Planning a fall color tour at Rocky Mountain National Park is an exercise in timing and luck. We started late, which added to the challenge. After consulting the online foliage forecasts, we chose the last week of September 2021 for our visit. With Labor Day already past, we scrambled to snap up one of the last remaining rentals in Estes Park, made a set of suboptimal timed entry permits, and drove east via Southern Utah. We got lucky.Continue reading “Fall Color on the Trail at Rocky Mountain National Park”
The Devil’s Garden loop trail at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument passes beneath a collection of hooded hoodoos located at the end of 15 miles of suboptimal gravel road. Bring an AWD vehicle.
Devil’s Garden Trail (Sept. 21, 2021), 1 mileContinue reading “The Devil’s Garden Less Traveled at Grand-Staircase Escalante”
The Fairyland Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park begins with a lengthy walk along the canyon rim overlooking the canyon’s fantastical limestone walls, curtains and columns. The trail offers a close-up view of the pastel-colored formations and desert scrub as it descends steeply into the canyon to Bryce Creek and back up to the rim.
- Fairyland Loop Trail (Sept. 20, 2021), 7.8 miles
The sandy trail to Lower Calf Creek Falls at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument begins at a popular campground along Utah State Route 12. The first half of the trail winds up the side of the canyon above a reedy wetland. As the canyon narrows, Boxelder shade the trail as it moves closer to the creek bed and arrives at the falls.
- Lower Calf Creek Falls (Sept. 19, 2021), 6.7 miles round trip
We stopped at Zion National Park on a late September drive from San Francisco to Estes Park, CO. Unfortunately, we booked late and could not find a satisfactory hotel room within 50 miles of the park. Instead of back-country hiking, we settled for a drizzly stroll above Kolob Canyons and the scenic drive on Utah State Route 9.
- Timber Creek Overlook Trail (Sept. 18, 2021) – 1.1 miles
- Scenic Drive: Utah State Route 9 from I-15 to Mt. Carmel Junction (Sept. 18, 2021) – 54 miles