I always heard a lot about Zion National Park, but it was never on my the top of my list for national park or places I wanted to go hike and visit. It seemed I had a lot of other places I wanted to see first, until I heard about Angel’s Landing. Angel’s Landing is a 1500 foot tall rock formation with a trail cut into the rock leading all the way to top which allows a crazy lookout over Zion Canyon. It is known as one of the most dangerous hikes in the United States as multiple people have died doing it.
Once I heard about this crazy hike and saw how beautiful it was, I knew I had to go and made Utah next on my hiking trip list. Utah has five national parks, and another one I really wanted to see was Bryce Canyon National Park. I mostly wanted to see Bryce because the landscape is so unusual and nothing like I had seen before. When picking which parks and places I want to see, I typically am drawn to places that look very different from other landscapes and terrains that I have already seen so I can get a good variety.
I was originally planning on doing my Utah trip by myself until I posted some travel photos from the past few years on social media and wrote that if anyone wanted to go on a trip to let me know. Well, long story short, a friend of mine name Kayle said she would love to go on a trip and I told her the next one I had planned was Utah and she was in!
We flew into Vegas since the drive from Salt Lake City to the Glendale and Springdale area in Utah was the same as the distance from Las Vegas, Nevada. We drove to Glendale where we had rented a cute cabin in the middle of no where.
I was torn originally on when to visit because I didn’t want it to be too cold and snow covered, but also didn’t want it to be hot and flooded with tourists in the summer months when school is out. I settled on April hoping it was a happy medium.
As I keep learning over and over again with trips, nothing ever goes as planned or perfectly. To start, Minneapolis got hit with a huge snow storm which almost prevented Kayle from flying out. Utah also got a lot of snow, which resulted in half of the road going through Zion National Park to be closed, not only preventing us from seeing some of the spots we wanted but also resulting in a two hour detour since we were staying in Glendale. We had to go all the way around adding on two hours to our drive each way to and from Zion.
Luckily, I am used to things like this happening and Kayle was the perfect person for this to happen with as she stayed positive, helped find solutions, and laughed it off with me. We also struggled to find our cabin rental when we arrived because it was dark out (around 1 AM in the morning) and it was in the middle of no where with no street lights haha! Our bad luck became comical and we became entertained by it, instead of upset.
The first day at Zion we did The Zion Narrows Riverside Walk which leads to one of Zion’s most famous trails The Narrows. Unfortunately, the narrows were close due to spring causing high water and flash flooding. I knew this was a good chance and although it bummed me out I didn’t let it keep me from doing this trip in April. The Riverside Walk leading up to the trail head was beautiful to see as well. We then made our way to Canyon Overlook Trail, which was very secluded due to it being on the opposite side of the park and with the road being closed no one wanted to make the two hour detour, but since we were staying in Glendale it was on our way back. Finally, some good came of the road being closed haha! The Canyon Overlook Trail did not disappoint, the view from above looking down between the canyons was absolutely stunning.
On our way back to our cabin, we saw signs for Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. I’ve heard of it before, so we stopped and see this little dessert in the middle of no where was so cool! In the morning it would start out around third degrees and climb up close to seventies making the weather very different in just a matter of hours.
The next day we went to Bryce Canyon and it turned out they had received a significant amount of snow and two of the trails we wanted to see were closed, but we still go to go on multiple others including Queen’s Garden Trail, Sunset Point to Sunrise Point, and Natural Bridge. It was bizarre seeing the desert colors covered in snow. After Bryce, we went a did a hike called Willis Creek Slot Canyon to make up for not being able to hike the narrows and it was by far one of our favorite hikes between two canyon walls in the middle of no where away from the crowds of people.
The next day we went back to Zion for our second day there to do Angels Landing. We tried to get there as early as possible, but with the two hour drive it made it hard to get there as early as we wanted, but even though there was a lot of people we still had moments of time with no one around and were able to get some cool pictures between the groups of people. Angel’s Landing looks very intimidating as your approach it, but we both thought it was way less scary than we thought and I think anyone can do it! Although it wasn’t as scary, it was just as insanely beautiful and unique as I thought it would be.
After Angel’s Landing, we headed back to Las Vegas for the evening before our flights out the next morning and got to go out for one night in Sin City.
It’s safe to say Kayle and I had way too much fun together. I had only met her a few times prior through mutual friends, but she was one of the those people that I knew right away would be a good friend. We always got told before meeting, how much we reminded people of each other and got called each other’s twin all the time, and boy did this trip show me why haha! Kayle would say what I was thinking and would finish my sentences sometimes haha it was freaky! Needless to say we got along great and had a blast.
There was a lot of hiccups along the way, but instead of letting them get us down or keep us from having good trip, we both stayed positive and looked at the bright side in every situation and laughed it off, which is the best approach when things don’t go as planned. When everything was going wrong, it reminded me of all the other trips I’ve gone on where so many things went wrong and not to plan. But it also reminded me, how all the things that go wrong aren’t the things I remember about the trips. You only reminisce on the good times and forget all the bad. In Washington it downpours rain our entire first day of hiking. In Oregon the gorge trail which is the whole reason I went there was closed due to flash flooding. In Maui the national park was closed due to government shut down, the main trail we wanted to go on was so foggy you couldn’t see ten feet in front of you and then it started down pouring rain, and another trail we were on was half closed due to trail maintenance. In Arizona, I got the worst blisters of my life and ended up having to cut off majority of the skin from both my heels. Glacier ended up having terrible forest fires the week we went and you could barely see anything on the trails and half of the Going to the Sun Road which leads through the whole park was closed and you couldn’t even see the mountains. So really, something will inevitably go wrong, but if you have the right attitude and remember to choose to look back on the good times and the things that went right, you’ll be unstoppable.