A Night In Vegas

Once we were done hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park, we started our journey back to Las Vegas, Nevada. We had a super early flight the next morning, and had to return our rental car back to Hertz before 5pm.

13767313_10210078833113255_1394063345953817885_o

The drive took about 2.5 hours and was just as beautiful as the first day. Since we were out west, we had to stop for lunch at In N’ Out Burger. When we passed it on our first day, we knew that we wanted to stop on our way back. Taylor had been looking forward to it all week!

13730774_10210078835513315_3230012663382961362_o

13731853_10210078836473339_2999469144433290015_o

For our last night in Vegas, we stayed at another Airbnb, just because it was easy and simple. We know it isn’t expensive to stay in the hotels on the strip, but since we were only there for one night, we didn’t feel the need for a hotel room. Before we checked in, we explored the old strip for a few hours!

13731064_10210078846233583_6043832174903256009_o

13723984_10210078842313485_6892747042146977400_o

13725067_10210078848713645_2654725828120253879_o

13731792_10210078847833623_7707649755748196286_o

13708205_10210078846993602_7240924292466337504_o

13765717_10210078843913525_2122296547059443875_o

13732005_10210078840553441_3267491325006232986_o

13731977_10210078845233558_8248485702502453704_o

We had no luck at gambling, so we stopped at Starbucks before heading to the airbnb. It was only a short 15 minute drive from the strip.

13731916_10210078849953676_7544274848279579496_o

When we arrived at the house (click HERE to see it), it was very clean and the host was very welcoming. They showed us our room, gave us water, and stayed out of our way. Since we had to return our rental car, we quickly showered and changed, then set out for Hertz.

13724078_10210078853913775_4550220802666215425_o

Once we dropped off the car, we ubered to the strip!

13680082_10210078889674669_8069966321239302258_o

13708393_10210078887914625_3518901606516333358_o

13723861_10210078861953976_4785627604174373686_o

13738123_10210078866674094_3005030385944541284_o

13723959_10210078867314110_633824909874957015_o

13737626_10210078879514415_2251283841609497807_o

13680351_10210078881954476_8141956286419600639_o

13765933_10210078878994402_4816447002245392526_o

13765916_10210078876194332_2844928583533863100_o

13767173_10210078877394362_7432286491262789612_o

13735005_10210078874314285_7385612652675522554_o

13735763_10210078860233933_2408281068104008347_o

13735765_10210078864234033_38388959385773561_o

13731988_10210078865874074_8895106815968567466_o

13734930_10210078860873949_3152820399918093722_o

13723902_10210078857873874_1933325784510561140_o

13730987_10210078855913825_8478439757726967612_o

13698210_10210078869914175_214152285777701177_o

13719572_10210078896394837_5929999716973848996_o

13735161_10210078908955151_1039548118207743029_o

13738170_10210078911715220_5953400472563472191_o

13680082_10210078915515315_1248548448868106470_o

13767295_10210078923075504_7830237615881123699_o

13653401_10210078897834873_6965359150358489034_o

13716004_10210078899034903_2236502235611303976_n

13653285_10210078899954926_2055403437863097070_o

13719688_10210078895434813_8765062930057435181_o

13775954_10210078907235108_6685067341667984601_n

We walked for miles, weaving in and out of the different hotels. Everything really is bigger and better in Vegas! Since we had a very early flight the following morning, we didn’t want to stay out extremely late.

13735095_10210078929635668_8295611757705382453_o

We ended the night by watching the famous Fountains of Bellagio in front of the Bellagio hotel.

13690985_10210078932795747_8191584738842077947_o

13735694_10210078935835823_3202856892904478738_o

13690985_10210078932795747_8191584738842077947_o

13710573_10210078925835573_7407934335693447337_o

13708386_10210078943356011_348245096186333753_o
Headed back to the east coast!!

13719539_10210078788752146_6553549069603242793_o

13738289_10210078793512265_8764343260860401868_o

13724021_10210078778311885_6834385281526538777_o

Not only did we have an incredible time in Utah and Vegas together, but it has been so much fun writing about the adventures and experiences we had. This will be a trip we’ll never forget! Thank you for following along! 🙂

The Narrows of Zion

Our last night camping went well, and we were woken up around 8am to the blazing sun. At this point in the trip, we were pros at taking down the tent and packing everything into the rental car. Once everything was packed up, we stopped at the bath house on the way out to change and get ready for our final hike.

