April 30, 2017

Travels in Southern Utah

We recently complete a 50 mile endurance competition starting at Mt. Carmel Junction and traversing the countryside surrounding Zion National Park.  The above photo is taken at Mineral Point, above a branch of the Virgin River.
Also in April, we traveled to canyon country just outside of Bryce National Park, riding trails through Casto and Losee Canyons.  The reddish hoodoos are typical of the area's famous Claron formation.
Note the tiny window in the red rock fin.
This streambed showed an abundance of small pockets created by erosion.  We found running water in one canyon, enough to provide a cool drink for the horses and a swimming hole for Daisy.
In front and to the left of Steve is a Great Basin bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva.  At this latitude, we see them at 8000 feet or above, in high, windy, dry locations subject to cold winters, where they are best able to compete.  Bristlecones grow very slowly and some are estimated to be thousands of years old.  The needles can stay on the trees for up to 40 years.  The thickly needled branches resemble bottle brushes. The tree seems to prefer the dolomitic white colored soil shown above.  Limber pine and Ponderosa pine also grow in the higher areas.
  The views were impressive.
The weather was 60ish and sunny, with just enough wind to keep the horses cool.  We couldn't have ordered up a better day to explore these colorful, unique canyons.


  1. You certainly ride in some magnificent scenery, and I thank you for taking us along with you.

  2. Sounded like perfect weather for such a ride. Love that incredible scenery. Thank you Janie :)

  3. The canyon landscape is so spectacular! Te rock formation, the colors, the plant life, the clear skies above make for some awsome shots. Your horse adventure looks like a scene in an action movie.

  4. Visiting your blog is always a mini vacation for me. Absolutely gorgeous scenery!

  5. Such beautiful and interesting landscape! I enjoyed learning about the bristlecone pines that grow in the white soil.

  6. Hi Janie, so good to travel along with you. Interesting information about the bristlecone pine. I always love seeing Daisy on your trails too. Thanks for visiting my blog. Did you know we've moved? To the mountains and we also have horses! I still need to learn to ride them. Have a great day. Jo

  7. Beautiful area, and I'm glad Daisy got to come along.

  8. What a gorgeous countryside. Lucky you!

  9. Wow---I'm glad that George saw this post... Bryce is one of his all-time favorite places... We hope to go back to that area this fall... Amazing group of pictures...WOW.



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