Red Rock Ramble in Southern Utah
Explore southern Utah's spectacular slickrock country while learning how ancient, pioneer-era, and contemporary people have lived harmoniously with the desert climate-and how The Trust for Public Land is now protecting this uniquely American landscape from current development pressures.
Our quintessential redrock adventure features four iconic national parks. Beginning in the west, we spend two nights at Zion Mountain Ranch, a stunning property boasting dramatic vistas and an American Buffalo preserve set aside by the ranch in perpetuity for the resident wild herd. In Zion National Park, Superintendent Jock Whitworth will join us for a riverside walk from the Temple of Sinawava to the mouth of the Narrows where the Virgin River flows through "the mother of all slot canyons." We then traverse the Lower Kolob Plateau on the scenic Kolob Terrace Road where The Trust for Public Land has protected numerous critical inholdings. There are currently hundreds of inholdings in national parks across the nation, some of which have been developed—and along this route we'll explore first-hand the remnant park inholdings that the National Park Service and The Trust for Public Land are working towards purchasing and incorporating into the park system. Skirting the base of Tabernacle Dome, a National Park Service archeologist will lead you off the beaten path to visit a hidden petroglyph site protected from the elements where we learn about the ancient rock art left by successive peoples of the Colorado Plateau.
We head east from Zion along historic route 9 to Bryce Canyon National Park, an unforgettable landscape of stately hoodoos, fiery colors, and endless vistas. This morning we'll take a walk into a magical labyrinth of hoodoos known as the Queens Garden. Following a gourmet picnic lunch, we board a private charter to Moab and our home for three nights, the luxurious Sorrel River Ranch perched on the banks of the Colorado River. We'll spend two days exploring the dramatic landscapes of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park with renowned geologist, Professor Tamsin McCormick. You choose the level of exertion—be it an easy stroll or a rock hopping redrock ramble—we'll be there with you! From the Park Avenue viewpoint—featuring views of massive fins and monoliths to The Windows, goliath arches looming high above the windswept desert floor - this unforgettable landscape will leave with you an indelible impression.
Dates: September 24-29, 2013