13767360_10210078901514965_8883277048941439048_o

We couldn’t come to Zion without seeing the Narrows!

There are 3 ways to hike the Narrows.

  1. A day hike from the bottom and back: you will start by hiking the Riverside Walk and make your way to the river. In less than a mile, you will be hiking in some of the narrowest parts of the canyon. There is no end destination, so you will have to hike up and return the way you came. You don’t need any permits for this option.
  2. Day hike from top to bottom: This get’s even more difficult. Round trip, this is an all day, 16 mile hike that absolutely requires a permit.
  3. Overnight hike from top to bottom: A strenuous hike requires 2 days, along with a permit to complete. You can only stay a maximum of one night, and need to be cautious of flash flooding. Also, it’s important to pack accordingly.

13701191_10210078745111055_4158924600766407436_o

Thankfully, there is an easy route that can accommodate people who have less time, young children, or aren’t ready for such a strenuous hike. If you want to experience the beauty of the Narrows without all the fuss, you can complete the Riverside Walk. This is a paved trail that follows the Virgin River up to the start of the Narrows. To access the Riverside Walk, you’ll need to hop on the Zion shuttle bus and take it to the last stop.

13731833_10210078753431263_4157945887180704567_o

Zion National Park uses a fantastic system to help cut down on the traffic in the park. During their busy season, they close down the scenic drive that leads to a majority of their trail-heads. They restrict all parking to the main parking lots, or the small town outside of the park. Then, a shuttle system runs up and down the scenic drive taking people to their desired trails. This helps tremendously, and they run a multitude of buses at once so you’ll never wait more than 10 minutes.

13717348_10210078758071379_8211328688711644942_o

After hopping off the shuttle, we began the Riverside Walk. As a suggestion, we recommend wearing warmer clothing for this hike. Not only is the water freezing, but the breeze is cool and it’s hard for the sun to reach you when you’re walking alongside the river.

13724031_10210078755031303_8693533741132593005_o

13730837_10210078759951426_4650795266805111224_o

13731877_10210078761471464_7707581050131808385_o

13765844_10210078762071479_8167975714615072302_o

As you’re walking, you’ll notice that the water is a gorgeous emerald blue. If you have time, you can take a break and enjoy it!

13767311_10210078757271359_1458802584592047801_o

13767329_10210078763351511_8869736688509289216_o

Only a select few will actually hike the entire 9.4 mile trail. At least 60% of this hike is spent in the water. The further along you go, you can find yourself walking, wading, or even swimming! Once you make it to the end of the Riverside walk, you have the choice to enter the water, or turn around. What most people do, is they complete the riverside walk, which is very simple. When they get to the part where they need to start walking through water (which is the start of the Narrows), they either turn around or they just walk through the water for a little bit. We would highly recommend walking through the water, just so you can get the real effect and take in the amazing views.

13724026_10210078771951726_6459854928298220006_o

13724088_10210078778831898_3134758665045944700_o

13719712_10210078780511940_5439805494967007592_o

13698211_10210078770711695_6931377289245490630_o

13737736_10210078781831973_8230325683991699470_o

13717290_10210078774231783_1092134203547187893_o

13735760_10210078773071754_1507262862526734438_o

13730844_10210078769511665_7929021813040235855_o

13690938_10210078783872024_8360848542735811386_o

13730829_10210078781311960_240841339034659166_o

When you first enter the water, there will be a ton of people. We recommend going a little further than most of these people, just because you’ll have the opportunity to take everything in without all the screaming kids and other tourists.

13730794_10210078775671819_4802804887380068758_o

13717227_10210078790792197_7756882235118486209_o

Be mindful of the weather, because flash flooding within the Narrows can be deadly!

13735545_10210078785392062_8876254071439380063_o

We spent about two hours wandering and taking pictures of everything. The views were absolutely breathtaking, and Taylor and I decided that we are going to do the full 9.4 miles the next time we we’re visiting.

Hiking the Narrows was a great way to top off our time in Zion. Next stop, Las Vegas!

 

Bryce Canyon & Zion Canyon

Our second night camping was another success! The Wonderland RV Park was so great, that we hated to pack up and leave the following morning. Once we loaded up the car, we drove towards Bryce Canyon National Park.

