grand canyon national park
One of the natural wonders of the world and easily accessible from the resort, the Grand Canyon National Park covers nearly 4,930 square kilometres (almost 2,000 square miles) of untouched wilderness and offers a host of leisure activities and excursions. 446 kilometres (277 miles) long and 29 kilometres (18 miles) across at its widest point, guests may choose to visit either the North or South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Both are approximately two and a half hours away from Amangiri by vehicle.
Of the nearly five million people who visit the Grand Canyon annually, most choose to visit the South Rim for its wide diversity of sites including scenic overlooks, historic buildings and numerous visitor centres. Most visitors make Mather Point and the Grand Canyon Visitor’s Center their first stop as it affords an iconic view of the Canyon both to the north and east. The historic centre of the South Rim (known as Grand Canyon Village) offers such landmarks as Mary Jane Colter’s Hopi House, Verkamp’s Visitor Center and the Kolb Brother’s Photography Studio.
Hiking highlights include: Rim Trail (Beginner) and the Bright Angel Trail (Intermediate).
The North Rim is open only during the summer months, typically from mid-May to mid-October, or until the first heavy snowfall closes the single access road. This rim offers a less developed and more peaceful alternative to the South Rim.
At approximately 2,500 metres (8,200 feet) above sea level, nearly 305 metres (1,000 feet) higher than the opposing rim, the North Rim is only 16 kilometres (10 miles) across from the South Rim in distance, but to travel from one side to the other is a drive of almost 322 kilometres (200 miles), or a two- to three-day hike across the canyon.
Hiking highlights include: Bright Angel Point Trail (Beginner), Angel’s Window (Beginner),Walhalla Overlook (Beginner), Uncle Jim Trail (Beginner to Intermediate) and North Kaibab Trail (Intermediate to Advanced).
zion national park
Zion National Park was named by Mormon pioneers in the 1860s in reference to a place of peace in the Bible. Today it offers visitors just that, a peaceful reserve of ancient sandstone carved by wind and water into dramatic cliffs, arches and waves. A 90-minute drive from Amangiri via Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument brings guests to the Park’s east entrance.
Originally established as a National Park in 1909 and known as Mukuntuweap National Monument, Zion National Park was expanded in 1919 and again in 1956 to become the 600-square kilometre (232-square mile) park that it is today. The Park protects some of the highest sandstone cliffs in the world as well as the largest diversity of plant and animal life in Utah with almost 800 native species. Guests interested in bird watching should be on the lookout for peregrine falcons, Mexican spotted owls and the California condor.
Hiking highlights include: Emerald Pools Loop (Beginner to Intermediate),Watchmen (Intermediate) and Angel’s Landing (Advanced).
bryce canyon national park
Few National Parks have views as unique as those at Bryce Canyon where hundreds of hoodoos are collected in one amphitheatre. Made of striated layers of pink and gray limestone, the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon have been formed by the freezing and thawing of water within the rock. The expansion and contraction of the stone over many years slowly crumbles and erodes the rock face into a natural column or spire. The natural acid found in rainwater completes the process by dissolving and smoothing the edges of the hoodoo. Located two hours away from the resort by vehicle, Bryce is a worthy day trip from Amangiri.
Hiking highlights include: Rim Trail (Beginner), Queen’s Garden Trail and Navajo Loop Combination (Intermediate), Peekaboo Loop (Intermediate to Advanced) and Fairyland Loop (Advanced).
Monument Valley, or the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, is located within the Navajo Reservation and operated by the Navajo Nation lending it a unique cultural aspect. Probably best known and recognised as the scene of numerous films including John Wayne’s 1938 Hollywood hit Stagecoach, Monument Valley is almost completely undeveloped and remains much the same today as it was a thousand years ago. Formed by the erosion of a portion of the Colorado Plateau, some of the sandstone buttes rise 1,000 feet above the valley floor.