The Hoodoos

Panguitch

Panguitch

Panguitch is a Native American word meaning big fish.  This small western ‘cowboy’ town, home to Robert LeRoy Parker better known as Butch Cassidy, was settled in the valley back in 1864.  Just 7 miles south of Panguitch lies nowadays Utah’s most beautiful Scenic Byway 12.  It spans a route of 124 miles and travels through some of the most diverse, remote & ruggedly landscapes in the country.  The Byway winded it’s way through Dixie National Forest and brought us to rolling slickrocks, variegated buttes & mesas, snaking canyons and rock walls varnished with mineral stains.  Occasionally we saw hawks, eagles and vultures soaring overhead.  Even an elusive coyote slipping furtively through a patch of rabbit brush.  Each bend gave us new spectacular views of wind- & water-shaped towers and ramparts as ornate as medieval castles, dense forests of aspen and fir that yield to grassy meadows, mingled scents of pinyon or sagebrush that define the open spaces of the American Southwest.

Red Canyon

Red Canyon

Red Canyon on Dixie National Forest was our first stop in this scenic wonderland of colorful spires.  It is the ‘Hoodoo’ that makes this area unique.  Rain & ice sculpt these fanciful spires of rusted limestone casting a magical spell on all who return their stony gaze.  We started with the Pink Ledges trail that took us through ponderosa pines & hoodoos  to the Hoodoo trail with sagebrush, pinyon & juniper trees.  The Birdseye trail followed some steep slopes along the side of the trail offering a birds eye view of the rock formations.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Bryce’s original inhabitants, the Paiutes, believed that the rock figures here where people turned to stone by angry gods.  Delicately colored spires, fins and mazes haunt our imagination and beckon us to explore them more closely.  Hiking and horseback trails wind through the park, both along the rim and down amongst the fairy tale castle-like ‘Hoodoo’ rock formations who tower to kiss the azure sky.  Pristine canyons are carved deep into the desert sandstone, fiery colors and endless vistas give way to a spectacular & breathtaking display of a dreamy landscape.   InfinIte variations of color and shape erode into a mysterious amphitheater of what many describe as sacred ground.

Einat, Jordan, me, Doron & Chris @ Bryce's Amphitheater

Einat, Jordan, me, Doron & Chris @ Bryce’s Amphitheater

Back in Zion National Park I met Doron, a girl from Tel Aviv, Israel who was doing a roadtrip through the States with her brother Jordan & her mum Einat.  Meeting them again at Sunset point in Bryce Canyon was a nice coincidence and we decided to hike the Bryce Amphitheater  together.  We started with the Navajo Loop hiking down into the depths of the Hoodoos in a world seldom.  That brought us to Queen’s Garden with chess-like people formations as we gaze to Sunrise Point.  A turbulent storm that spilled over distant vistas  painted the formerly blue sky in an indescribable shade of purple.

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