Updated: Jul 24, 2022
This is a series that I'm excited to include in my blog while it is still developing. This series will include my specific trip experiences, as well as some of my favorite places I have seen, and things I have done while on these trips. All of these pictures were taken by me on my iPhone XR and edited using Lightroom + MyLifeasEva's presets.
I'm starting this series off with my most recent trip from July 2020. I flew out west for eight days and was able to make it to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.
Starting off the trip we flew into McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. While we did not spend much time in Nevada as it was not the main part of our trip, we did fly in early enough that we were still able to walk around the Vegas strip, see the water show at the Bellagio Hotel, and see some of the world famous Vegas casinos. Another cool place we got to see while in Vegas was an outdoor art exhibit called "Seven Magic Mountains" This is a man made, free, outdoor exhibit in the middle of a Vegas desert. The exhibit is part of the Las Vegas Art Museum, and I read they are trying to make it a permanent exhibit.
Straight from Seven Magic Mountains we headed over to our Airbnb in Kanab, Utah. Our first official day in Kanab (day 2 of the trip) consisted of going to Zion National Park, a place I have always dreamed of seeing.This is a must see if you are in Southern Utah. I loved how each point of the park held such a vast and different view. The hikes we went on were simple, yet had great views. My personal favorite view is the one I've attached below. Just sitting on the rock overlooking everything down below was so peaceful.
On day 3 we headed over to Bryce Canyon National Park, a definite contender for one of my favorite places I have ever traveled to. If you only get the chance to visit one of the National Parks in Utah, this would be the one I suggest! Of course I have seen Bryce Canyon in pictures, however, even looking back at the pictures I took it does not nearly do the beauty and vastness of the park justice. The red rocks are some like I've never seen before. On top of the beautiful color variations, the hoodoos and rock formations were some unlike any other place. We chose to do a moderate level hike which lasted about 2.5 hours and took us through the base of the canyon. After the hike, we drove a 20 mile scenic road and stopped at every viewpoint along the way. We ended the night attempting to watch the sunset from one of the overlooks, but unfortunately it started to storm right before sunset.
Day 4 we headed a short distance away from our condo and spent the morning at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Going into this day, I truly didn't know what to expect, and at first the hike seemed like nothing special, but once we reached the end of the trail, we ended on a giant open platform like area. Here we had amazing views of the rocks below, as well as a few small hoodoos. It ended up turning into a really cool hike, and I am definitely glad we included this in our itinerary.
Day 5 is when we had to rearrange some of our plans. originally we had planned to head down to Page, AZ for a tour of Antelope Canyon. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 this park was still closed, and we were unable to go on our tour. I was super bummed at first because this was one of the places I was really excited to go to, but we ended up finding slot canyons right near our condo at a place called Buckskin Gulch. The hike getting to the actual slot canyons was brutal as it was one of the hottest days, and the hike was long, however, once we actually arrived at the slot canyons it was amazing, and the temperature instantly dropped in the canyons. We were able to go right down into the canyons and walk through them for miles. Since I didn't get to go to Antelope Canyon, I am really glad we found this place as it was a great substitute.
Day 6 we headed down to Page, AZ about an hour south of our condo in Kanab and went to Horseshoe Bend. Ever since I was younger I have always had a "bucket list" of places and things I have wanted to see, and Horseshoe Bend has been on that list since the first time I saw a picture of it, and it DEFINITELY did not disappoint! The walk to the classic viewpoint was quick and easy, and once we got there we were able to go up on the rocks and view the Colorado River down below from a few different angles. The view here was so surreal, and even looking back at the pictures I took, it still doesn't seem real. I truly didn't realize how high up we actually were until my cousin pointed out the kayakers down below and how small they were.
Most of our Day 7 was spent driving the 4.5 hours to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and settling into our lodge once we got there. We were able to take a quick walk at night and watch the sunset from one of the viewpoints, and if anyone knows me, I'm a sucker for a good sunset.
Day 8, our last full day of the trip, we spent the entire day hiking around the Grand Canyon. We chose a moderate trail that took us down into the canyon. We did not go the full loop, as it started getting later in the morning, and we decided it would be best to head back up while we still had enough energy and water. I'm definitely glad we turned around when we did, because even though I am in pretty good shape and had plenty of water, the change of air thinness made the hike back up rather difficult. I definitely had to stop and catch my breath a few times, but ultimately the views were so worth it. After the hike, we spent the remainder of the day going to a few overlooks and viewpoints, and went on one last hike around the rim after dinner.
Day 9 we headed back to Las Vegas, NV and embarked on our 12+ hour journey back to PA. This has been by far one of my favorite trips I have ever been on, and I am so thankful and proud that I was able to work hard enough to make this possible for myself. Thanks for reading, and remember, there's always more to be explored!
*All pictures taken on my iPhone XR