47 Pictures from Hiking Out West

When you live an ocean away from your closest friends and family, you need to be creative with the ways you use vacation time, i.e. combine visits with vacation! And last week this was in the form of week long roadtrip rampage around the great out west. The itinerary went something like this:

And even though I lugged my camera all the way out there, like 90% of the photos were taken with my iPhone 6S. So here are 47 of my favorites!

Zion National Park

We started in Zion National Park, first hiking up Angels Landing, which was simultaneously exhausting/rewarding/terrifying. You trek your way up, with the last half mile requiring you to hold onto a chain to prevent you from falling off the steep cliffs on either side of you. Anyways, here’s us at the top, not dead.

Hiking Out West PhotoHiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

We also hiked an insy bit into the narrows, a potentially long hike upstream through narrow passages (though we cut ours short due to flash flood warnings).

Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

Anyone who’s followed along with my travel posts knows I’m not usually one for hotels, but when your travel buddy works for good ole corporate America and has hotel points to spare, you stay in the Springhill Suites!

Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

And any long/potentially deadly hike warrants pizza, namely the pizza from Zion Pizza & Noodle Co.

Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

Bryce Canyon National Park

Next stop was to Bryce Canyon National Park! There were some gorgeous lookout points here and a few trails worth piddling around in (like Mossy Cave Trail which led to a secluded little waterfall), but you won’t need more than a day.

Hiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

Grand Staircase-Escalante

From Bryce we made our way to Escalante, a small town that was the starting point for our most adventurous endeavor. We drove 26 miles down a bumpy dirt road towards the Peek-a-boo, Spooky, and Dry Fork slot canyons. Being in a two-wheel drive rental, we walked the last two miles, only slightly nervous about our lack of service and potential rattlesnake run-ins. From the trailhead, it was two-ish miles down into the canyons, where we explored and wiggled our way around the narrow canyons for a while.

Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

We got out of there before the inevitable afternoon monsoon struck (side note: were we the only ones to not know about these daily monsoons??)

Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

But the monsoons couldn’t stop us from playing around in the Coral Pink Sand Dunes on our way from Escalante to Page.

Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

We camped in both Bryce and Escalante. We considered camping out in the wilderness in Escalante (it’s allowed…and free!), but fear of snakes and other dessert critters (as well as a strong appetite for s’mores) brought us into the campgrounds in town.

Hiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

Page

Our last stop before Vegas was in Page, home to the infamous Antelope Canyons and Horseshoe Bend. Against the advice of our Airbnb host, who suggested we skip the overpriced Antelope Canyon and go to Canyon X instead, we did a tour of Upper Antelope. It was a bit crowded but still unlike any of the canyons we had seen so far.

Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

We also hiked down to Lake Powell for a mid-afternoon swim.

Hiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

Our Airbnb host was a wildlife rehabilitator, meaning he had animals tucked away all throughout his house. A big tortious, baby owl (though her size could fool you), loads of snakes and ferrets, and a scorpion!

Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

Dinner and drinks (or should I say, drinks with a side of dinner?) at El Tapatio!

Hiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

We head out of Page after two nights, driving around the Upper Rim of the Grand Canyon and swinging by a few view points on our way to Las Vegas. But after a week of exploring gorgeous, colorful, massively impressive canyons, we were all canyoned out. We snapped a few pictures and pushed on to Las Vegas.

Hiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

Las Vegas

What to say about Las Vegas…being two ladies who hate excessively spending money, let alone gambling with it, this might not have been our cup of tea. As we tried our luck at the penny slots, someone remarked “I mean, you’re not going to win. The most you can hope to “win” is a free drink, so just bet slowly”. We proceeded to nurse the free drinks brought around the casinos, gambling away our pennies and watching fellow gamblers lose much, much more.

Hiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

And with that, our great hiking out west trip was over! I flew to Atlanta for a few days to hangout with my grandpa and his dog (which entailed many hours of reading old cookbooks and magazines by the pool), then spent the weekend exploring Pittsburgh before flying back home to Holland.

Hiking Out West: Utah and ArizonaHiking Out West: Utah and Arizona

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Comments (5)

  1. Anouk says:

    OMG it looks amaaaaaazing! And love your penn state top! 😀

  2. Sheri K says:

    Great pics! Looks like you covered a lot of ground and got to see some beautiful caverns. That part about the daily monsoons would be good to know! And now, thanks to you, I do 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks Sheri! We sure covered a lot, it was gorgeous out there. Haha and glad I could warn someone else about the monsoons! Of course they were in the areas we choose to tent camp.

  3. Lexie says:

    Beautiful pictures. Love the huge turtle UR feeding. Looks like the both of you are having a great time. Thanks for sharing the photos

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks Lexie! I am now convinced my life won’t be complete until I own my own giant turtle 😛

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