The Narrows and Zion Day 2

The Narrows.

One of the major reasons we decided to take a trip to the Southwest.

I don’t even remember where I first learned about this hike but as soon as I did it jumped to the top of my bucket list. Myles was excited about it as soon as I showed him pictures.

The Narrows is the name of the largest slot canyon in the world with walls 1000 ft tall. That’s impressive in itself but add the fact that the Virgin river runs through the slot canyon and you get an incredibly unique and gorgeous hike.

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We rented special water shoes from Zion Adventure Company right outside the park and I’m really glad we did. The rental package included neoprene socks which kept us warm since the water was pretty chilly as well as walking sticks which were amazing things to have since you are hiking through a river. With rocks. LOTS OF ROCKS. I highly recommend renting these items for anyone doing this hike!

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The Narrows was definitely crowded, but it was still beautiful. It was nice and cool because the sun couldn’t get into much of the slot canyon and the cool water felt so refreshing.

We had an amazing time trekking through the beautiful canyon and going waist deep when we wanted to cool off or splash around.

The cool thing about the Narrows is how long it is and you can turn back at any point. We saw families at the beginning and as you get farther and farther the crowds get thinner and thinner. The section called  Wall Street is the famous part with no land around and also the most dangerous section during flash floods. Flash floods are always a concern in the Narrows, especially during summer, so I suggest looking up warning signs so you are prepared in case of emergency.

To be honest, I wish I had better pictures of the Narrows but we were too busy having fun I guess! It was honestly one of the most unique hikes I’ve done and I’d love to do it again and again.

After the Narrows, we were pretty exhausted and the sun was beating down. We were tired and didn’t want to hike during the hottest part of the day so we headed to return our gear and pick up snacks at the general store.

On the way back to the Air Bnb, we decided to stop at Fort Zion, the tourist trap on the way home. I’m so glad we did because they had a petting zoo and I got to feed alpacas. Day made. Alpacas are my favorite animal. They are just so funny looking you can’t help but smile when you look at them.

We showered and went to see a movie – Mike and Dave need Wedding Dates. We both thought it was hilarious.

After that we went to watch the sunset nearby at Pioneer Park. Pioneer Park is awesome and a cool playground for kids and adults. There was a little baby slot canyon which was the perfect home for a bat we saw.

We had so much fun working on our rock climbing skills and jumping around on all of the red rocks and then made it to the top of Dixie rock to watch the sunset. It was crowded with locals and seemed to be a popular place on a Friday night.
It’s easy to see why with the beautiful panoramic view of the city with the the mountains behind it.

 

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That was our time at Zion and I loved every minute and would love to spend a lot more time there in the future! I’m coming back for you Angel’s Landing 😉

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Zion National Park

Zion National Park is probably my favorite national park I’ve been to. I think it’s even better than the Grand Canyon.

The views are the most incredible views I’ve seen and there are endless amount of things to do.

We got there in the evening the first day so we decided to do the shorter Canyon Overlook trail. This view is the best view for the easiest trail in the park. The trail is only 1 mile and it’s perfect for families with kids or people who don’t feel comfortable doing the longer more strenuous trails.

It was a great introduction to this incredible park.

The trail itself is interesting and winds around cliffs, but the view at the end is the reason this trail is a must do for anyone visiting Zion.

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It was hard not to stay at the top forever admiring that.

It was late by the time we finished so we headed to ourAirBnB to check in and pass out.

We woke up at 6:30 and headed straight to Zion to catch the shuttle for Observation point. Myles picked up a coffee at River Rock Roasting Co. recommended by our Airbnb host and it super good coffee. I recommend this place for good coffee and views, we went back the next day to spend more time there 🙂

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Day 2 we had big plans – the Observation Point hike. It’s an 8 mile strenuous hike with 4 miles of steep incline and then 4 miles back the way you came.

