Up stream the Zion canyon becomes narrower towardsthe Temple and a hiking trail continues to the mouth of The Narrows, a gorge only 6 m wide at some places and up 610 m deep.The hike continues while wading in the river.
Bryce Canyon National Park protects Bryce Canyon in Utah. Despite its name, is not technically a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Delicate and colorful pinnacles stand up to 60 m tall. A series of amphitheaters extends more than 30 km along the rim. The largest of them is Bryce Amphitheater, which is 19 km long, 5 km wide and 240 m deep. Rainbow Point, the highest part of the park at 2,775 m is at the end of the 29 km scenic drive. From there, Aquarius Plateau, Bryce Amphitheater, the Henry Mountains, the Vermilion Cliffs and the White Cliffs can be seen.
In the morning we take a drive with a Navajo guide into Canyon de Chelly and then move on to Monument Valley.
Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii – “valley of the rocks”, known by most as Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest rising over 300 m above the valley floor, at the Arizona–Utah border. The valley lies within the territory of the Navajo Nation Reservation. Director John Ford used the location for a number of his best-known films and thus, in the words of critic Keith Phipps, “its five square miles have defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West.” The valley floor is largely siltstone of the Cutler Group, or sand derived from it, deposited by the meandering rivers that carved the valley. The valley’s vivid red color comes from iron oxide exposed in the weathered siltstone. The darker, blue-gray rocks in the valley get their color from manganese oxide. The buttes are clearly stratified, with three principal layers. The lowest layer is the Organ Rock Shale, the middle is de Chelly Sandstone, and the top layer is the Moenkopi Formation capped by Shinarump Conglomerate.
Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River, at the border between Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression . Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. Originally known as Boulder Dam it was officially renamed Hoover Dam, in 1947. The dam impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States by volume when it is full. As happens in case of all dams, the changes in water flow and use caused by Hoover Dam’s operation have had a large impact on the Colorado River Delta. For six years after the construction of the dam, while Lake Mead filled, virtually no water reached the mouth of the river. The delta’s estuary, which once had a freshwater-saltwater mixing zone stretching 64 km south of the river’s mouth, was turned into an inverse estuary. In recent years – with the draught that has struck western USA level of Lake Mead has fallen dramatically, which can be observed on the shores over the dam.
U.S. Route 66 was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System, established in 1926, with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covering a total of 3,940 km. US 66 served as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. US 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, but was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985 after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been communally designated a National Scenic Byway of the name “Historic Route 66”.
Desert View Watchtower, also known as the Indian Watchtower at Desert View, is a 21 m high stone building located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon within Grand Canyon National Park approx 30 km to the east of Grand Canyon Village. The four-story structure, completed in 1932, was designed by American architect Mary Colter, an employee of the Fred Harvey Company who also created and designed many other buildings in the Grand Canyon vicinity including Hermit’s Rest and the Lookout Studio. The interior contains murals by Fred Kabotie.
Little Finland (also known as Hobgoblin’s Playground) is a scenic red rock area, located in a remote section of Clark County, Nevada within Gold Butte National Monument, known for its red rock scenery and strangely-shaped, delicate rock formations. The rock formations are composed of red Aztec Sandstone, fossil sand dunes. Many of the features are small erosional fins, hence the name and are very fragile. Thankfully access is quite hard so at least for now it is what protects this amazing little wonderland.