We recently went on a road trip through northern Arizona and Utah.
Oh my god you guys! It was AMAZING! I am ready to go back already. Actually, it has inspired me to sell everything and just drive around the country. There is nothing like seeing the country from your car. Sadly we aren’t selling everything and quitting our jobs to travel but we may look at getting a cabin to escape to when need be.
Road trips might be my favorite thing ever.
The southwest is a magical place with so much to see. We were gone for 8 days and we saw a small fraction of northern Arizona and Utah. We were already talking about a second trip before we even left, now we have to do it! We had to pick and choose from national parks and there are some hikes we skipped because of time restraints. We wanted to see as much as possible and stuck with shorter hikes in order to see more. We had so much fun hiking and being amazed by the beauty this is mother nature.
The road trip has also inspired some future conservation blog posts. Keep an eye out for those!
So… where did we go?
We started by stopping at Sunset Crater on our way to Page, AZ. We wanted to pick up our annual National Park pass and see the volcano. Because we all know I have a weird obsession with volcanoes. I am still amazed at seeing the life coming through destruction. In Page, we toured both the upper and lower antelope canyons. The photos will never do these canyons justice. I insist you go and see for yourself. Also, schedule the tour in which you see “the beam”. It is so worth it. We also stopped at Horseshoe bend to try and get the iconic shot.
After Page, we headed to Zion. We spent the afternoon doing all the short hikes and seeing most of the park. I think the only easy thing we didn’t get to do was the watchman. We went to a few stops that no one else seemed to be going to. It was so peaceful and calming to stand there and take in nature. I could imagine myself having a little cabin by a stream there. I see myself sitting on the front porch, sipping coffee and reading a book while nature played around me.
Our second day of Zion we got up early because we were hiking the Narrows. If you don’t know, the narrows is mostly hiking through a river. It was fun but hard. There were a few times I wanted to give up. We didn’t make it all the way to the turnaround but were very close. We went almost 5 miles, which was just a short way from the end. I would do it again. After doing it, I know what to expect and can prepare even more. I read several blogs and advice on it but you never know until you actually do it.
And afterward, I stuffed my face with nachos, burger, and fries.
Before we left for our road trip I said I bet Bryce will be my favorite. I won that bet. I was disappointed that is snowed the week before and the week after because I really wanted to see it covered in snow. Next trip. Bryce is just another one of those surreal places. You look at it and go this was made by frost? I am amazed at what our earth can do. We saw as much of Bryce as we could from pull-offs and short hikes.
After Bryce, we headed to Island in the Sky at Canyonlands. Next time we are taking the truck we don’t have yet so we can go on some of the dirt roads. But you can still see a lot of different and interesting landscapes with a few short hikes or viewpoints. It’s definitely worth a stop. The Green River overlook and Mesa arch are a couple of the coolest views. We didn’t think we’d have time to the Needles side but we actually did it on our second afternoon in Moab. It’s definitely different from the Island in the Sky side but way fewer people. There’s also not as much to see but was still worth the drive (it feels like you are driving forever and will never reach it). It’s another place where I’d like to have a few days to camp and hike, as most of the trails are longer ones.
We also went through all of the Arches you could drive or do short hikes to see. Add another place I’d like to spend more time to do some of the longer hikes at. I think Fiery Furnace could be fun and a bit intense since you have to have a guide. And after seeing it, I definitely wouldn’t try it on my own. It’s not a place I’d want to get lost it. We didn’t hike to Delicate Arch but it’s another one I’d like to try, as well as Double O.
On our way home we went past Monument Valley. We stopped a few places along the highway to take photos. Again, we would take our non-existent truck next time to see more. We weren’t going to attempt a rough gravel road in our Cruz. It’s a great care but definitely meant more for highway driving.
That is our road trip in a nutshell!
We stayed at a lot of nice places and ate a lot of good food. I was afraid it would be difficult to find gluten-free foods but there were options and they were good too!
Where would you take a road trip to?