After our fantastic hike in Bryce Canyon National Park yesterday - Figure 8 Hike - we decided to take it easy on our feet today. So we did this scenic drive that included several short walks and more beautiful scenery.
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah includes some of the most stunning views you will ever see. The Figure 8 Hike down in the canyon among the hoodoos ranks as one of our favorite hikes anywhere in the U.S.
This was the first day of our first visit to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. We spent a couple of hours getting acclimated and checking out the many viewpoints on the canyon rim. It is a beautiful place.
On our last day at Zion National Park, we just had to get a view of Zion Canyon from Observation Point. The views were worth the effort to get there.
Zion National Park has the most diverse hiking of any National Park we've visited. And this hike is one of the best. It's not located within the main park section which includes Zion Valley, so it has a much more remote feel and you need a permit to do this hike. Also, in peak season, you can only get a permit through a lottery system. The hike is not difficult, but it can be taxing on older joints due to the amount of scrambling over rocks and crossing the creek numerous times. Give yourself lots of time - we thought we had, but it almost wasn't enough.
Today we did a hike that included narrow ledges and chains to hold onto attached to rock walls. Then we did a driving tour on the east side of the park which has it's own unique beauty that is different from the more popular Zion Canyon section.
The Narrows in Zion National Park is a hike in a river between high canyon walls. It's a unique experience and a very popular hike. We went early in the year and the water was a little high making things a little more difficult, especially for Linda, but I would count it as a top hike for us.
Today was a hike in the quieter, less-visited part of Zion National Park known as Kolob Canyons. Looking back on the photos, I don't think I gave this hike enough credit. It's a really pretty hike along a stream with great red rock views.
Today, we entered Zion National Park for the first time. We used the free shuttle to drop us off in Zion Canyon for a couple of short hikes and to get a feel for the park. So far, we're pretty impressed.
We were part of the lucky few to get a permit through a lottery to be able to visit this designated wilderness area within the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument on the Utah/Arizona border. Visitation is limited to only 20 people per day to help protect this wondrous place. If you manage to secure a permit, all your efforts will be rewarded with an experience you will never forget.
Hike From The Bottom of the Grand Canyon - Phantom Ranch to the South Rim Via the Bright Angel Trail - Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona
Day two of our hike from the south rim of the Grand Canyon to the bottom and back out. This hike on the Bright Angel Trail was longer than the descent on the South Kaibab Trail, and the steepest three miles were right at the end. However, the first half of the Bright Angel Trail on the ascent had a stream running alongside and the feel of the trail was quite different. For a couple of out-of-shape hikers, we were pretty proud of ourselves for accomplishing this challenge.
Hike To The Bottom Of The Grand Canyon - South Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch - Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona
We visited the Grand Canyon somewhat early in the season, and thought maybe we could get a mule ride to the bottom of the canyon. There were no openings but there was a last-minute cancellation at Phantom Ranch which consists of cabins and dorms. So we jumped on the opportunity and decided to hike down. After three days of "practice" and conditioning ourselves for the hike, this entry recounts the details of our descent into the beautiful canyon on the South Kaibab Trail.
We went back into the park today to take care of some administrative stuff for tomorrow's hike to the bottom of the canyon. While we were there, we took a stroll on the Rim Trail for more views and photos.
I had visited the Grand Canyon as a small lad with my parents many, many years ago. Linda flew over it as a young adult on a helicopter tour from Las Vegas not quite as many years ago. But this was the first time we had seen it together. Today we checked out a few viewpoints, and looked at the trails we would be using in the next few days to hike to the bottom of the canyon and back out. Seeing the trails way down below was a bit intimidating.