I’ve been seeing commercials from the Utah board of tourism a lot the past few weeks, and I’m convinced they are aimed directly at me. The “Mighty 5”– as they call the five national parks in the southern part of the state– were witness to one of the most memorable weeks of all my travels, and Zion in particular continues to call out to me (just ask my wife, who has certainly tired of my references to the park). During that week in early May the only bathing I did was in the intermittent creek, the only hot meal I ate came in the form of an overcooked bison burger in Kanab, and on one occasion I was forced to sleep on a rocky hillside. And I long to do it all again.
(Okay, perhaps I would bring a portable stove.)
There is more to southern Utah than the national parks, to be certain. The entire region is filled with spectacular rock formations, pre-Columbian dwellings and petroglyphs, and enough canyons to occupy any outdoorsman. If anything, there should be a Mighty 6 or a Mighty 7 or really, a Mighty However-Many-Places-We-Can-Protect there. But in deference to the Mighty 5 that is actually so-designated, I thought I’d post a couple of my favorite photos from each of the parks, in the order in which I visited them.
(And yes, I know John Prine’s Green River is in Kentucky. But mine is in Utah.)