As you emerge from the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, the landscape changes dramatically. Inside Zion Canyon, the Virgin River ecosystem rules. This is a land of lush green vegetation and steep canyon walls that has been shaped by the regular and sometimes substantial floods of the river. Outside the canyon, the available water diminishes significantly. Hardwood trees are replaced by scrub pine and tumbleweed. Treeless hills rise around you showing off their irregular shapes and markings.
Some of the rock formations look like checkerboards. Others are simply slick rock piled one slab upon another. Slot canyons have been cut out of the sandstone by the relentless savagery of water and wind.
I suppose water and wind have also formed this scene. Although it looks like a soft layer cake waiting to tumble, in fact the formation is the red sandstone that shapes the rest of the region. This area in particular looks fragile and a bit odd with the pines irregularly dotting its surface. The cloudy morning enhanced the ethereal nature of the landscape. I couldn’t help taking a few shots trying to isolate this particular feature and capturing the look and feel of the morning. The whole thing appeared a bit phantasmagoric to me so Fantasyland seemed an appropriate title for this post. Enjoy.