The hike was immediately strenuous. Switchback after switchback gets your heart rate skyrocketing, but the incredible views are worth it.

START THIS HIKE EARLY DURING THE SUMMER. Seriously. It’s a tough workout and would not be enjoyable with the sun beating down on you. We each drank 3 full liters of water on this hike and peed zero times so that just shows how much water our bodies were using in the heat. I’m sure you wanted to know that.

Since we started the hike about 9 am, the sun was hiding behind the mountains for the first part of our hike. The cool thing about Utah heat is if you’re in shade, you don’t even feel hot. It’s crazy. Also no humidity so no frizzy hair or dripping sweat. Of course we got sweaty but nothing like Florida. I need to move here immediately. Anyways, I’ll shut up about the heat now, you probably get it 😉

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You get a break from the steep incline once you hit a pretty slot canyon. After that it’s just uphill for the rest of the time. All the hikers on their way back down are deep in conversation but everyone on their way up is silent and breathing heavy.

Once we got to the top, we took in the incredible 270 degree view. The best part is there was a little chipmunk welcoming crew at the top. We sat and ate our lunch and this little chipmunk wanted some of our sunflower seeds. He was fearless and adorable.

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We face timed some family at the top once we realized we had LTE up there and then headed back down, happy for no more uphill. The downhill was hard on our toes and our knees though so we were definitely ready for it to be over at the end. Tired and sweaty, we took the shuttle to the Zion Lodge where we layed in the grass in the shade.

Then we did a short little hike to the Lower Emeral Pool. This hike seems good for families and we saw a lot of them. It was an easy little walk compared to what we had done earlier but it was all we had energy left for.

We ate and had a beer at Zion Brewery which is actually inside the park and headed to our Air BnB to pass out.

This blog post is long enough so I’ll finish our time at Zion in another one!

California Road Trip Planner | Where to Stop 

I just returned from an epic road trip through California with my boyfriend Myles and one of my best friends Hana. We had the time of our lives and I’ll be writing a post about each day since we fit so much in each day!

I figured I’d put together a plan of our route since California is full of amazing places and it’s hard to narrow it down. 

This road trip was a little different for us because we rented a van from Escape campervans and lived out of it for a week. This was honestly an amazing decision and we LOVED our van.  Most of the places we stayed got to the 30s or 40s overnight and considering we are from Florida, we thought van camping was a better option than tent camping.

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Thank God we discovered Escape campervans. I can’t say enough good things about this company! 

The vans include a propane stove, full set of dish ware, a sink, a heater, bedding, and a huge comfortable bed. You have the option to rent additional items like snow chains or even a tent sleeper to put on top of the van so you can fit an extra person! 

Not to mention all of the vans are beautifully decorated by awesome local artists. 

Our van was around $700 for 8 nights. It might sound like a lot but to put it in perspective, on another recent road trip, my rental car was $500 for 10 days and we still had to pay for somewhere to sleep at night! $700 for 8 nights of accomodation plus the freedom to explore and somewhere to cook is defnitely worth it. You’ll save a ton by not eating out.

On top of that, their customer service is great and the employees are super friendly and sweet. When we returned our van, we had gone over our allotted mileage but the guy didn’t charge us. (They give you 100 free miles per day with the option to purchase more.)

I’m already dreaming of more trips in an Escape campervan.

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We flew into San Francisco and spent a few days in a hotel there before picking up the van near the San Francisco airport. I highly recommend NOT driving a huge campervan in cities like San Francisco or LA.

Here is the rest of our route and the campgrounds and RV parks we stayed at.

San Francisco –> Napa (Bothe Napa Valley Campground) –> Yosemite National Park (Indian Flats RV Park)  –> Monterey/Carmel/Point Lobos (Carmel RV Park) –> Big Sur and the California coast (Plaskett Creek Campground) –> San Luis Obispo (Chumash Campgrounds) –> Solvang (Flying Flag RV Resort) –> Los Angeles