Utah

As I have stated on various occasions, my plans will change.

Since starting to research and plan our road trip for 2017 I had a very clear idea of the things I wanted to see and do. Including Brad into the planning always throws a wrench in some of my ideas, but often he keeps me grounded and I have to think realistically…

Originally we were going to all 5 national parks in Utah. In 10 days that seems feasible after spending 2 of those days in Yelllowstone and Grand Tetons.  Now we are going to 4 parks, skipping out on Canyonlands. I felt like this was the least interest of the 5. So we will drive from Grand Tetons into Salt Lake City. The idea is to stay in SLC for a night and enjoy a tasty dinner. I have come up with two decisions {and let my travel companions choose which one they want}:  Bambara or Copper Onion. Both are located Downtown and noted to be quite a melody of flavors. Their chefs are of high caliber and known throughout the city. Always a positive in my book. I think its going to be difficult to choose-bamabra with is fabulous view of the city and fine choices of architecture and cuisine or the copper onions flavor and dedication to local & sustainable selection. I can’t choose! {moving on, cause now I’m hungry!}

After a short 3 1/2 hours drive in the morning to Arches National park, we plan to spend the entire day here. Obviously seeing Delicate Arch is on the list, so making that hike happen is a must. I’ve also got Landscape Arch on my list to see as well. {I’ve also been told to look out for desert flowers while in this park} These hikes will take up atleast half a day; which leaves plenty of time to see more! Just an FYI, if you plan to stay at Arches in 2017 note that Devil’s Garden will be closed for construction from March 1-October 31st. We will head off to Capitol Reef National park that evening to sleep.

I was so excited to learn about Capitol Reef. There is so much to see here and on top of it all, Capitol Reef Resort offers some unique accommodations! (See Below)
capitolreefNow who wouldn’t want to stay in Wagon under the stars? The resort also offers Teepee rooms as well. Unfortunately they only offer these types glamping from June-September month only. As you can imagine, I am pretty sad about it. We will however stay at Capitol Reef for the night and explore the park the following morning. Where we will stay is still in the air– since we will be in the RV, it only makes sense to RV park it unless that is unavailable; then, we may find a room here at the resort anyway {it just won’t be the galloping experience I wanted to have, sad day}. In the morning, we plan to spend about half a day driving through capitol reef and exploring this park. What I’m most excited to see is the Waterpocket fold (100 miles long); Should be a great photo op! I’d also like to stop at Fruita, an old pioneer town and also a great place to gather fresh fruit and souvenirs. Hopefully we will get a few small hikes in, but brad wants to get on to Bryce Canyon by the end of day.

Heres a list of some hikes that sound good:

  •  Gooseneck Trail- .3 mi RT(roundtrip)
  • Sunset Point Trail- .8 mi RT
  • Fremont River Trail- 2 mi RT
  • Golden Throne Trail- 3.8 mi RT

There is an option to horseback ride in South Draw. We may not be able to hit this option depending on time, but sounds like a good time!

It’s a 3 hours drive to Bryce canyon  from Capitol Reed and we plan to stay the night here. I do hope to get some sunset photos before packing in for the night and maybe a smaller hike. I guess we will see when the time comes in March. The hoodoos are what drew me to this park, I kept seeing multiple photos of them and their gigantic stature in my Pinterest feed. I can’t make this trip without seeing them myself! I also thought that Bryce Canyon was one of those parks that just cool to see and move along but the more I read about it, the more I wanted to stay here longer to explore. The description of sunsets alone make it worth my time (Deep orange and Crimson). It’s stated that on a clear day you can see up to 100 miles and into 3 states. {WHAT?!} Though this sounds amazing, its probably unlikely since we’ll be there in March and is technically considered a winter month. Did you know that Bryce Canyon can see up to 100 inches of snow in a year? –That’s absurd!

What I am most excited about at Bryce Canyon is hiking. I read that the temperatures get warmer the lower you go in the canyons and that hiking here will have you huffing and puffing even on the easier trails. For some reason, this excites me!

Trails I’m looking forward to:

  • Queens Garden Trail- 2 mi RT or
  • Navajo/ Queens Garden Combo loop- 3 mi RT
  • Peekaboo Loop- 5 mi RT or 7 mi (double loop)

Though the longer loops seem enticing, I don’t know what weather conditions will be like once we arrive. “Under-the-Rim Trail” sounds exhausting! 23 miles to rainbow point and less hoodoos. You’ll need to be a serious hiker for this trail. Not this girl! I hope we can get the combo loop done on this adventure before we make it to Zion.

Our last stop in Utah will be at Zion; only a 2 hours drive from Bryce Canyon. We’ll spend the night here and wake up to take on some more hiking. All I keep thinking about is taking on Angel’s Landing. This will be a challenging hike, but one I’m ready to accept. Its known for its view and the chain handrails up the steep cliff and narrows out at 2 feet wide in some areas. Sounds scary, whatsmore is the 1500+ ft drop from the peak! Apparently this hike is not for children, though several people say they’ve seen many children traverse this hike. I do not like heights, but will climb to the highest of places… I can’t seem to figure that one out. Angel’s Landing is a 5 mile roundtrip; I think after we conquer this one we can take a brisk 1 mile hike on the Riverside Walk. If not, then we conquered Angel’s and I will be satisfied. I just hope my travel companions will be as excited to take on the challenge as I am!

On our way out of Utah, we will be heading to the small city of Page, Arizona to continue our road trip. (See Arizona for more on my 2017 plans)

You may be wondering…
what will you eat on your travels, what about water. Yes, all good questions. Since we’ll be doing quite a bit of hiking and walking I plan to bring along with me a platypus. I still have not decided on which size I should get, though I’m thinking go with the 70 oz. versus the 34 oz. (Thoughts on this predicament?) More importantly I got a small waist pack {o.k. really its just a fanny pack}, to carry some small important items:

  • Chapstick
  • gloves & hand warmer packets
  • phone
  • first aid kit
  • mini towel
  • snacks

Snacks are probably going to be key. I really enjoy Honey Oat granola bars, maybe some dried strawberries (not the freeze dried kind), banana chips, dried coconut {omg I just got so excited about these!} I had some in Maui that were so good. Ooh Yum!

Brad will be bring a backpack, the question is… Should I?

Along with my waist pack, I intend to carry one of my cameras. Probably the smaller Nikon instead of my DSLR that I can carry on my waist as well. Less weight is better, not to mention less back pain. Maybe I can convince brad to get the platypus with the sipping hose! Since we’ll be in the RV, snacks should be easy to grab and pack before hitting the trails anywhere. Other than planning to eat out at one of the listed above restaurants in SLC, we have not planned to eat elsewhere other than making some meals or sandwiches along the trip in the RV. Should plans change, don’t you worry I’ll fill you in on where we did stop! Two items on my shopping list for the RV:

  1. Gatorade- Fruit Punch
  2. Smart Water

both are filled with electrolytes. If you’ve ever had a small cup of Gatorade when you’re sick or after food poisoning, or just a plain hang over; then you know that it basically gives you life! It hits your soul!!

Visitor centers and small shops will be on my radar during this trip. I’m a sucker for bringing back a travel memento! Usually it is a significant item and I do my best to grab something handmade. Typically it’s a painting. Gotta support those local artists! Maybe I’ll find something really cool like the awesome ladder I found just outside of Sedona that brad didn’t let me get, but I will bring one home this time! Suppose I’ll have to get there first to find out!

Don’t forget to check out my Arizona post coming soon. More details and plans for the rest of our road trip!

Safe Travels

3 thoughts on “Utah

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