13765966_10210078806192582_5202734611167970192_o

We were very excited to visit this next park because it’s one of the top National Parks in Utah’s Mighty 5, along with Zion. Bryce Canyon’s entrance fee is $30 per vehicle. At this point, we had paid off our annual pass!

13653359_10210078774111780_279213559019459065_o

We took a photo apart, but the people taking our photo insisted we stand together since we were an engaged couple…

13717290_10210078775271809_4651876726567647743_o

Like every other park we visited, we stopped at the visitor center to find a map. (Taylor and his maps) While we were inside, Taylor wanted to crawl under the fake rock display and stick his head up through the bubble. While he was under there, the other children let him know that he was too big…ha!

13765783_10210078777351861_1599854029648364133_o

We parked our car and started hiking the Navajo Loop! This is a moderate hike that requires 1-2 hours to hike 1.3 miles. Trust me, you will want to take your time because it is a beautiful hike! You will see some geological sights known as Wall Street, Two Bridges, and Thor’s Hammer on this short but steep trail.

13691178_10210078792392237_8036635295545064033_o

13730857_10210078778791897_2087998146233745682_o.jpg

13730841_10210078781031953_7836105635648907145_o

13653154_10210078783912025_2670110421958929874_o
Thor’s Hammer

13680035_10210078789112155_5009913880239612771_o

13667812_10210078787592117_1942486907962538872_o

This was one of our favorite trails! We had SO MUCH FUN together as we walked up and down the switchbacks, and took in all the red and orange colors that hovered over us. We had never seen anything like this before.

13691086_10210078782351986_4313292822480940142_o

13735702_10210078782191982_2065911174752496177_o

13691152_10210078786232083_6718296147323637164_o

13719491_10210078796552341_7930607241835081304_o

As suggested by the trail name, you hike a complete circle. You start at the top of the canyon and hike down, then you hike back up to the top. It starts and ends at the same place, so you can choose to go either way, but they recommend going clockwise.

13697998_10210078800672444_8731002011609111037_o

12593599_10210078824993052_1801765647161335322_o

Once we hiked to the canyon floor, we sat under a tree to have lunch! We ate our sandwiches and enjoyed the afternoon, UNTIL A SNAKE CRAWLED OUT IN FRONT OF US.

13725009_10210078805792572_3306368537365615868_o

13719507_10210078826233083_5674240882952084490_o

13701200_10210078834993302_3026926449297104081_o

13693001_10210078847313610_7658510342715880667_o

13735107_10210078850673694_3649046629736227535_o

13708398_10210078842113480_8030571900072558095_o

13734996_10210078843513515_1004304504760925469_o

13669287_10210078848473639_56647444655099236_o

13719516_10210078838313385_3905560556846477814_o

13710580_10210078833713270_3443411749735854605_o

13724842_10210078837633368_365360849477977425_o

13735630_10210078836913350_1023663482517091440_o

13738100_10210078832433238_4841078924972158052_o

13765936_10210078849313660_1908088438725947292_o

13661882_10210078851633718_8355357171542972493_o

13710505_10210078855193807_180368617000995704_o

13719726_10210078858553891_8213206334341812316_o

13693001_10210078853393762_5515728634787518808_o

13710735_10210078856953851_8101532907012684572_o

13719630_10210078855793822_4802273569536430085_o

13719572_10210078852953751_8996920196174571892_o

13723921_10210078857833873_3015054624282045321_o

13724115_10210078863954026_3157345483012408680_o

13724875_10210078861073954_5792231207798252313_o

13731914_10210078854393787_2256525412430839829_o

13731988_10210078862873999_4220053853188042469_o

13738203_10210078862033978_6951683271764839230_o

Bryce Canyon was so much fun! At this point in our trip, it was Thursday and we would be flying home early Saturday morning. Since our flights were in and out of Vegas, we wanted to spend some time in Vegas before heading out! We also wanted to spend more time in Zion National Park because our time was limited on our first day. For this reason, we didn’t camp in Bryce. Instead, we drove an hour back to Zion.

13691074_10210078913235258_7026368818959452590_o

13679923_10210078908035128_1018203385234072450_o

13738222_10210078936835848_7498924312041499413_o

13724015_10210078930115680_7193930464204253227_o

13738132_10210078889714670_2760403495589259570_o

13708205_10210078892234733_3095144961374701618_o

13669351_10210078878714395_6554112615278794714_o

The campground within the park was full, so we had to travel outside a few miles to stay at the High-Road Campground.

