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Glorious Utah, back in Las Vegas

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Which I know is in Nevada, but it helps to keep things together.  It was early evening when we drove back into Las Vegas. It was warm and muggy and on the road we had seen rain storms over the neighbouring hills. Mike had booked rooms at the Excalibur Hotel, a rather faded 'resort' on the Strip, as he thought I should get the Las Vegas experience, which we did, in spades. Checking in seemed to take ages. There was a long line of receptionists and long queues of customers. We were wearing walking boots and jeans and looking generally dusty, in contrast to the others who were ready for a night out on the town, or at the tables. My room faced out over a flat roof and the facade of something out of Camelot. You can exit the hotel on high pedestrian walkways and there was lightening playing in the sky, although the rain never came. We descended to street level and spent some time in a hotel called Paris, for obvious reasons. This had a long internal boulevard with a ceiling of blu…

Glorious Utah, Kolob Canyon

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Coming away from Zion Canyon and heading back towards Las Vegas, Mike took a planned diversion up the Kolob Canyon Road. This is still part of Zion National Park, but it has less visitors, and has some remarkable views over the mountains. The single road ends at a parking area for the Kolob Canyon Viewpoint and Timber Creek Overlook Trail. It is lined with severe cliffs of Navajo sandstone, up to 600m high. Everything seems red, even the road surface. The sage brush was in flower, giving lovely yellow accents.













The mountains are higher than they look. This part of Zion has the highest peak in the Park, Horse  Ranch Mountain, at 2660m.  The Timber Creek Overlook Trail is only 1/2 mile long and ends in a scramble of rocks. But it is well worth doing for the panorama of mountains that you can see. The views extend across the Colorado Plateau to the distant North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the edge of the Grand staircase.