Having been to Zion many times before, I chose to focus on finding tucked away, quieter places this time around. Kolob Canyon pre-snowstorm did not disappoint.
Thin ribbons of clouds trailed across the towering fins of red sandstone like ghostly apparitions in search of affection. The inclement weather stripped the parking lots bare, and nearly every trail was left vacant for those willing to brave the storm.
Want a little distraction from this tough week? My White Sands column is up on Outside Magazine today!
Canyonlands’ Island in the Sky District is like a mini Grand Canyon, without the crowds. However, it’s anything but “mini.”
Hundreds of miles of hiking trails cut into the canyon’s rugged walls, and there are viewpoints galore of the 3,000-foot drop down to the river. I spent an entire day here and barely scratched the surface.
Travel to The Needles District in Canyonlands National Park, and you’ll feel like you’ve wandered into a Martian landscape. At least, that’s how I felt when I solo backpacked among towering red mushrooms and deep, sandstone canyons. Though it’s about a 2 hour drive from the park’s main Island in the Sky District, The Needles are a world all their own and not to be missed!
For the entirety of my three days at Capitol Reef, I was in a state of gleeful disbelief. “How is it this beautiful? Why does nobody come here??” The questions were on the forefront of my mind the entire morning that I hiked through Spring Canyon.
Look out, Zion. I’ve got a new favorite Utah park.
In moments of uncertainty and chaos, I am particularly grateful for my deep connection with the outdoors. There’s something about the timelessness of nature that helps restore balance in the human mind. Our wild spaces help keep us humble and calm our nerves, something I’m sure we all sorely need this week.
It’s been a real privilege to be covering the Utah national parks in the midst of all the noise. Soon, I’ll be home behind locked doors, so I’m making the most of this while it lasts.
My first trip to Bryce Canyon did not disappoint. From the moment I caught my initial glimpse of the thousands of crooked, weirdo hoodoos at sunset, a huge smile burst across my face, and I knew I was home.
P.s. I’m taking extra precautions to keep healthy on the road until I can lay low in Los Angeles soon. I hope you are all staying safe out there.
Chased the morning light all the way up the grandest canyon in all the land. Backpacking at Bright Angel was a complete treat, and I can’t wait to go back for a R2R2R attempt someday!
Saguaro, park 4 on my year-long journey, is out today!!
Camping at Bright Angel Campground is a bucket list item with good reason -
it lies at the bottom of the most famous canyon in the world, adjacent to the completely miraculous Phantom Ranch, where you can grab a beer and a hot meal (reserve in advance) after a long day of hiking or relaxing by the river. Supplies are carried in by mule, making the entire experience feel particularly rustic and special. Be sure to mail your mom a postcard from the bottom!
This is a Facebook demo page created by plugin automatically. Please do not delete to make the plugin work properly.