The Canyon Circle Trip Part VII

Springdale UT – Las Vegas, Nevada

Wednesday and our last day. Our flight home was from Las Vegas airport at 17:35 so we had time for a last drive into Zion after a leisurely breakfast (as we also gained an hour crossing into Nevada).

sunrise in springdale
Sunrise in Springdale

Again we drove along the Valley Floor road where you can appreciate the wonderful views of the rock formations towering above you.


Great White Throne
Great White Throne – Named by Methodist Minister Frederick Vining Fisher who was noted as saying

I have looked for this mountain all my life but never expected to see it in this world. This is the Great White Throne.

Angels Landing
Climbing Angels Landing

After Fisher praised the striking presence of the Great White Throne he turned toward what would become Angels Landing and stated

The Angels would never land on the throne, but would reverently pause at the foot [of Angels Landing].

Temple of Sinawava
Temple of Sinawava

At the end of the Valley Floor road is the Temple of Sinawava with high sheer cliffs streaked black on the red iron oxide by waterfalls, many of which are dry in the winter months. A riverside walk runs alongside the North Fork of the Virgin River which leads in to the Narrows, named for the narrowest section of the canyon. This 16 mile narrow canyon is where hikers splash up or down the shallow waters. Parallel cliffs soar 2,000 feet overhead, only 30 feet apart in places.

Aspens along the Valley Road
Aspens along the Valley Road
Court of the Patriarchs

Court of the Patriarchs was named for three towering figures of the Old Testament, these sandstone cliffs hold court over Birch Creek Canyon and this section of the Virgin River. In 1916 Fisher gave the religious names to the peaks; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Leaving Springdale
Leaving Springdale

Finally we left the park and headed west out of Springdale along Highway 9 following the Virgin River to Virgin and Hurricane and on to the Interstate 15 to Las Vegas, Nevada. Our final state of the trip.

Virgin - film set by the side of the raod
Virgin – film set by the side of the raod

In Virgin there is a turn-off to hike down the left fork of North Creek which leads to a geological feature called the Subway. Over time water rushing through a hole in the rock has formed a rounded out tunnel.


Near Hurricane you find the Quail Creek reservoir and the ghost town of Grafton where scenes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were filmed.

We had no intention of spending any time in Las Vegas other than reaching the airport and dropping off the hire car. As we neared the city the air above was yellow with pollution and the Interstate became much busier, so much so that we missed our turn-off and had to circle round which was a bit worrying as the fuel gauge was getting close to empty. I always find driving in strange cities quite stressful and even more so after days of being out in the vast open spaces with hardly any vehicles on the road.

Slots at the airport
Slots at the airport

So “Goodbye Las Vegas”.

It has been the most wonderful road trip and despite the overnight snowfalls, we have experienced lovely weather, cold, but dry. The Canyon Circle is fascinating – so many geological features to gaze at in wonder. We have nothing like it here on such a scale. I only wish we’d made more time and incorporated Monument Valley, Four Corners Monument, Arches National Park and The Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. Who knows whether we will ever come this way again?

When a man is away from Nature
His heart becomes hard
~ a Native American proverb

I have seen many sights on this road-trip to take my breath away, Sedona, the Red Rock Canyon, the Vermilion Cliffs, Balanced Rocks, Grand Canyon’s depths, Bryce’s hoodoos, Lake Powell’s stillness and Zion’s peace. A journey of over 1,000 miles in little over 6 days and every day even more amazing than the last.


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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

32 thoughts on “The Canyon Circle Trip Part VII”

  1. As a Las Vegas resident for nearly 19 years, I’d like to state here that the skies over the city are a clean and crispy blue the vast majority of the time. As for the photos, they’re great. It’s my geographic neighborhood, and so I’m very familiar with these places. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip, and I am the first to say that what surrounds Las Vegas is worthy of more attention than the city itself, although it’s a great place to live.

    1. I’m sure it is an interesting place to live, and so close to many natural beauties, but I’m not a city person so LV doesn’t appeal to me. Nor does LA or London for that matter 🙂

  2. We noticed on the map that intersecting Highway 9 in the town of Virgin is a road that heads north into parts of Zion National Park that can’t be gotten to from the main part of the park (a fact you know from having reached the dead end at the Temple of Sinawava). We spent a few enjoyable hours driving up to the end of that road at the Kolob Reservoir and back down to Virgin before continuing on to Las Vegas by evening.

    1. I believe that the northern region of the park is still closed to traffic during March . Like a lot of Bryce and the North Rim of the GC. We were very pleased with the sights/sites we did manage to visit 🙂

      1. We were surprised to find that the north rim of the Grand Canyon had already closed on October 15, less than a week before we got to the area. You’re probably right that the road to Kolob Reservoir was still closed in March. There’s another part of the park accessible from Interstate 15 that we ran out of time to visit. As you say, there are so many good things to see that no one one a brief visit can expect to visit more than a small portion of them.

  3. That’s a lot to do in 6 days! We covered more ground but over two years – Arizona one year, Utah the next. I’ve enjoyed reliving my memories through yours.

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