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Grand Circle Road Trip

Monument Valley from the floor of the valley

National Parks of Utah

Southern Utah is home to some of the most unique geologic formations in the world. Illustrating this vast terrain of twisting canyons and red rock plateaus are six of America's most magnificent national parks.

Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley and Capital Reef National Parks offer breathtaking overviews, brilliant red rock sunsets and adventure-filled hiking trails, plus the opportunity for exhilarating relaxation. Utah's parks are located in close proximity so it is easy to see them all in one trip. Alternately, each park makes a great destination in its own right; you can spend several days exploring a Utah national park and never see all of its wonders.

Zion National Park is one of the oldest parks in the United States. Established in 1909, it was set aside to preserve "brilliantly colored strata of unique composition" and "extraordinary examples of canyon erosion".

Bryce Canyon is famous for its hoodoos. Hoodoo was the name 19th century explorers of the American west gave to odd looking rock formations they encountered during their journeys of discovery. These rocks seemed to cast spells of enchantment over those gazed upon them.

Arches National Park is land of arches, pinnacles, and sandstone dunes originally deposited by streams and wind highlighted against the backdrop of the snow-covered La Sal Mountains, it is a memorable desertland of contrast.

In Canyonlands National Park one can see red and white layers from the spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone in the Needles District. Ancient faults and fractures cracked the rock into massive rectangular blocks. Over time, erosion widened the clacks and a fantastic landscape of varied shapes emerged. Spires and pinnacles reach skyward and mushroom-like rocks hug the ground. In the distance Junction Butte and the Island in the Sky District are silhouetted against the horizon.

The stately monoliths, red buttes, arches, and sand dunes of Monument Valley are located completely within Navajo land and were made famous by six major western movies filmed in the area.

You can see choice of our Utah photos here.


Looks like you had a wonderful time in the Grand Circle. I've never officially taken an actual Grand Circle tour, but I've been to all of the destinations that you've listed. The photos came out excellent.

Thanks for the tour pointers. Sounds like a good plan to see these things.

-- Dan

Utah is one of my favorite getaway... I'd been their with my friends and family like many times. Actually there is not chance in a year that I miss to go. I is always part of my travel list.