Our big summer trip this past year was to the “Wild West”. My husband loves the western area of our country and I had never been to many of the places in the Southwest, so we chose to do a road trip to the area.
We landed in Las Vegas early in the morning, picked up our rental and immediately began our adventure! I had so many places I researched and wanted to go on our trip. First, we took the scenic route through Lake Mead NRA and drove to the Valley of Fire state park in Nevada. The Valley of Fire is one of the top state parks in the U.S. to visit and was beautiful. Unfortunately, it was the heat of the day when we decided to do some hikes, and it was HOT. I almost didn’t make it through our hike, a simple 1.5-mile round-trip, due to the heat. There are signs in the park to avoid hiking during midday due to extreme temperatures, but of course, we figured it was such a short hike we wouldn’t be affected. Wrong! But, we made it back to the car, turned the AC up and drank plenty of water to cool down on our way to Utah.
Did you know Utah has FIVE national parks? Coming from Louisiana, where there’s not even one National Park, it was pretty tempting to visit. Originally, we were set on going to the Grand Canyon and planned our trip around that. As we had to go through Utah on the way to the North Rim, we decided to include Zion Nat’l Park in our trip. I’m SO glad we did!
We spent an evening in St. George, to recover from our day of travel, using a Groupon to stay at a local hotel for cheap. The next day we left bright and early, after enjoying our hotel’s free continental breakfast of course. We headed to the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center entrance to Zion Nat’l Park.
We stopped at the visitors center before enjoying the scenic five-mile drive up the mountains. At the top we did a short hike to the Timber Creek Overlook, giving us our first view over Zion National Park. If you have time I would absolutely recommend visiting this side of the park! It was much quieter and very few people when we visited, which compared to the main Zion Canyon section was wonderful.
After a morning at Kolob Canyon, we headed to the Zion Canyon section of the park. After stopped at Wal-Mart to load up on camping groceries, we checked into our tent campsite at Watchman Campground, site D35.