Completing a circuit around Utah's mesmerizing parks has always been top of my list. It's unique landscapes of sheer cliffs, slot canyons, and red-orange sandstone formations create an alien planet-like destination. Our first stop at Zion National Park became an unforgettable experience with a 16.7 mile top down hike through the Narrows. Taking the average person 10-12 hours to complete, this was by far one of the most demanding hikes I've ever completed. As Brian & I stopped along the way and broke out the cameras and tripod, we lost track of time somewhere within those miles.
Then...we heard thunder and it began to rain. Fearful of the potential for a flash flood in these canyons, we picked up the pace. A sense of dread settled in as we watched the sun disappear. Armed with headlamps, we trudged our way through the river. Luckily we ran into two backpackers on the last couple miles in the dark, who shared their water and snacks as our provisions ran out. At last, we broke free out of the Narrows and safely landed on the sweet sight of pavement. Completion time...a whopping 13.5 hours!
Next day...heading into the Dixie National Forest for off grid camping. The boys gathered wood and built a lovely living room with a "coffee table." Tea time, anyone? After sunset, we toasted ourselves in front of the fire and prepared ourselves for some astro and night photography. Sans any light pollution, we got a stunning view of the Milky Way!
Next morning, a beautiful drive through the unpaved roads of Escalante to see Grosvenor Arch.
Exploring Kodachrome Basin State Park. In 1948, the red hued sandstone spires and beautiful landscape prompted a Nat Geo expedition to name the area Kodachrome, after the popular color film.
Hiking along the rim and exploring the trails of Bryce Canyon.
Back for more. Waking up at 5am to catch fiery sunrise shots of the hoodoos.
In awe and feeling complete.