13640862_10210078905555066_2449515575439952256_o

This was our least favorite campground out of the three we stayed at. It was basically just dirt and a few trees, with an outhouse. It cost us $30 for one night.

13731914_10210078896954851_3197247536518339488_o

13731776_10210078904195032_4726075872020088451_o

On the other end of the campground, there was a full bathhouse. It was really unclean, and only 1 toilette (out of 5 or 6) was working. Also, the women’s shower was out of order and you had to go around the back, in the dark, to the backside of the men’s bathroom where a curtain was hung to shower. No thank you. If you plan on camping in Zion, make sure you book one of the other campgrounds months in advance, as they fill up quickly.

13710697_10210078898714895_8575643632858151827_o

After setting up our tent, we found a great Italian place in town! Zion Pizza & Noodle was such a great place to eat after hiking all week.

13719663_10210078917555366_7731976841260537083_o

13690966_10210078927555616_7565773215717766855_o

They have huge pasta dishes and even better pizza! We ordered cheesy garlic bread with marinara, and a BBQ chicken pizza!

Both were fantastic! When we come back to Zion in the future, we will be eating here again. Maybe next time we’ll order a pasta dish.

13691187_10210078932195732_402539362475041117_o

13737456_10210078923155506_3657165016851207175_o

Once we were finished eating, we wanted to go on a short walk, so we headed for the Lower Emerald Pool trail. This is 1.2 miles, and they recommend leaving an hour to complete it. The trail is paved with minor drop-offs and connects to the Upper Emerald Pool trail.

13708232_10210078927595617_8514993492085072432_o

13735571_10210078962076479_7503604295026100636_o

13692838_10210078935635818_2855292022790042093_o

13738199_10210078937795872_459472438714565963_o

13701183_10210078939515915_3345488790845604565_o

It was a nice short and sweet walk after dinner, but it was slightly disappointing. The name of the trail leads you to believe that it’s going to be this beautiful waterfall with emerald water, but the picture above is what it really looks like. Maybe the upper trail is prettier?

This really pretty river below is located across the street from the Zion Lodge. During the day, you will find a ton of people walking through it.

13717220_10210078950596192_3011968433792468997_o

13669324_10210078961036453_2230876987708816305_o

13717227_10210078954476289_3491789127561108548_o

13698246_10210078957516365_5172664188387672081_o

13691152_10210078958556391_5138276291341230182_o

As the sun sets, several deer come and munch on the grass in front of the lodge. They are completely unphased by all the people. The lodge fills up quickly too, so we’d like to try and stay there next time. It was so beautiful and is a great place to come and relax.

13691174_10210078962556491_3711683998798837172_o

13731967_10210078963716520_4093166992448275157_o

13701239_10210078967956626_3446076360107589686_o

13717333_10210078967036603_2054989431341201776_o

13737618_10210078968636643_4496248176947215755_o

Finding a seat on the bench and watching the deer and the sunset was the best way to end the day.

 

Canyonlands & Capitol Reef

Our first night camping in the desert went well! While planning this trip, we really had no idea what to expect weather wise. We knew it would be scorching hot during the day (which it was), but we weren’t sure if it would be warm or cool during the night. On our first night camping in Arches, Taylor said he froze. On the other hand, I couldn’t have been more content. We will tell you this, the temperature can heat up or cool down within minutes. We never needed to set any alarms because the heat always woke us up as soon as the sun rose.

DSC_0173 (1)

While Taylor took apart our tent, I walked to the bath house to change and get ready for the day. The bath houses at the Moab RV Resort and Campground were clean and nice! They had a lot of stalls and showers, so you never had to wait. The one thing we forgot to pack on this trip, was a towel. We are those people who ALWAYS forget towels. Whether that be a beach towel or a shower towel, we WILL forget it. Over the years, we have purchased so many overpriced towels because we’re the ones who never remember to pack them. Instead of renting one from the desk for $3, we just used our old t-shirts to dry off…disgusting yes, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do!

Before we left,  I grabbed some complimentary coffee. The coffee was surprisingly delicious! Sometimes, you just can’t expect much when it’s free. We also needed to fill up on gas, and get some new ice for our cooler. There was a McDonald’s down the road that had bags of ice for only .99 cents!

