It only takes one low-level flight through southern Utah to see why many consider it to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It’s not just one spot, mind you, but, the whole southern half of the state. We’re talking about Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Canyonlands, Arches, Capital Reef, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the LaSal Mountains, Kodachrome Basin and everything in between. There’s a good reason that there are five national parks, multiple national monuments, numerous state parks and a wide scattering of recreation areas in this small region. Whether the spectacular hiking, technical rock climbing, whitewater rafting, backcountry roads, mountain biking, canyoneering or raw scenic beauty draws you, there’s no better way to get around and take in the vast scenery than by airplane. So, when the invitation arrived to fly a brand-new PC-12NG around the wilds of southern Utah with Vaughn Olson of Western Aircraft (www.westair.com), I jumped at the chance to check out the new airplane while doing some sightseeing over my favorite desert stomping ground.
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