A Pacific Southwest Road Trip

Photos from a road trip across the Pacific Southwest of the USA in 2018

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By Johannes Wienke

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A series of photos taken along one of the typical road trip routes starting from Los Angeles including several national parks of the USA.

Los Angeles

Starting point of the road trip following a conference was Los Angeles.

The famous Los Angeles skyline with fountains in the foreground
The well-known skyline of LA
Santa Monica Pier
A Christian Science Churc neon sign in downtown LA
Somewhere in downtown LA
At the Getty Center

Zion National Park

The first national park along the route was Zion. This national park is a nice contrast to the others that followed because the nature is extremely pretty but the park is not that crowded compared to the more famous ones.

A view along the Virgin River valley with the Watchman mountain in the back at sunset
The classic postcard photo of the Watchman
A panorama of the Organ and Angles Landing at Zion valley
The Organ and Angels Landing

Not only the valley at Zion is pretty. Along the Kolob Reservoir Road you can also find some pretty nice spots to watch the sunset.

A sunset above a valey visible from the side of the Kolob Reservoir Road at Zion National Park
Somewhere up above the valley at the Kolob Reservoir Road

From Zion we headed towards Bryce Canyon. To get there, you have to follow the Zion Mount Carmel Highway that winds up Pine Creek Canyon.

A view inside the Pine Creek Canyon at Zion National Park when traveling the Zion Mount Carmel Highway to get to Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon was probably the most impressive experience. Unfortunately, we only had a single day to visit it. The next day, the forecast indicated snow and with a rental car with only summer tires we decided to better leave early.

A sunset panorama overlooking Bryce Canyon from Inspiration Point
View above the canyon at Inspiration Point
A hike through the canyon
A view down into Bryce Canyon at Sunset Point with a ranger approaching on a hiking path
Going up again towards Sunset Point

From Bryce Canyon to Page

From Bryce Canyon we continued to Page with its various attractions nearby. Despite the bad weather forecast and adventurous stories found on the internet, we decided to take the Cottonwood Canyon Road. We made it without getting stuck.

Impressions of Cottonwood Canyon Road

Close before Page, one passes the impressive Glen Canyon Dam

The impressive wall of the Glen Canyon Dam

Around Page: Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon

A view of the impressive Horse Shoe Bend at Page with dark clouds at sunset time
The crazy view point at Horseshoe Bend. There's a tiny tent down at the bottom.

Page is a small town close to the Glen Canyon Dam and a few natural landmarks that have become very famous: Horse Shoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.

Lower Antelope Canyon
The three chimneys of Navajo Power Plant
Navajo Power Plant

Grand Canyon

The next stop was Grand Canyon. We arrived in the evening and watched a beautiful sunset. The next morning everything was covered in clouds, rain, and snow.

A view along Grand Cayon from Lipan Point at sunset
Good weather in the evening with a wonderful of the canyon at Lipan Point
Grand Canyon with clouds and snow

Again, we left after only one night to avoid more heavy snow with the rental car.

Grand canyon close to the village with clouds above the canyon
Bad weather the next morning

Joshua Tree National Park

The next stop on our route back towards the coastal San Diego was Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua trees at blue hour
Blue hour in the middle of the Joshua trees
View across the main valley of Joshua Tree National Park
The main valley
A Joshua Tree at sunset with a colorful sky
Sunset time somewhere near Jumbo Rocks Campground

An interesting hike outside the main valley area is 49 Palms Oasis.

A hike towards 49 Palms Oasis with a great view of the desert surrounding the national park

San Diego

The last stop on our road trip was the city of San Diego with its endless beaches.

A view along Pacific Beach and Mission Beach at San Diego
Pacific Beach towards Mission Beach
Crystal Pier at Pacific Beach
At some shops in the touristy Old Town San Diego
The Ocean Pier at San Diego as a silhouette at sunset
The last sunset at Ocean Beach Pier