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  • Writer's pictureEryn

The Grand Circle - National & State Parks in Utah's Deserts

Eryn looking out to the orange canyon and rock formations under a bright blue cloudy sky in Bryce Canyon National Park
Gazing out at the hoodoo-filled canyons of Bryce Canyon National Park

Surrounded by desert terrain, the landscape in Utah could not be evermore dry. Everywhere I turned, I was surrounded by the glow of pink and orange rocks carved into their unique forms by millennia of wind, water, and more. To explore the unique environment of this American state, we traveled by campervan, visiting national and state parks that were simply unforgettable.

Bryce National Park was mind-blowing. Filled with rocky spires called hoodoos, they each had such unique formations, coming in all shapes and sizes. They towered high above our heads as we hiked along the canyons they formed, leaving me to wonder not only how long the skinniest of hoodoos have left before their demise, but also how long the largest of rocks might further remain.

We also visited the lesser-known but equally captivating Goosenecks State Park, for it certainly represented how strange but amazing canyon formations can be. Having been camped right at the edge of the cliff where a deep, twisting river canyon lay below our feet, we were truly able to appreciate the natural landscapes to the fullest.

The winding river canyon at Goosenecks State Park

One time when we were camped in the vast Utah desert, we even had a mysterious visitor. One night, we were suddenly called out under the starry sky by my dad. As I stepped out, I glimpsed the shadow of a small creature, perplexed at what it could be. Then, just before it scurried away, it turned its black, masked face in our direction. For a moment, it looked at us with big black eyes, its black-gloved hands poised before it swiftly escaped our gazes. It was the thief-like raccoon, but the animal did not find anything to scavenge from us.

This road trip was an interesting experience, not only to explore the deserts of Utah but also to have a peek inside the campervan lifestyle. Visiting numerous national parks and coming across many more state parks that we would not have otherwise known of, our campervan brought us to places we could not have reached in any other way. I am grateful that the state and nation's beautiful natural sites are protected, many of which are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

Our campervan parked under orange cliffs and rock formations at Kodachrome State Park


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