Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Long Short Hike

In our visits to Zion NP and Bryce Canyon NP, I think we have missed some beautiful sights because we did not hike up to the rim or down to the floor, respectively.

But when the trail descriptions include words and phrases like "strenous" and "not for those with a fear of heights," hikes in altitudes of 6000-8000 feet are ruled out.

So it was especially enjoyable to take two of the leisurely hikes through Kodachrome State Park (near Cannonville, UT). We began our hike to Shakespeare Arch on the trail (first photo above) that was well-marked.

When we reached the Arch, we did not realize that it was directly in front of us. The colors of the rocks and the mid-morning position of the sun hid the arch, so it wasn't until we walked closer to the cliffs that the arch became clearly visible. We stayed in this small "canyon" for awhile and took several photos from a variety of angles.

Shakespeare Arch Trail was only one-third of a mile each way, but it must have taken us an hour to make the roundtrip. Each round of a bend or "climb" of a half dozen steps revealed both small scenes and grand vistas.

The hills along the trail looked as though a potter was preparing for an extended period of time at the potter's wheel. The clay-colored hills appeared to have been formed by an artisan collecting handfuls of clay and then stacking them in piles.

We also took a stroll on the park's Nature Trail. Trees, shrubs, and plants were identified along the half-mile trail. We even came upon this home of a pack rat under a tree. The trail guide stated that the rat was collecting bits of bark and twigs to build a protective wall around its home's entrance.

There are six other trails that we did not travel in this delightful Utah state park.

It's nice to have more reasons to return.

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