Leaving Kanab, the road leads to Parowan Days Inn ($104, 2nghts), via Cedar Breaks National Monument.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wandering the trails in the park you are met with spectacular view after spectacular view.
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.
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.