San Rafael Gorge
I’d like to take a couple of minutes and tell you about a place I’d never heard about until just this summer.
My family and I took a 4,000 mile road trip through seven states. We had carefully planned our route and had a fairly detailed itinerary of everything we wanted to see. Toward the end of our trip we met up with some dear friends for some hiking, eating and good old-fashioned fellowship.
In the course of our visiting, they insisted we needed to see the “Little Grand Canyon” of Utah. I didn’t know such a place existed and agreed to make the drive with them on the following afternoon.
We drove out of town until we found a gravel road and proceeded to bump our way through low sage brush cattle country. We stopped for cows in the road and watched a pair of golden eagles fly past. Our country lane began to wind through some taller junipers and some low hills, but nothing indicated a massive gorge.
My friend assured me we were headed the right way. “You don’t see it until you hit the edge,” he said.
Was he ever right! Not until we were within 100 feet of the edge did the junipers give way to a truly amazing vista.
The San Rafael Gorge, sometimes called the “Little Grand Canyon”, provides sweeping canyon views on a smaller scale than it’s namesake in Arizona. Standing on the rim of the gorge at sunrise or sunset, or beneath a glittering basin of stars, you can feel the timelessness of this place.
The soft light of the blue hour turns the canyon beautiful shades of blues and purples. The depth and grander is highlighted by the fleeting light. During the day, the canyon walls are flat and lifeless. Wait till evening or early morning and you’ll be rewarded by a display that will take your breath away.
The summer storm threatened to keep any last rays of light under wraps on our visit to the Wedge Overlook, a promontory with incredible views. Just as the sun was about to disappear below the horizon, the clouds gave way and we were treated to a light show that left us shaking our heads in wonder.