Utah was one of the first trips Gretel and I took together, and before 1 month of dating we had plane tickets and suitcases in our hands to head out West on a road trip.
Being on the East Coast of the United States has us surrounded by trees, deer, and a lot of houses with white picket fences.
If we knew that there was so much beautiful land to explore, mountain goats running down at you from a cliff, and stopped traffic so that a guy can herd Bison on an ATV? Well we would have been gone a lot sooner!
I love road trips because since you are stuck with a person in a confined space for hours on end, you really get to learn a lot about them! We also got to explore together which made it so much better. Plus, every time we saw a town we screamed “civilization!!”
HURRICANE VALLEY & SMALL TOWNS
Hurricane Valley, the city of Hurricane, dubs themselves as the focal point for all of the national parks in the area. There are a bunch of stores and restaurants in the area for you to prepare yourselves for further road trips. What we did (although it was expensive but very worth it) was rented a car during our trip. That also meant we could stop off the side of the road when we wanted to take in the view!
Make sure to stock up of snacks and water, and always try to keep your tank full if you are driving! We did n’t know what to expect so we were always prepared!
We stopped by a food market and made sure that we were always stocked on water and snacks. Keeping are goodies in the trunk of the car kept them cool in the dry desert heat, even the bananas seemed to stay yellow. Since there was a change in air pressure while driving we almost had a bag of chips explode on us as well!
Besides the impending chip-tastrophe bringing a backpack full of water and snacks allowed us to hike longer and further.
Heading Northeast towards Zion National Park wass Route 9 which will have you traveling through a lot of cute little towns with a few restaurants and souvenir shops! One of our most memorable moments was when we were driving for more than a few miles of rock and land and spotted a town in the distance.
As we got closer we realized that the only retail store was a dollar store and the rest was residential, so we had to go into the next town in order to eat.We ate at one restaurant that we will never forget since the food made us sick and the service was terrible, but it was so ridiculous that we couldn’t help but laugh.
“Seriously? This requires me to drive during my vacation?” Hear me out. One of the best parts of the trip was driving to all of our locations. Since the land is a bit barren it was exciting to see that we were coming up to a new town, rock, or view that was different than the last. There are also a few places where you can pull off from the road to get some nice scenic views! Excuse the fire!
This is especially nice is you are driving through some of the parks where we witnessed ATV herding techniques, the infamous thumb sticking out once or twice, and a goat that ran down the side of a cliff only to stare at us in the middle of the road.
Grab some snacks, water, roll those windows down, and blast some music on your road to adventure. I was actually able to get Gretel to try some of the better outlaw country music out there! Coming up with a playlist beforehand and bringing an AUX cord comes in handy!
One road led us a little farther into Utah and if it was earlier in the day we may have stayed a bit longer to do some tanning!
LONE ROCK BEACH
It’s weird (for us) going to a beach that isn’t on a coast, but we were not disappointed! The parking should have been $10 for the car for the day but there wasn’t anyone at the post so we kind of just drove past…It’s fine! We only stayed for about 20 minutes! Even if we paid that would have been a good all day pass as meter parking can sometimes ring up a lot higher for an Atlantic Ocean beach.
It’s called Lone Rock for, well, the singular rock that juts out of Wahweap lake. Like who put that giant pillar in the middle of a lake? Probably aliens right? Well if they did it’s pretty cool!!
After the road disappears and stopping by the toll booth you have to off road a bit to get to the lake, but there are “pathways” that can be followed. It is also a campground so you may even see a long line of RV’s even before you come close to the beach. What is cool is that you don’t even need a reservation to camp and there are even toilets on site!
Although there are trees and deer at our next stop it was unlike any place we have ever been to, and a place where we would love to go back!
ZION NATIONAL PARK
Zion has to be one of the coolest places either one of us has ever been. There are so many different hiking trails all around the park that it was hard to pick which one! At the visitor center we recommend picking up a map as well as figuring out where you would like the bus to drop you off! Make sure to tell the bus driver where you would like to stop, the guy missed ours and we had to backtrack!
All the trails are rated in how long they are and how difficult, some being easier than others. We did the Kayenta Trail where we got an awesome view of the valley and it led to other smaller trails as well.
Do not underestimate the trails, it is best practice to double the amount of time stated if you are unfamiliar with the trail. Also remember that some of these trails can be life threatening and dangerous, so please be safe! One day we will make it back and hopefully take a lot more pictures!
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