This February Nathan and I decided we wanted take a “babymoon” road trip to Arizona and Utah. We love to travel and explore new places together and wanted to take last trip with just the two of us. First of all, we discovered that February is a wonderful month to take a road trip out west, for a variety of reasons. The weather was in the 60’s for us during the day which was great for hiking and the parks were not as busy as in their peak season in the summer. Also a lot of motels have lower prices during the off season and we were able to find some pretty good deals. We had many roads and trails all to ourselves which was pretty cool.
Our first stop was Page, AZ. With the popular places like Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend I expected Page to be more of an established/built up town, but it was quite small, run-down etc. A lot of the land in Page is owned by the Navajo Indians and you have to get a permit to access some of the sites.
Page area is famous for its slot canyons, most notably Antelope Canyon. However Antelope is super touristy and pricey to get into. We found one called Waterholes Canyon near Horseshoe Bend which was about 1/8 of the price and did not see a single person during our whole hike through it. The further you went into the canyon the narrower and steeper the walls got. The floor of the canyon is like a soft sand. It made for a really cool/ peaceful hike.
Horseshoe bend had been on my list to go to for a while. This was probably the busiest place we went to this trip, but there is something really astounding about the view. Both of us agreed it was much more massive than we thought it would be. Nathan and I were able to go at sunset time which was really beautiful. For those of you that take pictures, I was definitely glad to have a wider lens for horseshoe bend, it was hard to get a picture of the full view without it.
The next day we travelled to Zion National Park. The word that comes to mind for Zion is majestic. It literally has some of the tallest, grandest, cathedral like mountains and rock structures I’ve ever seen. Driving through the park we couldn’t even see the tops of the mountains without getting out of the car. We did do one fairly difficult, steep hike called Angels Landing. The view is really beautiful you can see down what looks like a long hallway of mountains from the top. We also drove through the rest of the park which is quite impressive in itself. Court of the Patriarchs, and Temple of Sinawa were really neat. Again I was really happy to have a wide angle lens for Zion, I ended up leaving it on the whole time we were there with how grand all of the mountains were. We had planned on trying the Narrows, but with the water level and water temperature we weren’t able to.
The following day we went to Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce is only about an hour and a half from Zion but has completely different geographical features and a totally different feel. The main view point of Bryce is called the amphitheater–essentially a huge valley of bright orange hoodoos (the tall finger like rock structures). There are multiple trails down into the canyon. We took Queens Garden trail to Sunset point and then walked back a long the East Rim trail. Whereas in Zion the structures are tall and majestic, in Bryce the views are more vast and expansive. Both are so incredible. I especially liked seeing the snow throughout Bryce Canyon, everything looked so pretty. Bryce is not impressive to drive through, you pretty much have to get out and hike a bit to see the views, whereas Zion is pretty impressive from your car. After three days of hiking I felt pretty worn out, especially being pregnant, but I was able to do a lot, we just went a bit slower and took a few more breaks than I would have otherwise.
I really felt in awe of God’s splendor and glory in the things he has created on this trip and we also both felt really blessed to live within driving distance to all of this beauty out west.
“In His hands are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also.” Psalm 95:4