Have you ever asked yourself where you can see Mormons wandering the street, hitchhikers trying to bump a ride, or where traffic is stopped so someone can herd Bison on an ATV? Well my friend then Utah is the place for you! Utah slowly crept to one of our top favorite states for possibly one of these reasons. Gretel and I explored southern Utah so technically we can’t speak for all of the state, but here is our top things you MUST see during your adventure:
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.
TIP: Make sure to stock up of snacks and water, and always try to keep your tank full if you are driving!
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. This is the town to definitely get situated before preparing for long road trips or strenuous hikes!
Check out the City of Hurricane to plan day trips or if you would like to spend the night in the area: Hurricane Official Website
Heading North then East towards Zion National Park is Route 9 which will have you traveling through towns with cute houses and lawns. Before reaching the entrance to the park you will enter the town of Springdale where you can pick up some souvenirs!
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.
ADMIRING THE COUNTRYSIDE
I know I know, I hear you saying “Seriously? This requires me to drive during my vacation?” Hear me out. One of the funnest 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!
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. Occasionally I believe there is a time and place for everything, so if you are in the mood let that Outlaw/Country music sound! Coming up with a playlist beforehand and bringing an AUX cord comes in handy!
LONE ROCK BEACH
It’s weird (to us) going to a beach that isn’t on a coast, but we were not disappointed! With it only being 10$ per car for the day at the beach that could easily be a little more than that for parking at a meter anywhere else! It’s called Lone Rock for, well, the singular rock that juts out of Wahweap lake.
After the road disappears 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 for those bladder shy folks. (Toilets are to be used regardless, please do not get fined or imprisoned for public indecency)
For more information click HERE!
ZION NATIONAL PARK
Zion has to be one of the coolest places either one of us has been. There are so many different hiking trails all around the park. After leaving the visitor center we would recommend picking up a map as well as figuring out where you would like the bus to drop you off.
TIP: If you are coming to your stop make sure to bring it up to the driver, our driver once missed where we wanted to get off and we had to back track!
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.
CAUTION: 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!
Now just because this is our list doesn’t mean we might have missed a few things! Comment down below if you think we nailed it, or if you are planning a trip and would like some advice!
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