Saturday, October 17, 2015

Red Canyon (Dixie National Forest), 10/15/2015

After receiving my replacement iPad Tuesday and our new camera (Canon PowerShot SX60 HD) yesterday, we made plans to visit Bryce Canyon National Park today. It is located about 130 miles (2.5 hour drive) from where we are staying in Hurricane, UT. John made dinner (roast in the crockpot) and packed lunch and snacks for the day, and we were on our way. 

En route we drove through Red Canyon in the Dixie National Forest on Highway 12 (a 124-mile All American Road). You will find dramatic landscapes of sandstone hoodoos here, a precursor to what can be found at Bryce Canyon. 

Three miles from the Highway 89 junction is the Red Canyon Visitor Center.

Exhibits about the area and a small gift shop can be found in the visitor center. 

This is one of nine visitor centers located in the large (nearly 2 million acres) of the Dixie National Forest. Early settlers from southern states to the area (southwest Utah) called it Utah's Dixie, hence the forest name. The elevation in the forest ranges from 3,000 to 11,000' and the temperature ranges from mountain lows of -30 F to valley highs of over 100 degrees F. Today was a beautiful day and we stopped for some photos of the beautiful landscape.

There are 20 campgrounds in Dixie National Forest and 1,600 miles of trails for hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, and off-road vehicles. During winter months, snowmobiling, downhill skiing/snowboarding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities in the forest. 

There are two tunnels along Highway 12 that were dug through red limestone fins in 1925 to impress dignitaries and visitors. They provide a gateway to the splendor of Bryce Canyon National Park.

Also, the Cedar Breaks National Monument that we visited last week is surrounded by the Dixie Forest. You can find out additional information about this huge recreational area at the website below. 

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