We tried to get up early but the best we could do was to get out of the RV by around 8:30. The heat just makes us want to sleep a lot.
We headed down to the south end of the park to hike a short trail (1.5 miles round trip) to a group of rocks called The Devil’s Kitchen.
A short way in from the trailhead was this alcove.
On the way back out there were some people in it and I could clearly here their voices from far up the trail. I kept looking around trying to figure out where they were until we got close.
From a distance the rocks don’t look like much.
A bit of climbing to get there.
Up close they were a lot more interesting.
In we go.
It turned out to be a mini canyon. Jennie is the white spot in the lower left between the rocks.
Tiny me taking her picture.
I climbed up on the ledge at the end.
There are always lots of sculpted rocks to imagine what they are. An eagle maybe or a lizard?
Another family headed in as we left.
Back at the car we headed up the scenic Rim Rock Road which winds its way back 23 miles back to the north entrance to the park. The direct line distance if you straightened out all the curves is only 10 miles.
As in the north end you first have to zig zag your way up to the top of the plateau.
Through one tunnel.
This road really lives up to its name. The edge of the plateau is riddled with canyons and the road follows right up against the vertical edge of each one. There are lots of viewpoints.
It was so hot that if the viewpoint was close we just left the car and most importantly the air conditioning running. If we turned it off the car would be roasting in a matter of minutes.
We had lunch at Ute Canyon.
In what little shade there was.
Upper Ute Canyon joins the main one here.
Of course there was an Upper Ute Canyon viewpoint.
You look down on this huge section of the cliff that as slid down. Instead of toppling over it was undermined by the loose gravel and the bottom was pulled outwards as the gravel moved down.
There was another section looking up the canyon.
Across the way the curved wall would echo your voice back perfectly after about a 1 or 2 second delay. It was kind of freaky and I stood there and yelled at it for quite a while, laughing all the time.
Next was the first of many viewpoints into Monument Canyon.
You could walk down to one out on a point.
Jennie stayed up above.
The almost over head sun was not the greatest for pictures.
At another viewpoint I saw that you could walked down to get close to this wall called The Coke Ovens because they look like the ovens used in steel making.
Jennie stayed in the car while I did the 1 mile round trip.
You zigzag down and then walk along the edge.
Looking back to Jennie and the car.
There is a trail that starts from the same place but goes all the way to the bottom, loops around that point in the distance and continues for several more miles. I had briefly thought about doing some of it tomorrow but no.
Another viewpoint around the corner farther up the canyon.
And the final one of the day is called the Grand View. You can see the people at it, perched over a huge cliff.
Jennie declined coming out.
The monolith below is called Independence Monument. By tradition, every July 4, someone climbs it and plants a flag at the top.
By now we were kind of viewpointed out so we headed home.