travel

Utah Travel Diary!

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Day 1 + Day 2: Zion National Park

Canyon Overlook Trail

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Angels Landing

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View from our balcony at Bumbleberry Inn

Zion was my favorite park from our entire trip! It was absolutely breathtaking. We hiked up to 3,000 feet on the second day, to Observation Point and Angel’s Landing, and it was incredible!

What to Do:

Zion is located in Springdale, Utah. Springdale is the cutest little town with lots of shops and restaurants. Both nights, we wandered around the town and explored after we hiked.

Best Trails:

  1. Canyon Overlook Trail: Very easy trail, only a mile long. You can see lots of big horn sheep and the view at the top of the trail is amazing.
  2. Petroglyphs Trail Head
  3. Emerald Pools Trail: This is a fun trail to see a lot of the park. It takes about 2-3 hours to complete, but it is not strenuous and you’ll see a waterfall, a few overlooks, and some natural pools.
  4. Observation Point: 8 miles, 4-6 hours round trip. This trail can be very strenuous at times but it has one of the best views in the park.
  5. Angels Landing: You need to take Observation Point to get to the beginning of Angel’s Landing.

Where to Eat:

Whip Tail Grill

Red Rock Grill (in park): Good food, can be very crowded and the food takes a while.

Porters (hotel restaurant): Pretty good breakfast, and it’s complimentary if you stay at the Bumbleberry Inn.

Oscar’s Cafe: Really good Mexican food!

Cafe Soleile: Quick and easy – organic healthy options.

Where to Stay: Bumbleberry Inn

  • Free breakfast
  • Pool and hot tub
  • Amazing location and views
  • Really clean and comfortable room (most comfortable bed we had all trip)

If I were to pick one park to go back to, it would be Zion!

Day 3: Antelope Canyon

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This was the only stop we had in Arizona, it was a little bit out-of-the-way of our Utah Roadtrip, but totally worth the drive! These slot canyons are sandstone and made primarily from flash flooding. Our tour guide was so great, he knew all about the history of the canyons and where to take the best photos.

What to Do: Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours. There are is an Upper Canyon and a Lower Canyon. We were told that if you only do one, the Upper Canyon is better. The tours are pretty expensive at $60/person for an hour and a half, so we decided to only do the Upper Canyon.

Where to Eat: R D’s Drive-In and Big John’s Texas BBQ

After Antelope Canyon we drove to Bryce, Utah via scenic byway 12.

Day 4: Bryce Canyon

Thor’s Hammer
HooDoos

Sunrise Point

This was the coldest park we were at, layers are definitely a must, as well as hats and gloves. Bryce was really cool because it was so different from the other parks we had seen so far. The landscape is very different. From Sunrise Point and Sunset Point, you see mostly sand (dirt) and the HooDoos. HooDoos are tall, skinny spires of rock that protrude from basins. Once you hike down into the park via Navajo Loop Trail and Queens Garden Trail, the landscape transforms into woods and forest.

What to Do: Bryce, Utah is kinda in the middle of nowhere, the town is SUPER small and very touristy. The only thing to really do here is go into the park. However, there are a lot of different things you can do in the park; horseback riding tours, ATV tours, wildlife tours, etc.

Best Trails:

  1. Sunrise Point: Very short, more of an overlook point.
  2. Navajo Loop Trail
  3. Silent City
  4. Queens Garden Trail

Where to Eat:

Bryce Canyon Lodge (in park): Sandwiches and snacks.

Cowboy’s Buffet and Steak Room (hotel restaurant): Not great, but not many options in the area (minus Subway).

Where to Stay: Ruby’s Inn (Best Western)

Day 5: Dead Horse State Park & Canyonlands National Park

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Capitol Reef Resort

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Dead Horse State Park

Petroglyphs

On our way to Canyonlands National Park from Bryce, we stopped at Anasazi State Park to see petroglyphs and a museum with ruins of an ancient Anasazi village known as the Coombs Village Site. Petroglyphs are ancient rock carvings.

What to Do: Anasazi State Park and Llama Adventure Tours.

Best Trails: Spur Trail, Dead Horse Point Overlook

Where to Eat:

The Pioneer Kitchen (hotel restaurant): Good food, not too many options.

Castle Rock Coffee (E Highway 24): We stumbled upon this place on our way to Moab the morning we left Capitol Reef and their breakfast is so good! It’s a tiny little cafe by a gas station. If you like coffee, DEFINITELY try the Mexican Mocha Coffee…. amazing.

