Friday, May 19, 2017

Visiting Southern Utah - Part 2

May 5 to May 6:

Friday morning we got up early to make our second visit to Zion National Park. We were going to see the upper section of the park called the Kolob Canyons. This section of Zion is the least visited area of the park.

Before we made our visit to Kolob Canyons we drove along the Kolob Terrace Road to see more interesting rock formation along with an overlook back to the main part of Zion called Lava Point. We drove through the main section of Zion on Hwy 9 through the towns Springdale and Rockville before turning on the Kolob Terrace Road near Virgin, Utah. This is a winding road that goes through several canyons and mountains before reaching the Kolob Reservoir. We passed several scenic views along the way where we pulled over to look and take pictures. Lava Point was on a gravel road off the Terrace road that winds it way to the overlook at an elevation of 7,890 feet. We hiked about a quarter mile to the Lava Point Overlook and viewed the main section of Zion to the southeast. From there we traveled to the Kolob Reservoir where we ate the picnic lunch we had packed.

Kolob Terrace Road scenic route.

HooDoo's along the Kolob Terrace.

Small lake along route that we saw Koy Fish spawning.

More canyons along the route.

Kolob Reservoir where they were having a fly fishing class & where we ate lunch.

The only way to get to the main part of Zion from here is to hike the rim trail.

Looking at main section of Zion from Lava Point.
We drove back down the Kolob Terrace Road to Hwy 9, then proceeded on to I-15 where we turned north. We drove several miles along the interstate before exiting at the Kolob Canyons Visitor's Center. We stopped in, showed our Senior Pass, and proceeded to drive uphill to the canyons. The highest peak in this part of Zion is Horse Ranch Mountain at 8,726 feet. There are a number of places to pull out to soak in the views along with a short hike at the end of the paved road. Again the views are amazing and we stopped along the way to take lots of photos.

Near the Visitor's Center on the park road.

Starting up the canyons.

More scenery along the road.

Nice lady took our picture at this pull out.

Totally different from the other section of Zion.
After leaving the Kolob Canyons section of Zion, we traveled north on I-15 until we reached Cedar City where we turned on Hwy 14. This is a scenic drive that takes your from I-15 to US Hwy 89. The pass through the mountains on this route is at almost 10,000 feet and there were still quite of bit of snow on the ground at the top of the pass.

Snow along Hwy 14.

Part of the lake behind us was still frozen.
Once we reached US Hwy 89 we turned south back to Glendale and our campground. Another long day for us: so again a quick supper, shower and on to bed.

Saturday we decided to stay out of the national parks and visit some other sites near us. We drove about 15 miles on a gravel road to reach the paved road that led us through the Johnson Canyon. This is a set of canyons east of Kanab. We stopped at several places along the road to view the canyon walls.

Which road do you think we took?

Start of the Johnson Canyon.
More canyon walls.

More canyon walls.

The E-Z Does It Ranch in the Johnson Canyon.
A little further along this road were the ruins of one of the television sets used by the Gunsmoke TV series. Gunsmoke filmed a lot of location shots around Kanab and this is one of the several used over the years. It has not been maintained and will be gone in the near future.

Falling down Gunsmoke TV location set.

From the Johnson Canyon Road we drove into Kanab. We stopped by the town's Visitor's Center and picked up some maps and information about the area. We also walked through the small museum that showed items from the movies and TV shows that have been filmed in this part of Utah.

Moves that have been filmed in southern Utah.

Visitor's Center/Museum in Kanab.
From the Visitor's Center we drove to the Kanab City Park where we ate the picnic lunch we had brought with us. The park is located at the base of the Kanab Canyons which start in the town and run north.

Nice park. They were playing Little League baseball game behind us.
After lunch we went over to the Little Hollywood Museum (no charge for admission) in Kanab. This is a small museum/store where a local individual has collected parts of movie sets filmed around Kanab. We watched a short video about the museum and some of the movies filmed in the area. As we were touring the sets in the museum the wind began blowing hard and Connie lost her prescription sunglasses. We spent time retracing all of our steps but could never find them. We left our information with the store in hopes that someone will turn them in.

Set used in Kenny Rogers video filmed at North Rim Grand Canyon.

Saloon set used in Outlaw Josie Wales.

House used in Outlaw Josie Wales (made out of Styrofoam).
After searching the parking lot for Connie's sunglasses with no luck, we decided we had enough time to visit the Pipe Springs National Monument south of Kanab. We drove south into northern Arizona for about 25 miles to reach the monument. This location was used by the Mormon church as a "tithing" ranch. The original owner of the ranch was killed by Navajo Indians in 1866 and the ranch was sold by his widow to the Mormon church in 1868. Mormons give 10% of their "earnings" to the church and so ranchers gave the church 10% of their livestock born during the year as their offering. Due to the barter economy used at the time with little cash, the church built a series of these ranches across Utah and Arizona to deal with the livestock. A stone building was built to protect the ranch and to house some of the operations of the ranch: mainly making butter and cheese that was sold in St. George, Utah a four day wagon ride west. The building became known as the Winsor Castle after the first ranch manager and was built over the springs located on the property. The ranch grew to 2,200 head of cattle in the 1870's but was abandoned in 1879 due to drought and overgrazing. It become a national monument in 1923.

Winsor Castle at the Pipe Springs National Monument.

Inside of Winsor Castle.

Again at the end of another long day we headed back to Glendale for supper, shower and rest.