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It has been about 5 years that we last visited the US. Two bookings were cancelled due to Covid, now finally we went on another winter roadtrip.

Like on our winter roadtrip January 2019 starting point was San Francisco. A positive thing about the Jet Lag is to get up early morning and drive to one of the many view points to see the sunrise, especially the view points north of the Golden Gate Bridge are fantastic. We drove up there to see the sun rise and set. This time we also visited downtown. From San Francisco we drove to Sequoia NP. Surprisingly there was no snow – it was not necessary to even carry tire chains (what usually is a must in winter). The huge trees are breathtaking and due to the missing snow we could easily walk to Moro Rock and climb it – usually not possible in winter. Next destination was Grand Canyon – South Rim, parts we drove on the old Route 66. The weather was beautiful for the 2 days/nights we stayed there. There was some snow left, but not much – all roads were open. Still it was cold. -8DegC in the morning. Monument Valley was the next destination. Usually you need to pay an entrance fee and wait in an queue to drive the dirt road into the valley. But no one was there – even inside the Visitor Center –  so we just drove in and did the scenic drive. On the way to Moab we did a little detour to Colorado and the Mesa Verde National Park. This park is famous for its houses build into the canyon walls – the houses itself are not visitable in winter – but the drive up there is great with fantastic views. Moab has 2 National Parks close-by. Canyonlands and Arches. Canyonlands we visited first and did some smaller hikes. The views down onto the canyons was awesome especially with the changeing weather. In Arches we spend 2 days. The first day we did a lot of hiking – up to Delicate Arch and to Landscape Arch were the most impressive ones. On day 2 the complete landscape turned into winter wonderland – but just for the morning. That was absolutely fantastic. Via Capitol Reef National Park – where we did the short scenic drive – we drove to Bryce Canyon NP. This place was our highest point (>2300m) and there was a lot of snow due to the height. In the morning I went out for pictures – 15DegC + Wind. I was almost dead but it was so worth it. A beautiful sunrise with the snow all over the so called hoodoos. Later the day we borrowed traction chains for the shoes and hiked down and up the Queens Garden trail what was very impressive in winter. It was still -8 during the day, but the dry cold did not feel cold. A day later – in Zion Nationalpark we just spent some hours. In winter it is possible to drive the road into the canyon and not take a bus. The weather was beautiful – felt like spring – but there were so many cars, no wonder it is not allowed to drive up the canyon in summer. Vegas was the next destination – for 1 night which was enough. On the way back to San Francisco we did some interesting stops – in Mojave famous for the airplane graveyard (sadly only visible from far far away) – and in Bakersfield with all the oil industry – crazy.

Quite a lot of driving on this trip, but it was 100% worth it. The parks are extremely nice in winter and just perfect for photography.

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