Where to Stay: Capitol Reef Resort – SUCH A NICE HOTEL

  • Pool and hot tub
  • Large fire pits
  • Great location and views
  • Llamas and Horses: Kept in stables and you could go on tours with them (book ahead of time).
  • They had the best shower!

Day 6 – Day 7: Moab, Utah

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Delicate Arch

What to Do: Arches National Park, Red River Adventures (Morning Glory Canyoneering and White Water Rafting Tour), Shopping and a Moab Microbrewery.

The Red River Adventures Morning Glory Tour was what we did on our last day in Moab. This was such a good experience and was a great way to end our trip. You start with a 3 mile hike (you have guides the whole time on this tour), then you do two rappels through an Arch and down a sandstone chamber. Then the guides will make lunch for everyone by the Colorado River. After lunch, you hop in a boat and go white water rafting. During the time we went, the rapids were on the smaller side, but it was still really fun!

Best Trails:

  1. Delicate Arch: If you’re only going to do one… do this one! The hike takes about 2 hours, and can be strenuous.
  2. Double O Arch
  3. The Windows

Where to Eat:

The Blue Pig: I thought this was the best place we ate on our trip.. then we went to Bachi Burger in Vegas the next day. But still, AMAZING BBQ! Highly recommend this place if you’re in Moab.

Pasta Jays: Delicious, authentic Italian food, and huge portions!

The Spoke

Where to Stay:

Under Canvas Resort: A MUST! It works like a hotel, you reserve either a tent or a teepee. It was such a cool experience! Definitely more glamping then true camping, but you still got to sleep under the stars.

  • Stargazing
  • Fire pit
  • Live Music
  • Bathroom Trailers (very clean!)

Super 8 Hotel

Day 8: Drive Back to Las Vegas

Quail Creek State Park
Ghost Rock Overlook
Oxtail Chili Cheese Fries – Bachi Burger

Stops Along the Way:

  • Ghost Rock Overlook
  • Quail Creek State Park: We stumbled upon this place when we were trying to get off the highway and find a bathroom. It was so beautiful, the water is so blue! We ended up stopping and eating lunch here before getting back on the road.
  • Meadow Hot Springs

Where to Stay: La Quinta Inn

Where to Eat:

Bachi Burger (Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives): This was the best food we had the entire trip. If you like alcoholic drinks you need to try the Molokai Mule and the White Wine Sangria. To eat, the Oxtail Chili Cheese Fries were delicious and the “Banh-Mi” Burger was honestly… the best burger I think I have ever had.

What I Packed:

  • Backpack
  • Water bottle: You’re going to need A LOT of water, I packed a 32 oz to refill throughout the day. It’s very easy to get really dehydrated, really fast.
  • Hiking boots and comfortable sneakers: Some days you’re definitely going to want hiking boots. My feet get really sore from hiking boots after wearing them for a while, so it was nice to be able to wear comfortable sneakers on easier hikes and rest my feet.
  • Layers!! The weather will go from 40 degrees in the morning, to 80 degrees mid-day.
  • Dry-fit clothes: Keeps you warmer/cooler, depending on the temperature and dries faster if you get wet.
  • Sunscreen: Even in early April we got burnt a few times.
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Lightweight, packable rain gear
  • Bandaids and blister bandaids
  • Snacks to put in your backpack

What I Wore:

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“Travel Everywhere” T-Shirt is from The Parks Apparel.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Big water bottle: Like I said before, you’re going to need more water than you think!
  2. Laundry: I suggest doing laundry once on your trip. I did it on the 5th day so that I didn’t need to over pack like crazy (because we know I can’t help myself).
  3. Buy the Annual National Park Pass ($80/car): The daily entry is $60/car, for every park I believe. The Annual Pass can get you into any National Park and you’ll save yourself a lot of money.
  4. Alcohol laws: Utah has very strict (and kinda strange) laws with alcohol. Just a tip, most liquor stores closed at 5:00 pm, even on the weekends. Also, they’re very expensive!

Total Miles Hiked: 36 miles

Total Miles Driven: 1,196 miles

*Shoutout to my Mom for spending months planning this trip! It was incredible!!*

If you have any questions about our trip, or planning your own trip, leave a comment below!

Thanks for stopping by! Court xoxo

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