I’ve had a very privileged childhood in that I grew up on an island in the Caribbean and had the luxury of spending the summers exploring the US. My favorite summers are those my parents and I spent in RVs exploring National Parks.
I’ve often told my husband about these summers, even making him promise we’d one day do the same with our own kids (who doesn’t want to wander the country in an RV!) The kids aren’t here yet, and we didn’t rent an RV this time around, but we did just spend Thanksgiving weekend in a couple of Utah’s National Parks and it was every bit as magical as I remember!
It’s hard to believe it was twenty-four years ago that I first visited Utah. Back in 1992, we picked up the RV in Salt Lake City and drove through Utah, visiting Zion, Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef.
Before heading back to Utah, my parents sent me some pictures to remind me of the trip:
This time around we only had time for Zion and Bryce, both amazing parks that I highly recommend. The colors and rock formations at these parks just continuously take your breath away.
Zion National Park has tons of adventurous trails to explore and I think Joe’s Guide To Zion National Park gives awesome info about all that Zion has to offer. We had wanted to do the Narrows (which requires wading in the river) and the Subway (which requires a permit), but with the cold weather and our relatively large group of 11, we decided to head up Angel’s Landing instead.
Angel’s Landing is one I had not done as a child, because:
- I doubt my dad, whose afraid of heights, would have survived it, and
- It’s really not one to do with little kids. It’s a pretty much uphill hike with a grand finale of scrambling along the ridge that at times is no more than 3 feet wide.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
Made it to the top!
After Angel’s Landing, we had some daylight left, so we hiked the Upper, Middle & Lower Emerald Pools. These trails are a bit busier, but they’re a fun, short and relatively easy hike. Definitely look up when you’re at the Upper Pool to get a sense of how tiny you are amongst the giant rocks.
At the Lower Pool, I found the site of a picture my parents had sent me and attempted to replicate it. I didn’t quite get it, but it was fun to recognize the location.
We’ll definitely be headed back to Zion, as I’d like to do the Narrows again. I’d also like to do the Subway and Observation Point, which I don’t think I did as a kid, and I am interested in exploring the less-visited Northern part of the park (Double Arch Alcove).
You can spend days hiking in Zion!
Have you been to Zion? What is your favorite hike? Is it a popular one or an off-the-beaten path one?
If you love our National Parks as much as I do, please consider donating to the National Park Foundation.