Celebrating National Park Week in Utah's Open Country

During one week each April, U.S. National Park Week, celebrates the beauty of America's open country. The 2018 event we take place from April 21 through April 29. On the first day of National Park Week many national parks offer free admission.

For added inspiration, photographer Marianna Jamadi (@nomadic_habit) is taking us on two photo tours featuring some of the nation's finest national parks. First up is Utah, home to Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. Read below to discover why you should celebrate National Park Week in Utah.

  • 01 of 08

    View Bryce Canyon's Hoodoo Pillars

    ••• Marianna Jamadi

    Bryce Canyon National Park provides an otherworldly experience, as it's here where you can find the largest collection of natural hoodoo pillars in the world, the white-dusted cones pictured here. These rocks formed due to forces of erosion, creating the tall, skinny spires of rock that are found abundantly throughout the landscape. 

  • 02 of 08

    Explore Bryce Canyon's Natural Arches

    ••• Marianna Jamadi

    Natural Bridge is one of several natural arch structures in Bryce Canyon National Park, creating the ideal point to view the cascading canyon below. The Ponderosa forest provides a pure contrast to the rock's reddish hue. These bridges formed due to years of erosion from streams and rivers of the past, and eventually some rock pulled away due to weakened points succumbing to the force of gravity.

  • 03 of 08

    Bryce Canyon Ranger Tours

    ••• Marianna Jamadi

    Bryce Canyon is part of the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, which covers a diverse range of 16 of the country's national parks. Bryce Canyon is home to over 35,000 acres of land, comprising a variety of desert grasslands, forests, caves and springs. Discover more facts about Bryce Canyon National Park on a guided tour with one of the park's rangers. Ranger programs are free to travelers and provide the perfect way to learn more about the native Bryce Canyon ecosystem.

  • 04 of 08

    Hike Bryce Canyon

    ••• Marianna Jamadi

    Bryce Canyon is home to a wide variety of hikes, ranging from easy to strenuous. For a manageable challenge, opt for one of the park's moderate hikes. Clocking in at just over a mile, the Navajo Trail offers the perfect way to view Bryce Canyon's Amphitheater, where large fir trees reach all the way to the sky. The Tower Bridge Trail is right at three miles and a great way to see the pines and Bryce Canyon's China Wall. If you wish to see the famous Bryce Canyon hoodoos, opt for the Hat Shop trail, lasting just over four miles. For the longest of the moderate hikes, take the Swamp Canyon route, where you'll discover lesser-known regions of the park. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Discover Zion, Utah's Oldest National Park

    ••• Marianna Jamadi

    Zion National Park, located just over an hour southwest of Bryce Canyon National Park, is just as its paradisiacal name suggests. Zion is almost too pretty for words, offering some of the country's most revered desert waterfalls, mountain ridges and emerald pools. 

  • 06 of 08

    Marvel at Zion's Soaring Cliffs

    ••• Marianna Jamadi

    The soaring cliffs of Zion National Park offer a stark contrast to the deep blue skies above. Zion's ecosystem revolves around the Virgin River's waters, which can stream during calm days or erupt during storms, creating a cataclysm of boulders and logs, revealing nature's strength at its finest. 

  • 07 of 08

    Zion's Vast Scale

    ••• Marianna Jamadi

    Can you spot Marianna in the distance? This shows the vast scale of Zion National Park's landscape, where shades of white, rust and red swirl together to create nature's truest palette. The cliffs and towers of the park change as the landscape deepens, creating canyons masked by well-forested highlands and contrasting lowland deserts. 

     

     

  • 08 of 08

    Zion National Park's Narrowest Trail

    ••• Marianna Jamadi

    Explore Zion National Park's narrowest section on a trail known as The Narrows. This trail leads to a gorge, with walls stretching upwards of a thousand feet into the sky. To hike The Narrows, you must first begin by hiking the Virgin River. There's no trail, which means you should bring the proper footwear, as you're sure to get wet through this off-roading experience. Begin your hike on the Riverside Walk from the Temple of Sinawava point. Proceed upstream to reach The Narrows.