DSC_0175 (1)

13769442_10210078867034103_4816475323906991406_n

As soon as we were done, we started our drive towards Canyonlands and Capitol Reef. These are the two least visited parks within the Mighty 5 in Utah. When we arrived to Canyonlands, we immediately went to the visitor’s center to find a map and fill up on water. (Without an annual pass, it will cost you $25 per vehicle to enter the park.) Right across the street, there is a breathtaking view of the canyons, that you MUST stop and see.

13767210_10210078931955726_730066070194404076_o

13737593_10210078939395912_5846769576205561928_o

13724855_10210078936355836_9068979376513993264_o

Canyonlands National Park consists of 337,598 acres of truly breathtaking canyons! The entire park is divided into four districts, Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and Horseshoe Canyon.  The view in the pictures above is on Island in the Sky.

13710568_10210078931195707_7561068586848742840_o

13708400_10210078961556466_5655154065815007943_o

13732044_10210078959556416_2112784853318863644_o

13698254_10210078927675619_7305941562512448277_o

13767333_10210078968996652_1763629663493563495_o
The Green River

13730950_10210078938115880_2927433541320141336_o

13731995_10210078833793272_6626816910916773830_o

After snapping some pictures, we decided to hike the Mesa Arch trail, which is only 0.5 miles round trip. They recommend 30 minutes to enjoy everything, and it’s a short hike that leads to a cliff-edge arch.

13730813_10210078945676069_1816985717983958245_o

13735819_10210078947996127_7755005891107677545_o

13708192_10210078967156606_4924106147049394006_o

We were in awe of the views that constantly surrounded us. We decided to drive around the park and stop at some overlooks for more pictures. This was such an interesting park because it had those coppery red-toned rocks with arches, and then it also had very white, sandy buttes in another area.

13731968_10210078770351686_2821607533283574039_o

13734960_10210078768591642_2087614516843847953_o

13717453_10210078762391487_4550247310155486925_o

13708163_10210078762191482_4987549024177393821_o

13701127_10210078765031553_8684072509663300722_o

13691169_10210078771151706_4524764512080530435_o

13738173_10210078979756921_43485884862853993_o

13737626_10210078935875824_3650334148055608038_o

Once we were finished exploring Canyonlands, we headed towards Capitol Reef National Park.

13735558_10210078988117130_6281574811350646532_o

13737491_10210078989117155_1256079819900047833_o

13680348_10210078988637143_5795288659458626260_o

It only costs $15 per vehicle to enter this park because it’s not as popular as the others and there isn’t as much to do. There are a few trails, but it’s mostly a very long scenic drive.

13737519_10210078989717170_943517958640538770_o

13731967_10210078994557291_5489833698514620311_o

 

13700991_10210078990837198_6189214542330208069_o

The famous Capitol Dome in the picture above looks so similar to the US Capitol building, that it inspired the name of the Capitol Reef National Park.

13717265_10210078992957251_8356440744165885832_o.jpg

13701136_10210078993597267_7082802457690687942_o

13701185_10210078990117180_3258330353449794674_o

13734937_10210078987397112_8004880303452816131_o

13735751_10210078991717220_483691281724779956_o

Carvings and paintings that date back to 300 to 1300 CE, can be found on the rock walls. This shows that people used to call this place home a very long time ago. We got to see some of them, but forgot to take a picture…oops!

13767322_10210078973836773_1496840234907795274_o

Nobody knows why there is a giant crater in the rocks, from the picture above. They think either something hit it years ago, or there used to be a body of water that has dried up.

13724984_10210078970436688_2577046165849780423_o

13723925_10210078972916750_752339734263010403_o

13724937_10210078980636943_2870856827995217085_o

13708410_10210078974916800_8571685470900412739_o

13717414_10210078977316860_6191594469670325030_o

13701060_10210078970916700_4431786217987561489_o

13701226_10210078971916725_4079231747107505554_o

13698027_10210078973196757_7474056770899730200_o

13710454_10210079003277509_8517865283815069636_o

As it was getting later in the afternoon, we headed out of the park to go find a place to camp and eat dinner. After comparing campgrounds within the area, we chose Wonderland RV Park, in Torrey UT.

13701144_10210078996717345_5523187820715393703_o

13710729_10210078995717320_7683238835976856348_o

Of all the places we camped during our trip, this was our absolute favorite. The staff was incredibly sweet and everything was extremely clean and well kept.

