We were traveling through southeastern Utah with our RV, and before we arrived at this fantastic stone hat we found some wonderful patterns in the red rocks. We spent a little time doing some wide angle photography, playing with the colorful lines in the sandstone.
As the golden hour unfolded before sunset, I was astonished to look down at my feet and see a rainbow of colors!
The red, yellow, orange and gray stripes were beautiful, and we explored these unusual patterns at dusk and again at dawn.
In some cases we focused our photos on the tiny patterns at our feet, but the size and scale of these immense rock landscapes was mind boggling.
In many places the sandstone was solid underfoot, but in other places it gave way to patches of red beach sand and small dunes.
Buddy loved lying in the hot sand in the heat of the day and rubbing himself in its toasty warmth.
He also got a kick out of chasing the lizards and birds that live in this exotic land. Of course, the bigger birds just stood their ground when they saw the excited puppy coming.
One crow began to tease him, flying just out of reach and squawking. Buddy took the bait and tore after the crow, running and jumping as the bird swerved and dipped his wings near him.
Suddenly Buddy took a big leap, eyes focused intently on the crow. He misjudged the uneven ground beneath him, lost his footing, and crashed into the sand chest first in a cloud of red dust.
When he stood up and shook himself off he was wearing a pink bib and gloves!
Rivers and waterways are responsible for the fantastic landscapes in this area, and when we drove over a bridge crossing the Colorado River we loved the contrast of the crimson cliffs and snowy mountains in the background.
The landscapes were filled with color and vibrance.
We crossed the San Juan River at the town of Mexican Hat. After driving over a hundred miles through vast empty landscapes, this village perched above the river was a fun surprise, and we got out to explore a bit.
Someone had put a three-legged chair in a spot with a great view of the village on the opposite bank. You never know what you’ll find out here!
We continued on and the skies clouded over. Storms brewed in the distance while the sun lit portions of the land here and there. What a magical place.
The village of Mexican Hat is named for the fun rock formation that looks like a Mexican sombrero. It was easy to spot and made us smile. What a perfect name for this formation and the village nearby!
Buddy decided to try it out and see how it fit.
Catching it from different angles and zooming in, the hat really dose look like a sombrero.
Just how big is this rock formation? Enormous! There were some hikers standing at its base…
As the afternoon wore on, the hat cast its shadow across the valley below.
And as the sun set it became a silhouette against the sky.
And then it grew wings.
Continuing on, we saw incredible wavy patterns in the red rocks.
We hopped in the RZR to drive into the landscape a little further. We rounded a bend and found a couple taking a break from their Jeep ride to enjoy a quiet moment in their camp chairs with a fabulous view.
These landscapes just begged us to head off into the red rocks to take photos.
We were drawn to the swirling patterns on the hillsides and couldn’t stop our cameras from clicking away.
Just how big are these wavy patterns? I had wandered around on foot exploring and then I looked up and noticed our RZR leaning up against this jaw-dropping landscape. Wow!
With that in mind, here are a few more images taken as clouds rolled in overhead.
We wanted to stay longer, but it was still quite cold in this part of Utah. Our fingers and toes were tired of being numb! We had been in long pants and jackets for too long and we were ready to get back to central Arizona where the temps were hovering in the high 70s. Ahhhh….!
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More from Southeastern Utah:
- Arches National Park Utah – A Playground of Soaring Red Rock Bridges! 04/21/16
- Canyon Country Highlights – Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend & More! 02/01/19
- Canyonlands National Park UT – Island in the Sky (and Night Skies!) 04/28/16
- Canyonlands National Park Utah – Hiking in the Needles District! 04/12/16
- Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah – Magical Sunrises! 04/23/16
- Goblin Valley State Park Utah – One Gigantic Playground! 04/20/18
- Goblin Valley, UT – Where the Ghosts Are 10/16/07
- Moab Utah – Red Rocks and Snowcapped Mountains 04/14/16
- Monument Valley & Hite Scenic Overlook – Stone Towers from Below & Above! 03/15/19
- Natural Bridges National Monument & Utah’s Bicentennial Highway 06/15/12
- Newspaper Rock Utah – Petroglyphs and Rock Art from the Ancients 04/06/16
- Paria Rimrocks “Toadstools” Hike to A Hidden Canyon! 05/25/14
- San Rafael Swell, UT – Pictographs & Dinosaur Prints 10/12/07
- SE Utah – A Mars Colony, Wide-Angle Photography & Snowy Mountains! 03/22/19
- Traces of Antiquity and the Not-So-Ancient in Utah! 03/29/19
- Utah Scenic Byway 24 RV Trip – Capitol Reef National Park 04/16/18
- Valley of the Gods & Goosenecks State Park, Utah – Beautiful! 04/04/16
- Wire Pass Trail – Slot Canyon Hiking! 05/22/14
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