I’m going to attempt to put all of Utah into one post…and it’s not going to do it justice, so go there yourself to see it.
I started in Salt Lake City where my sister flew in to join up for this little loop around the the state. She got an Airbnb to say at for that first night, which meant I got my first hot shower in a week.
Then we made our way south to Zion. I voted to navigate off the interstates as much as possible, which took us to some nice scenic highways that went along rivers like in Washington or Montana, but now surrounding by a much more red and arid landscape.
I had found a campsite on the east part of the park…which was alright since the main entrance was in the south. From there you had to take a long windy road to get that part. The oddest part being when we had to stop at a tunnel for an indefinite period of time. Afterwards we figured out that this tunnel is so small and narrow that large buses/RVs you can only fit one going through in one direction…so a traffic jam.
And after that tunnel we dropped into the canyon, with the walls towering above us, with rocks that looked like they might be teetering and ready to fall at a moment…or more of seeing the rocks that had fallen.
We took the shuttle to to go to the narrows, and walked the given path. No water filled adventures this time. Then up to the weeping wall—where the water seeps out above and rains down over an alcove tucked inside.
Finally, we made off towards the the emerald pools. We we started to make our way that way, then we found a rockslide the trailhead didn’t clearly mention. But there was an older couple there, and the gentleman was gungho about crossing it, so after he scouted it out we followed. And everything was good…until we a hit a second landslide…and although this looked equally (un)safe, the chain link fence that completely blocked the other side of the trail was a little more menacing.
And all the while, this trail was supposed to be a loop that makes a U shape following the edge of the canyon—much like the Monterey Bay; so as we were on the Monterey side, all the people the open, Santa Cruz, side of the trail, could see us scampering along any attempts we made.
When we made our way back through the first landslide, it really feels a lot more unstable the 2nd time through, and you start to think “Hmmm, I sure hope that these rocks and dirt sliding down, don’t draw the rocks and dirt I’m standing on down as well…”.
We did safely make it, and after a lunch break looped around the other side and checked it out…
It’s my birthday? Another shuttle ride to Sunset point, where it overlooks a canyon, but instead of being wide and open the earth seems to rise up in these odd shaped columns—all striated with a variety of colors. And then we got to hike down into that canyon on the Queen’s Garden and navajo loop trails, it was pretty cool.
We raced out of there to make it to Hell’s Backbone Grill and Farm for lunch, which a fantastic little place off the highway near Boulder, Utah. And then up and outside Goblin Valley State Park for the evening.
Arches was an interesting one because it was the most traffic ridden of the parks I’d been to, at least to get in. There were two lanes and one entrance and that was it. This was another park with really neat rock formations spread throughout. Arches, but more hoodoos, colorful canyons, a little bit of everything a neat place.
It’s too bad we didn’t have more time, there’s a lot of cool places here, not to mention two other national parks that we barely touched on.
Back up to Salt Lake City and then the journey to the Rockies. (More pictures to come in another post)