13661921_10210078996077329_5744782135649002332_o

 

The grass was so lush and green and they even had divider walls between each tent site. Their bath houses were the cleanest we’ve ever seen and they had entire shower rooms, which made you feel like you were in your own home. The best part? We only paid $26.50 to stay here. This was the cheapest AND nicest place! We cannot say enough good things about this campground!

After setting up camp, we ate at Slackers’s Burger Joint. The service was great and they had so many different options to choose from. We even got some ice cream for our scenic drive around Capitol Reef as the sun went down.

13738068_10210078999957426_6854925779520579474_o

13668912_10210079002957501_6137118304803343001_o

13735751_10210079002357486_8024950537654286650_o

We had a great day enjoying both Canyonlands and Capitol Reef together.

 

Arches National Park

DSC_0044

We had a really difficult time leaving the Grand Canyon Lodge after the perfect day we had before, but we needed to continue our trip by heading to another park. Due to the time difference, we woke up early and walked over to the “Saloon” to grab breakfast and coffee.

DSC_0042

This adorable cafe was filled with yummy coffee, tea, and pastries! Taylor ordered a huge homemade cinnamon roll and I got an iced vanilla latte. YUM!

DSC_0047

DSC_0048

DSC_0050.jpg

DSC_0056.jpg
Back in the day, they used mules like this to carry everything up and down the canyon.

We took our breakfast to the back porch of the lodge and sat in the rocking chairs overlooking the canyon. It was still fairly early, so everything was calm and peaceful. This was one of my favorite moments during the entire trip.

13690831_10210078758751396_4674456347866800053_n

13716037_10210078756591342_6868943841433820366_n

13680644_10210078755231308_4141582348859910853_n

After we were done eating and rocking, we reluctantly packed up our bags and headed towards Arches National Park. We had to leave early because Taylor wanted to take the scenic route. This was the longest drive we took during the entire trip, but it was easily the most beautiful. The views were so stunning that we had to stop several times alongside the road to take pictures.

DSC_0068.jpg
Leaving with a new rock! 😉

 

13669230_10210078754711295_7506171917337261806_n

 

DSC_0072.jpg

DSC_0075 (1).jpg

DSC_0076 (1).jpg

To pass time during our long ride, we turned on some comedy podcasts and started dreaming of ideas for the wedding!

DSC_0082.jpg

DSC_0084 (1).jpg

DSC_0087 (1).jpg

It’s easy to feel small driving through mountains like this for several hours.

DSC_0090 (1).jpg

DSC_0092 (1).jpg

DSC_0094 (1).jpg

13726862_10210078829873174_2144345752965730408_n

DSC_0095.jpg

DSC_0097 (1).jpg

DSC_0098.jpg

DSC_0099 (1)

After 8 hours of driving, we finally made it to Arches National Park!! As soon as we arrived, we headed straight for the visitor center so we could fill up on water and find a map. Out of all the trails, we decided that we wanted to hike the Delicate Arch and pack our dinner for the sunset. Before we could start hiking anywhere, we had to find somewhere to set up our tent.

DSC_0113 (1)

DSC_0110 (1)

DSC_0112 (1)

DSC_0114 (1)

We chose to stay at the Moab Valley RV Resort and Campground for $33. It was located right outside the park, and was a great place to stay!

DSC_0106

They have RV hookups, cabins, and tent spots along with an in-ground pool, WIFI, and a nice bath house! And, if you’re looking to spend a few nights in Arches, they also have premium sites for tents that have a huge tent shading you! This way, your belongings don’t bake in the desert sun all day long. We were only going to be here one night and it was already late afternoon, so we didn’t need a premium spot.

DSC_0105 (1)

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at this campground! The staff was super helpful and friendly! They even had complimentary coffee. 🙂 Once we set everything up, we packed our dinner and headed to the Delicate Arch trail.

DSC_0109 (1)

13709934_10210078802472489_3086233988135540294_n

The trail is 3.0 miles round trip and they recommend giving yourself 2-3 hours to complete it. It’s also rated as a “strenuous” hike, but after our hike in Zion the day before, this was a walk in the park.

DSC_0116 (1)

DSC_0117

Most of the hike is on slick rock and you really have to watch your footing. Since there is no shade in the desert, starting this hike in the evening was perfect!  We began around 5:30 as the sun was beginning to set. One of the biggest mistakes we made the day before was starting the hike at noon!

