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Red Rock Country Road Trip Part 5

Leaving Kanab, the road leads to Parowan Days Inn ($104, 2nghts), via Cedar Breaks National Monument.

 

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Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheatre, stretching 3 miles across, with a depth of over 2,000 feet. The elevation of the rim of the amphitheatre is over 10,000 feet above sea level.

 

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Stone spires stand like statues in a gallery alongside columns, arches, and canyons. These intricate formations are the result of persistent erosion by rain, ice, and wind. Saturating the rock is a colour scheme as striking as any on the Colorado Plateau. Varying combinations of iron and manganese give the rock its different reds, yellows, and purples.

 

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From Parowan I spend a couple of days hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce Canyon has one of the highest concentrations of hoodoos of any place on Earth.

 

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Hoodoos are the freestanding pinnacles created by the daily melting and refreezing of water within the rocks which occurs on approximately 200 days a year, known as frost wedging.

 

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They are composed of soft sedimentary rock and are topped by a piece of harder, less easily eroded stone that protects the column from the elements.

 

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The formations exposed in the park are part of the Grand Staircase. The oldest members of this super-sequence of rock units are exposed in the Grand Canyon, the intermediate ones in Zion National Park, and its youngest parts are laid bare in Bryce Canyon area. A small amount of overlap occurs in and around each park.

 

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Wandering the trails in the park you are met with spectacular view after spectacular view.

 

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The Queens Garden/Navajo Loop combined trail is probably the most popular hike in the park and includes such wonderful sights as Wall Street – a narrow canyon with high rock walls on either side.

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From Parowan I head to Torrey – Days Inn ($98, 1nght) then on to Salt Lake City – Metropolitan Inn ($77, 1nght) before catching a flight to Boston.

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