When I asked a friend from Colorado to name the most beautiful state in the US, she immediately (and treacherously) replied ‘Utah’. It’s true that if there’s one state that’s going to wear out the shutter on your SLR, it’s the Beehive state.
Quite apart from the shutter, you’ll be in constant battle to swap the wide-angle lens for the macro: capturing the vast landscapes on the one hand, and the crunchy textures of the rock formations on the other. To travel in Utah is to take an ongoing and all-consuming course in geology at every turn, bathing your eyes in the physical expression of the passage of time, wind and water. Wherever you look there are shapes that catch your eye.
The Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion (both in southwest Utah), are both geologically younger than the Grand Canyon; however, the three parks share a large sequence of layers of rocks, called “The Grand Staircase”. This is a set of rock layers that have about 2,000 million years of history on Earth, so looking at these landscapes, you are gazing on a cross section that covers a large portion of the planet’s history. It doesn’t take a pocket full of mushrooms to find that somewhat awe-inspiring.
And best of all, you’re spoiled for fine lodging, with the sleek and magnificent Amangiri combining beautifully with our favourite, the Desert Pearl Inn. And if you’re keen, you can be Under Canvas for a different experience.
Carola Fresno travelled to Utah for extreme long-distance running but was stopped dead in her tracks. She’s now pursuing her other interest, journalism, at school in Barcelona.