Utah Road Trip

In mid August we met Aiden’s family in southern Utah to go on a road trip of some the Utah parks.

Day 1: We drove from Boulder, CO to Bryce Canyon. This was by far the longest driving day but we left early enough to make some fun stops along the way. Goblin Valley State Park is one of my favorite state parks and we decided last minute to stop there so Aiden could see the hoodoos. It is just such a unique place, I feel like the sandstone formations look like mushrooms and I love it! Next we drove through Capitol Reef National Park and stopped at the petroglyphs and some of the viewpoints. I loved just driving through the riverbed, it is so beautiful. We did not enter the other side of the park since we knew we were coming back on the way to Moab. We had an Airbnb in ____ for the night and they had some delicious fruit trees which was a great end to the day!

CE86FBAB-4A8C-4EE9-A8AC-47BA1F45C4AD
Driving through western Colorado
C9F15DAC-9504-40A1-9E54-56E590B96F0F
Goblin Valley State Park
AA255795-500B-472F-8122-1EC2896F2A7A
The hoodoos at Goblin Valley are amazing!
9E256A7F-C97D-4079-A2F3-288EAD03F4B4
More Goblin Valley Views
32EFACA0-A2C4-4489-8575-D172A12F2E0C
Capitol Reef Overlook

Day 2:  My absolute favorite national park is by far Bryce canyon. I think it is so underrated and just amazing! We spent most of they hiking through the valley and up along the rim. We ate lunch at the lodge (not my favorite but they had a couple really delicious dishes). Late afternoon we drove to Escalante Petrified Forest State Park to meet up with Aiden’s family. There is a big reservoir that is perfect for swimming and paddle boarding. We did hike through the park and the petrified logs are super interesting and cool looking but I highly recommend doing it in the early morning. It was so so hot (a jump in the lake really helped though!). After hiking we headed to the Slot Canyon Inn which was absolutely amazing. The property is stunning and there are lots of animals. The views are so pretty! We got the best sunset views during dinner at their restaurant, North Creek Grill (the pizza was the absolute best I have had in a while). They even have petroglyphs just on their cliffs.

1F5369B3-DB92-453C-A8EE-63972410D592
Bryce Canyon National Park, headed up to Sunrise Point
0BAC6D1B-DF71-46D5-934A-DC221FB7DCB6
The views from Bryce Point (totally unreal)
A1B1353C-D6E1-401A-B2DE-B9AA4C37CED2
Our hike from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point, through the valley
2434C69A-E7B0-4E8A-A9EB-4D4BED9C8C48
Driving to Escalante Petrified Forest State Park
E6508538-B694-41E2-A435-DE6E22D4E9A5
Reading by the lake at Petrified Forest State Park
703C8A7E-8F0B-4188-8CA3-57AF2AD05AB5
Taking a break from the heat on a petrified log
8F792157-8C9D-40EA-8B68-9D2A5B9DAD80
The amazing pizza at North Creek Grill
22725AEF-481E-4105-A4CE-01DCAB837906
Plum and apricot lemonade added the incredible meal!

Day 3: We started the day with a delicious breakfast at the Inn then headed out to hike to the Lower Calf Creek Falls. I wasn’t sure what to expect but we got to the top (after a long and hot hike) and it was definitely worth it. The water is freezing but I had to go for a swim anyways! It is a 5.5 mile hike roundtrip and not that difficult as far as terrain goes, but bring lots of water since it is so hot. The next stop was driving the Burr Trail in Boulder, UT. There was almost no one there and the views were, in my opinion, just as interesting and beautiful as Capitol Reef (and way less people). We ended the day with dinner at Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm which I 10/10 recommend. There carrot puree was amazing and they had an ice cream s’more dessert that was to die for. We drove from Boulder, UT to Teasdale up over the mountains and it was like nothing I have seen before. I think that drive was my favorite part of the whole trip. It is this gorgeous hike mountain range that looks down into the dessert and cliffs of Utah. It is indescribable. We stayed the night at The Muddy Duck Bed and Breakfast which is nestled up against some cliffs and looks over the rest of the valley (so beautiful and the kindest host).