DSC_0119

DSC_0118 (1)

DSC_0122

DSC_0124

DSC_0125

DSC_0126 (1)

DSC_0127

DSC_0128 (1)

DSC_0129 (1)

DSC_0133 (1)

DSC_0135 (1)

DSC_0136 (1)

DSC_0141 (1)

It was so windy when we made it to the top that we were afraid we would blow over if we stood for too long!

DSC_0143 (1)

DSC_0145 (1)

After enjoying the view for awhile, we began our hike back to the bottom.

DSC_0146 (1)

DSC_0148 (1)

DSC_0149 (1)

When we made it to the car, we drove to another trail so we could eat our sandwiches while watching the sunset.

DSC_0150 (1)

DSC_0151 (1)

DSC_0152

DSC_0155 (1)

DSC_0159

DSC_0162

DSC_0163 (1)

We hiked to the perfect overlook!

DSC_0166 (1)

DSC_0167 (1)

As soon as we were done eating, we headed back to the car. Now, here’s where things get interesting. While we were walking back, a small rabbit moved to the right of me and it scared the daylights out of me! A few minutes later, I spotted several deer in some bushes directly in front of us and I was completely terrified! Taylor just laughed at me, but I think it was because my heart was still pounding from the rabbit incident.

DSC_0170 (1)

Once we made it back safely to the car, Taylor really wanted to park the car and look at the stars. Arches is one of the best places to do this because it is so far away from any light pollution. I wish we could’ve captured it on our camera, but you’ll have to take my word for it. There were several other cars stopped alongside the road, just so they could look up.

Next up in the Mighty 5, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef!!

Thank’s for following along! 🙂

Our Engagement Story!

On our first full day out west, we woke up early so we could go pick up our rental car from Hertz at the airport. We took a short Uber ride, and when we arrived we had no wait to pick up the car!

DSC_0094

DSC_0097

We rented a Nissan, Sentra for one week, which only cost us $260. The car worked out nicely for us because it came with unlimited miles and was great on gas mileage. We racked up over 1,500 miles on this trip so the unlimited miles was a huge plus! The only thing we wished that we could have changed, was the size. It didn’t offer a ton of space for our things, but we made it work. We would’ve loved something bigger and with four wheel drive for Taylor’s dirt road adventures.

Once we got our car, we headed toward Zion National Park (While of course stopping for coffee).  The views on the way were breathtaking and made the two hour drive fly by!

DSC_0099.jpg

DSC_0101.jpg

Once we arrived in Zion, we immediately bought an annual pass for all National Parks. Without the pass, it’s around $30 per park you enter, depending on the popularity. During our trip, we would be visiting 6 different parks, so it made total sense to purchase the annual pass for $80. Not only did we get our money’s worth for this trip, but we have all year to use it too!

image1

DSC_0110.jpgDSC_0107.jpg

We stopped at the visitors center to check out the maps and pick which trail we wanted to hike. We ended up choosing Angel’s Landing, which is one of the most popular hikes.

DSC_0109.jpg

DSC_0108.jpg

This ended up being the most strenuous hike we did during the entire trip. Not only was it our first day in the desert, but the altitude was so high, that it made it 10x harder. We would NOT recommend this hike for anyone with small children, injuries, or a fear of heights.

DSC_0113.jpg

DSC_0112.jpg

DSC_0114.jpgDSC_0116.jpg

DSC_0118.jpg

DSC_0120.jpg

DSC_0123.jpg

When you’re hiking to the top, you are constantly on an incline for several miles. There is nothing flat about this trail. We really had to push each other to make it to the top. Taylor said that we didn’t have a place to stay that night, so we were slightly pressed for time, but it was so hard not to take a water break every 10 minutes.

DSC_0126.jpg

DSC_0128.jpg

The picture below shows some of the switchbacks that you would have to climb. It was such a heartbreaker to turn a corner and see what you had to climb next, knowing you would need to zig-zag your way up there.

DSC_0130.jpg

DSC_0131.jpg

But by conquering the climbs, it resulted in every plateau offering a breathtaking view of the park below!

