking area by following Highway 12 North from cannonville towards Boulder. This hike is located about 39 miles northeast of Kodachrome Basin State Park. It is a moderate hike and is about 6.3 miles roundtrip from the trailhead. There is a day use fee to park. In addition to this spectacular waterfall, you can find several pictographs and ruins in the area. Don't forget to take a dip in the cool, deep pool below these falls. The trail runs along Calf Creek and you may see foot-long brook trout swiming in the shallows.


Slot Canyon

This shot was taken above the slot canyon along Willis Creek. Access to the canyon is about 2 miles from Bull Valley Gorge. There is a parking area north of where the shallow creek passes over Skutumpah Road between Johnson Canyon and Cannonville.The creek starts out level with the road but soon flows deeper into the canyon and enters a moderately deep gorge. A short walk into the canyon reveals several narrow sections where the golden sandstone walls of the canyon rise above you dramatically. Willis Creek is very easy to explore and is recommended as a daytime destination for families with children. Be prepared to get a bit muddy.


Roads Impassible When Wet

The dirt roads running through the Grand Staircase Escalante Wilderness area are very dangerous when wet. The dirt is actually a clay that packs into your treads and turns them into bald tires. So beware the backroads if there is any chance of rain during your trip. A few years back, my cousin's 4-wheel drive truck slid off the trail and smashed the door in pretty bad.

The picture above shows what can happen if you follow too closely to the Paria river after a rain storm. My uncle's jeep was stuck deep in the mud and took several hours to free. The family was trying to get to the Paria ghost town and movie set (which we later found out had burned down anyway).

So always be prepared for emergencies. Bring extra water, blankets and food. And ALWAYS let someone know where you are heading and when you plan to return.

But don't forget to "Have Fun!"

Sometimes these little incidents are the best part of the vacation. I know our family remembers them quite fondly around the campfire at night. :-)


General Store

The General Store at Kodachrome Basin park. Stop in and buy something to drink or some cheesy arrowheads. Meet Bridget the cat and sign up for a trail ride.


This Jones family portrait was taken on top Powell Point from the edge of the Utah's High Plateaus. From here, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is visible to the southeast. The dirt road to the veiwpoint winds through tall pine forests to the 10,000 ft. plateau. This recreational area is about 36 miles from Kodachrome Basin and is located directly above Pine Lake.