B3345B10-835F-4F75-9049-5F84DA610A1A
The friendliest cat joined me at Slot Canyon Inn
B6C8DF9E-DC43-4467-9F9F-6E875078C59D
Driving Burr Trail
860F7518-C228-40F7-94E3-9E6BAB8BD496
S’more Sunday at Hell’s Backbone Inn & Grill
A55ED748-6FB0-4567-BED5-A0BDBA9BADB3
Driving through the high mountains to Teasdale

Day 4: We drove through Capitol Reef on our way to Moab but this time we explored a little more and went on hike. We drove down the scenic drive (absolutely beautiful) and through the gorge on a dirt road. It is crazy how narrow it gets, you are basically driving in the riverbed. We hiked along the Gorge trail from there to further enjoy the views. Before heading out we stopped for pie at the Gifford House. It is strange there are some orchards and the old town nestled right in the gorge. We drove on to Moab, stopping in Green Rive to buy melons. There is a local melon stand at one of the gas stations and they have a big variety of different melons. In Moab we checked into our Airbnb (a lovely house right in town). We walked to Miguel’s Baja Grill for dinner and then browsed Back of Beyond Books (of course).

684C1012-9F28-49EC-9CAA-24F92BAD51F4
Morning views at the Mucky Duck
B3DBA1C9-CF84-4923-9FE0-E9087C9154EB
Driving to Capitol Reef
F90EA155-BE9C-482D-B9EB-D061451FC3DB
Gorge Trail in Capitol Reef
1DC12EE7-A99A-4E2C-BD79-26B9913FA887
More Gorge Trail views

M

A0910AC7-8838-413A-B91C-33D5C6E18D8C
Walking home from dinner in Moab
8F559CC3-3B2F-4FAE-A116-6BA98F600F1B
Getting my book fix at Back of Beyond Books

Day 5: We grabbed some breakfast burritos from Love Muffin Cafe (which are seriously delicious, the locals burrito is my favorite) before heading to Canyonlands National Park. We spent the day exploring different areas of the Island in the Sky area of the park. There are some gorgeous overlooks and short hikes totally worth checking out. We did the Mesa Arch hike and hiked along the rim at Grand Point Overlook. My biggest recommendation for this part is to get a four wheel drive car (or rent an off road jeep) because there are a ton of amazing dirt roads to explore, with way less people on them. Next we headed to Dead Horse Point State Park. The views here are totally worth it and different from Canyonlands. You can see beautiful views of the rivers and the salt flats. For dinner we went to Zaks in Moab, they have great buffet deal with the best bear cheese soup I have ever had.

E8BD55B8-AFAF-4CC4-AB85-E282FD188FFE
Dead Horse Point State Park views of the river
746E3ECC-2302-4D21-B939-376F29F14AAA
Salt flats views from Dead Horse Point State Park
A5EEE9F2-7F1B-4D1C-B31C-A1BB20C608BC
Canyonlands viewpoint
81E6E1C6-C97F-43BA-B10F-D3E519F7BD29
Grand Point Overlook in Canyonlands National Park

Day 6: Our final full day in the parks was spent mostly at Arches National Park. We have been here before so we still only spent half day here but it is definitely a cool place to visit. This time we hiked in the Devil’s Garden area, checking out Tunnel and Pine Tree Arches. We also went to the viewpoints for Delicate Arch so Aiden’s family could see it. In general my favorite area in Arches is the Window’s Section, there is so much to see! We walked around the shops in Moab for part of the afternoon (I recommend Moab Made, everything they carry is locally made and so interesting/unique). For dinner we headed to Sunset Grill for beautiful views and delicious food. It was definitely my favorite restaurant in Moab (the French Onion Soup and Chocolate Mousse were my favorites, of the things we ordered).

0FFBEA76-B6AC-4E5C-8C2A-E48C5219FA38
Pine Tree Arch
5F9419A6-A7D8-42EE-AC01-EC19DE2BCB02
Starting our hike in the Devil’s Garden area
F704CD25-8F76-47F9-A830-E5BA793C3D1B
A mojito while watching the sun set at Sunset Grill

I can’t recommend a Utah parks trip enough. They all have such unique landscapes and rock formations. Let me know if you want any more recommendations and/or trip advice! Thanks for reading!

Happy Sunday!

Erin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s