Today was my final day of classes. You have no idea how excited/sad I am about that. I’m obviously excited because this means adventure time. But, if you didn’t know, I’m a little bit of a nerd and love school. In honor of school finally being done with I finished up going through my photos from my Utah trip, and finally wrote up the itinerary.
If you can’t tell from the pictures, this place is a total show stopper. I’m talking jaw-to-the-floor.
What’s great about this trip is that it can be done affordably. It’s nothing glamorous, but the views so are. The only expenses I dropped were on the flight, a car rental, park entry fees, and food. Come on. You’ve got to go now. I am not kidding. GO. Utah is one of the most unique and otherworldly places there is. Nature galore. Big red mountains everywhere and weird little nooks of joy in the most unexpected places. This is an area of the US you need to add to your road-tripping list if you haven’t already.
Zion National Park is the first of several places we visited over this ~3 day trip. This had been on the bucket list for quite some time. Around the same time my love and appreciation for national parks really began to flourish. I booked a cheap flight to Vegas (wooo), cheap rental car, and winged it on the sleeping arrangements. It turns out our rental would double as our tent for the night… whoops. Cheers to cheap college students.
5.2 miles roundtrip. Suggested 4 hours roundtrip. We completed within 2 hours.
Located in the heart of Zion, this was a rigorous hike with steep switchbacks for about half of the hike. Once those were all done and your legs were ready to fall off, the steep ascent to the peak of Angel’s Landing came. This included steel chains to pull yourself up with and hold onto as you climbed up a cliff with steep drop offs on either side. I’m totally ok with heights so this wasn’t really a problem for me. Buut, even my friend who’s not too keen on heights said this hike was entirely worth it. I agree with that 100% because the views from the top are iiiinsane. If that’s not enough, it is totally fulfilling to make it to the top and back down. In both of our opinions, this hike was not nearly as bad as it looked from afar. So, go for it.
Navajo Loop -> Peekaboo Loop -> Rim Trail
5-6 miles roundtrip. Suggested 5 hours roundtrip. Took approximately 3 hours roundtrip.
Now, onto Bryce Canyon National Park. I have got to say, I saw pictures and I knew it was going to be beautiful, but it really surpassed the standards I had. I think this is a severely underrated park in Utah because of the topography that is unparalleled elsewhere. Those little protruding spirals are called hoodoos and they are most prominent in this lil’ park in southern Utah. We took a route that brought us up close to all the hoodoo formations. It was an extremely immersive hike that provided incredible views. This hike was strenuous at times, but the majority of it was relatively easy.
10 miles roundtrip. Up to 10 hours roundtrip. Most people only hike a segment of it.
This is another well known hike in Zion. It’s unique because it consists of hiking through a river bed. We didn’t have much time Despite our limited time on this hike, it was definitely a noteworthy hike. I plan on giving this another shot next time I’m here and seriously can not wait!! So dang cool.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes
This was a cool lil’ spot that we found that day. We had a couple hours of sunlight to kill, and had no further plans for the day. It was the awkward amount of time where there wasn’t enough to hike but enough to be sad if we didn’t do anything. So, we got a ranger at Bryce to help us pick out a place tailored just for this need. I’m so glad we discovered this random sand dune at the last minute. It brought back memories of when I went to White Sands National Monument a couple years back. Although I loved this place, the sand and scenery at White Sands is incomparable. Cool lil’ place though. Especially for our purposes. Plus, there is minimal hiking involved. At this point, our bodies were freakin’ screaming for joy at those words. So, if you’re needing some rest, this is the perfect spot to sit and watch the sunset.
Till next time, Utah. I’m telling you guys, this state is a whole different species.