A Visit From Tom’s Son Nick, Part 2: Yant Flat and Kolob Terrace Road
Nick and I spent the next day continuing the sightseeing tour to the south. We started at one of my favorite places in southwest Utah – Yant Flat. I’m absolutely positive that anyone who’s been reading my blog for awhile has seen enough photos of this place, but Nick took some really excellent shots I’m going to share and I also have a few different photos I rather like. Plus I need to share some adorable Abby pics.
After Yant Flat we spent a few hours exploring along Kolob Terrace Road. The road begins in red rock desert and runs along the western edge of Zion National Park as it climbs up to Kolob Reservoir above 8,000 feet. Along this stretch are views into the canyons of the Left Fork of North Creek and its confluence with the Right Fork, meadows studded with sandstone formations, and expanses of slickrock from which massive ponderosa pines emerge. After that the road enters private land and continues climbing north towards the Cedar Mountains and into the high, fenced meadows of sheep ranches.
The expanses of rolling high-mountain meadows and sky are some of my favorite aspects of southwest Utah but at this time of year the glowing aspens there make them all the more special. We pretty much had the road to ourselves, save a lone shepherd and a few trucks towing livestock trailers, which was perfect since we pulled over dozens of times to take photos of the fenced meadows and bright aspen leaves. It was here that I discovered (after trying to gain a better angle by balancing on the bumper) that I could fairly easily climb onto the roof to take both panoramas and pictures from a batter angle. I had traded in my Honda Civic for Tom’s old SUV awhile back so that I could fold down the backseat to sleep flat and also be able to drive on roads I previously couldn’t in order to access trailheads, but the ability to take better photos from the roof turned out to be a surprisingly wonderful third benefit.
Anyway, I think Nick and I could have stayed up there all day taking photos but daylight was working against us so we descended through Cedar Highlands back to the house just before sunset. Still, we managed to take hundreds photos and really enjoyed spending the time documenting the high country. I wish I could post some of the amazing, awesome panoramas Nick took – he perfectly captured the openness of the landscape and big sky with his sweeping shots – but the dimensions of the blog, not to mention a regular computer screen, just don’t do them justice. however, I have included some of his shots below (other than ones he took of me) because they’re really quite beautiful. Enjoy.