DSC_0138.jpg

DSC_0141.jpg

DSC_0142.jpg

DSC_0143.jpg

DSC_0168

DSC_0145.jpg

When we thought we made it to the top, we looked up and realized we still had about another hour to go. From where we stood, it was another 1.1 miles to the top! The hike was hard enough making it to where we stood, but the climb to angel’s landing included a very narrow path with only a loose chain to keep you from falling off a 1000 foot drop. No thank you!

DSC_0146.jpg

DSC_0147.jpg

At some points, the trail was only 3 feet wide! I wasn’t keen on heights, so Taylor agreed and said we should start heading back down the mountain. This should’ve been my first clue that he had other plans for the evening. On any normal day, he would’ve really dragged me up that hill.

DSC_0176

DSC_0151.jpg

DSC_0153.jpg

DSC_0156.jpg

DSC_0161.jpgDSC_0163

DSC_0165

At some moments, going down proved to be a little scarier than hiking up!

DSC_0166

Pictured below is the same picture as earlier, except this time we were standing at the top!  It was so relieving to look down rather than up.

DSC_0169.jpg

DSC_0171.jpg

thumbnail_IMG_3862

DSC_0174.jpg

The trail took us about 2+ hours total! Once we reached the bottom, we got back in the car and headed to our next destination.

DSC_0180.jpg

Taylor told me that we were going to Arches National Park and stopping for dinner along the way. I kept asking him if we were going the right way, but since I am the most directionally challenged person I know, I just assumed we were headed towards Arches. The drive was soooo long and I began to panic that we wouldn’t be able to find a place to camp. Taylor remind confident we would find something (probably hint number 2 for him having other plans for the day).

DSC_0190.jpg

DSC_0188.jpg

DSC_0189.jpg

DSC_0191.jpg

DSC_0192.jpg

DSC_0071

DSC_0193.jpg

After driving for what seemed like forever, we came to a little park entrance and I was very confused because I knew we weren’t in Arches. Then, Taylor told me, “Surprise!! We’re at the Grand Canyon!” I was super shocked because Taylor has never successfully surprised me with anything. I can usually figure him out.

DSC_0065.jpg

At this point, I immediately started asking a million questions, and he told me that he had booked a room at the Grand Canyon Lodge (North Rim) with dinner reservations at 9.

DSC_0194.jpg

The Lodge was absolutely beautiful and one of the coolest places we’ve visited. Not only were the views incredible, but everything was cozy and quiet. The lodge is only open from May 15 through October 15 because it’s almost impossible to get to once the colder weather arrives. It’s such a popular destination, that you have to make your reservations a year in advance. They open the dates for the following year every July. Taylor got really lucky because he called several times a week to see if anyone had cancelled. Finally, they told him that there was an opening for July 4, which was perfect!!

DSC_0195.jpg

DSC_0059.jpg

DSC_0210.jpg

DSC_0060 (1).jpg

DSC_0061.jpg

DSC_0199.jpg

DSC_0208.jpg

DSC_0207.jpg

DSC_0204

After checking in, we walked around and explored before getting ready for dinner. If you don’t want to stay in the lodge, you can book one of these cute cabins! Some even have porches with rocking chairs.

DSC_0040.jpg

Once we put all of our luggage in our room, we showered and changed for dinner. Taylor assured me that the dinner would be fancy since it was held in the lodge, so we both needed to dress nicely.

DSC_0215.jpg

DSC_0216.jpg

We had some time before our reservation, so we decided to watch the sunset over the canyon.

DSC_0197

DSC_0044

DSC_0225

DSC_0223.jpg

 

DSC_0227.jpg

Towards the end of the sunset, Taylor asked a young couple if they would mind taking our picture in front of the canyon. What I didn’t know, was that he had asked them to keep taking photos because he was about to propose.

DSC_0232.jpg

After they took our photo, Tay immediately got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!!

DSC_0233 (1).jpg

DSC_0235 (1).jpg

DSC_0253.jpg

DSC_0255.jpgDSC_0256.jpg

I was so happy and surprised and could not stop staring at the ring he pulled out!!

thumbnail_IMG_3865

We were so overjoyed and could hardly focus the rest of the night at dinner! Taylor put so much thought and effort into making the entire day and night special. We will never forget that moment and we will definitely be returning to the Grand Canyon Lodge for years to come!

DSC_0245

DSC_0246

Thank you for all the love and encouragement!! ❤

Ps dinner was amazing in the Grand Canyon Lodge restaurant and it was such a nice atmosphere in the rustic lodge!