In just four days me and my ladies went from CA, through Nevada and Arizona, all throughout Utah and back.
HERE'S HOW WE DID IT:
DAY ONE: Zion National Park
Z I O N
Our alarms went off at 4:30 A.M.-- we rolled outta bed, threw our stuff in the car and hit the road. We made the mistake of staying up until midnight eating food in the kitchen. Were we all running on four hours of sleep? Yeah. Do we have any regrets? HELL NAH.
Our plan was to start in South Utah and make our way up. First stop: ZION!
If you've ever been to Zion, you would know that it is huge. There are so many different trails you can hike, and so many different sights to see.
After driving for six hours, we threw our bags in the hotel, changed, and hopped on the next bus which took us to the trailhead we were looking for. We decided to do the hike to the emerald pools. How did I find this hike, you ask? Well, on Pinterest after typing in "Zion hikes" I clicked on the pin that appealed to me the most: "10 Utah Hikes So Easy Your Grandma Could Do Them". TA-DA, thats how we ended up there!!!! Because THAT'S what I like to hear!!!!
Here's the thing. There are three levels of the emerald pools (lower, middle, and upper). The pin that I found on Pinterest which told me this hike was so easy that my grandma could do it, was referring to if you only hiked to the lower emerald pools. SO, friends, we did that. In Aub's mind, I thought we were going to hit the lower pools and then turn around real quick..BUT, my wonderful, fantastic friends wanted to keep going..SO WE KEPT GOING. Honestly, my grandma would probably be able to hike to the lower pools..but probably a HARD pass on the middle and upper. I WILL say that we saw some families and their little kids doing this hike...so use that to judge it however you will.
I am so grateful my wonderful friends encouraged my lazy self to keep going in the hike. It was so beautiful. The pools of water appear emerald in color because of the algae content in the water. I highly encourage going through every level of the pools. I think what made it the most difficult for us was the heat since we came in the middle of the summer.
After leaving the hiking back from the emerald pools, we explored a little town at the foot of the park and had good conversation over pasta dinner + ice cream (you know, just promoting health and wellness). To wrap up our day, we hopped into the hot tub at our hotel and watched the sunset within Zion. WHAT A DREAM. WHAT A TEAM.
DAY TWO: Kanarraville
Day two started BRIGHT + EARLY, NO SLEEPING IN ON THIS ROADIE. This UT gang goes hard. After rolling out of bed, we had breakfast and then hit the road to make our way up to Salt Lake City. The drive up is about four hours, and on the way we made a pit stop in a little town called Kanarraville. Kanarraville is a hidden gem, lemme tell ya. It's the quaintest little town, but hidden within it's trails is the most beautiful hike I've ever been on.
The trail is about 5 miles round trip. It's called the Kanarra Creek Trail, which starts off on dry land and ends up taking you through a creek in ankle deep water. I'm not going to lie, your girl did NOT think she was going to make it. About an hour in I was very much considering turning around and meeting up with my gang after. The heat + hills was not boding well with me..THANKFULLY I kept going.
Once you get to the water portion of the hike, it's really a piece of cake. The distance you are walking is still long, but since you are taking your time and wading through cold water, it doesn't feel like a thing. Eventually after passing through bushes and trees surrounding the creek, you'll begin to walk into and through beautiful slot canyons--red rock standing tall all around you with fresh water rushing by your feet. California hikes are so lame compared to this.
Once we got to the ladder within the trail, the end of our hike was marked. Eventually, the creek will lead you to a small waterfall with a ladder that takes you up and further into the slot canyons. The traffic is one way, so that one ladder is the only way you can get up and down. The line to try and get on it was probably 45 minutes long since both ways had a lot of people waiting. We had somewhere to be up near SLC, so unfortunately the gang had to turn around.
All together, the hike up to that waterfall and ladder took us about three hours to get there and back to the car (because SLOW N STEADY WINS THE RACE). You have to pay around $10 for parking at the foot of the trail, and there's also a little station where you can wash off your feet, buy some Kanarraville merch, and fill up your water bottle. There are also portable bathrooms if you need one. The gang got some stickers, washed off, and hopped back on the road to Salt Lake City!
DAY TWO, part two!
A dear friend of mine and his family invited us over for dinner + good chats that night at their home in Utah, so after driving about 3 more hours, we made it to the hotel in SLC and cleaned up a bit before heading over!
A pro tip: bring card games and catch phrase with you wherever you go. WHEREVER YOU GO! I promise, you will not regret it. Anyways, the sight of a home cooked meal almost made all of us cry. We filled our bellies and played catch phrase and laughed and had more good conversation to end day two. What a time to be alive.
DAY THREE: Salt Lake City + Provo Canyon & Sundance
S U N D A N C E
LAST NIGHT!! WAH!! Our initial plan was to spend day three by doing church + brunch and exploring down town salt lake. Welp, we forgot that, like, all of Utah is mormon, so Sundays in Utah are kind of dead. We tried walking around down town and I think we saw maybe one other person outside while trying to find some places to go. So that was a fail.
BUT! While at dinner, we were told about Sundance which is in Provo canyon. It's a ski resort, and apparently, they were having free live music. After an hour of wandering around aimlessly in DT SLC, we drove about an hour inland to Sundance.
Sundance was sooo sweet. We got there, parked the car and wandered around the resort a bit before finding the ski lifts and buying some tickets to take a ride. We took the ski lift up and had MORE good chats while cruisin' over Provo canyon. So good. The ski lift was only going half way up the mountain that day, so we got off and snapped a few photos before heading back down.
Once our ride on the ski lifts was over, we were welcomed back with live bluegrass. What. Is this real life. Pretty sure it isn't. BUT IT WAS-- and we layed out our blankets and sprawled in the middle of this canyon while listening to Michelle Moonshine serenade us with some good ol' bluegrass music.
We drove back to SLC through Provo canyon with the windows down, sticking our faces out the windows and blasting gooooood tunes (Posty, Harry Styles, The Lumineers, you know). And that, friends, was the end of our trip. We rested up and woke up once again the next morning bright and early and trekked home on a 10 hour drive.
The Utah roadie was a 10/10, would HIGHLY recommend to all. There's so much more that we want to go back for--but four days allowed for plenty of time to do so many fun things. Zion is only a 6 hour drive from Southern California, I would highly recommend making a weekend trip if anything if you have the time!! Our little gang decided on staying in some hotel rooms instead of camping because there was enough of us to cut the cost down on the rooms--but lemme tell ya, it was pretty cramped up in there. We made it work.
So, Utah, until next time ;)