I would consider myself an outdoor lover, I’ve spend considerable time outdoors from work, to play, to everything in-between. I grew up on a farm in southern Utah so the mountains weren’t just a place to take picnics and go for strolls, they were for working. As I got older and my job changed I found myself not going into the mountains to work anymore, now it was for adventure and fun. So image my surprise when after taking a helicopter ride of Zion I realized how little of southern Utah I’d actually seen. How what I thought about myself being an “outdoorsy” person was brought into perspective of how much I haven’t yet seen. These are things that I learned while flying over Zion, but as you’ll see they’re every bit as applicable to a helicopter ride over Bryce.
Let Me Tell You About Our Flight
We began our helicopter flight just outside of Hurricane Utah. After the thrill of takeoff waned we were quickly flying over Sand Hollow Reservoir and our fun was just beginning. We tracked over the waters and then headed towards an area called Warner Valley, a place I was aware of, but was not aware of how truly beautiful the rounded red rock cliffs really were. It was a sight to come up over those cliffs and look down on a place I had yet to venture.
Our flight then turned to the west over St George city on our way to Snow Canyon State Park and the Red Mountain. As we come up on Snow Canyon and the Red Mountain, that frames the town of Ivins I couldn’t stop taking pictures, I couldn’t escape how stunning that ridge line was from the air. And then as we flew over it and I saw where the Red Mountain Trail went along the mountains, I again felt a tinge of regret that I had yet to hike it. There were pools of water among the red and white rocks that make up Snow Canyon State Park, and views in every direction that would be hard to beat.
After passing over the Red Mountain we turned east again heading towards Zion National Park. We weren’t allowed to fly over but were able to see it from a distance. And oh what a sight it was, Zion is one of the most stunning national parks in all of the United States (next to Bryce of course), and to see it from the air was an experience I won’t ever forget. From the Kolob Fingers, to the Great White Throne, we could see it all.
We skirted the edge of park boundaries and then headed south to a wilderness area called Cannan Wilderness, which is where everything changed for me. This area is just south of Zion and Springdale, and from the air is a truly beautiful place. As we flew over it and then up and over the edge of a giant cliff face I was awestruck at what was below me. Here was a place I did not know existed before this flight. A place that would be amazing to hike in, to explore in, and to be in; but again it was a place that before this flight was completely unknown to me.
I made some resolutions, and added some things to my bucket list right then and there, these places would soon be known and explored by me. So that is how my flight over Zion changed everything, my perspective, my goals, and my desires. It’s not my goal to replicate this experience and take a helicopter flight over Bryce Canyon, to see that incredible park from the air is something that I must do.
I wanted to again thank Zion Helicopters for an amazing ride and to let everyone know that they are more than able to do Bryce Canyon helicopter rides as well, so check them out.