Get a regular dose of happiness:
Register for future editions - it is easy


Welcome to a new edition of Walkopedia Magazine.

We hope you find it inspiring and entertaining.

Let us know what you think and do tell a friend by forwarding this magazine to them.

If you would like to receive future editions register here (it is easy). Do unsubscribe if you wish.

See our magazine archive.

Get a regular dose of happiness: follow us on Facebook.

See our site

In this edition


Utah's extraordinary canyon lands and desert scenery

Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands: views you have met somewhere before greet you at every turn in Utah’s greatest canyons and areas of weird erosion. Stunning, inspiring cliffs, canyons, rock arches and much more. 

The greatest:

Zion NP has some of the world’s finest desert-canyon landscapes. Millions of years of erosion of these deep sandstone lands has produced extraordinary scenery of vast, sheer-sided, colourful canyons and an astonishing selection of towers, spires, cliffs and slot canyons cut into high, forested plateau. There is a huge array of splendid and varied walks here, from short canyon-bottom strolls to demanding climbs to remarkable viewpoints, to famous slot canyons, to multi-day yomps.

Zion Canyon from Observation Point


Bryce Canyon  boasts some of the world’s most extraordinary scenery: an extensive area of brightly hued sandstone carved by wind, water and ice into a series of deep amphitheatres in which sit an unimaginable profusion of spires, towers and other excrescences called hoodoos, and arches and other formations. It is reminiscent of Turkey’s Cappadocia; its scenery is arguably even more amazing. The hoodoos can be 200ft (60m) high, and (unsurprisingly) have a fascinating and complicated geological history. The thrilling weirdness of the scenery is enhanced by gorgeous colour and texture contrasts:  the greens of the prevalent ponderosa pines and spruce, and the often-blue sky, compliment the rocks’ oranges-to-pinks beautifully.

From Upper Queen's Garden route

Intense hoodoos

Arches NP has a wonderful landscape of eroded sandstone, including over 2,000 natural rock arches. It contains several areas of extraordinary weather-smoothed rocky towers and rows of narrow-backed “fins” of rock, some sharp and shark-like, many in the form of long, thin, smooth-topped ridges. They are a fine setting for their special glory, a selection of beautiful and magnificent rock arches, including the huge, flat-curved, ultra-slender and all-round amazing Landscape Arch, considered the world’s longest rock arch, and the immaculate, free-standing Delicate Arch. Among these rocks, juniper, pine and an assortment of hardy desert vegetation mellow what would be too harsh, and create a beautiful visual harmony.

Thrilling walking in the Devil's Garden, here on long fins of rock

Massive yet .. er... delicate Delicate Arch

Canyonlands NP lies at the junction of the Colorado and Green rivers, which, over millions of years, have carved a huge area of superb red sandstone mesas, buttes, canyons, spires and arches. Different layers of rock have interacted with the great forces of erosion to produce a series of flat plateaux and cliffs – the Island in the Sky and other mesas at the top of the heavenly ladder, and the wide mid-level table of the White Rim all around it, both protected by harder pale rock from erosion – but each eaten away at the sides by the gnawing at their softer bases. This has resulted in all sorts of special beauties. The distances are huge: you can see for miles from the Island in the Sky in the clear desert air, gazing across the abyss. Immediately below, the White Rim table land is eaten into beautiful shapes, curves and arabesques worthy of Matisse. Further away are the broken jumbles of the Maze and the Needles. And in the north is the other-worldly weirdness of the Upheaval Dome.

Looking east from the Island in the Sky

Across Upheaval Dome

Other delights: do try to fit at least some of these in in passing.

Slot Canyons: Utah possesses probably the world’s finest concentration of slot canyons, deep and often absurdly narrow gashes in the tablelands, their walls brightly coloured and water-smoothed into beautiful shapes. Exploring them is unforgettably exciting.

(Several areas contain some wonderful canyoneeing opportunities. Beyond Walkopedia’s normal remit, but these are wonderful and thrilling experiences, and often combine with walking a slot canyon, so do give this thought. Walkopedia explored wonderful Ephedra’s Grotto on the fringes of Arches NP. Other great options are the Left Fork/Subway and Mystery Canyon off Zion Narrows, in Zion NP.)

Goblin Valley: A truly amazing area, a wide area (valley of sorts) littered with smallish  hoodoos, rocky forms composed of sandstone tops, often eroded into beautiful, abstract, Henry Moore, shapes, above weaker mudstone bases which are eroding at a faster rate, resulting in the look of mushroom, or goblins per someone’s fancy.

Goblin Valley

Capitol Reef : Capitol Reef must be one of the world's thinnest national parks, a very long slice of heavily eroded sandstone along the Waterpocket Fold, a near 100 mile long fold in the Earth's crust. The best known area is the Capitol Reef, around the village of Fruita. Numerous excellent day walks, and overnighters, including to the famous Navajo Knobs and to the Cathedral area.

Grand Staircase-Escalante: This huge area in southern Utah includes sandstone canyons and slot canyons, high plateaux and outlandish formations. Some excellent walking.

Monument Valley – if you must.

You can make an unforgettable 7 day+ circuit here, taking the greatest landscapes, adding a few others to taste.

This can be tough walking in dry, remote mountains with uncertain weather. Come fully prepared, and carry enough water. See detailed pages for some of the risks – flash flood in narrow canyons are a particular problem.

There are excellent books on all these areas. Find relevant books on Amazon.


Walkopedia use the magnificent
Cicerone guidebooks



Get a regular dose of happiness:
Like us on Facebook.

We welcome your recommendations and comments. Give us your thoughts.
Enjoyed this magazine? Forward it to a friend
If you would like to receive future editions of our Walkopedia Magazine, register here (it is easy).

About Walkopedia Magazine:

Editors: William and Alexandra Mackesy.
Contact us at walkopedia@googlemail.com.
We hope you enjoy our magazine. But we don't want to waste your time, so
feel free to unsubscribe at any time. See Walkopedia's privacy policy.

All photographs © William Mackesy, save where otherwise stated.
All other materials © Walkopedia Ltd 2018, save where otherwise attributed.



Can't read this email properly?