Where do I even begin?! Utah and Arizona are AMAZING!!! Another suicide trip in the books! We make the most of every minute when you travel with me! We flew to Vegas on Thursday night, (again!) and drove all night straight to Arizona. I actually took a few minutes to stop and take a pic of the Vegas sign this time while waiting on my girls to get in on their flight from Colorado. Its smaller than I thought LOL, but still worth the quick shot.
Our plan was to drive all night and watch the sunrise at Horseshoe Bend, about 4 hours from Vegas… What a beautiful spot! There were quite a few in the parking lot before sunrise, and several photographers were getting set up. Its a short hike, probably not even a mile, super easy to get to. They are building an observation deck here, so some construction going on, I heard someone died falling off the edge the day before we got there. So if you go and are looking for that perfect insta pic, be careful! Spirit Hoods sent us the cool blanket!
My compass was pointing me straight to UTAH… the next stop. (Scenic States)
Can you spot me on the edge below?
We wanted to try and apply for a Wave permit, they let 10 go every day for walk ups (you must apply 3 months in advance for a regular permit, still a better chance of winning the actual lottery… just sayin’) , we knew this was a SLIM chance, and out of the 73 requests that day (153 people) we did not get lucky! Side Note: the speed limit is 65 in Utah and I most definitely got pulled over… I must have used all my luck there because I didn’t get a ticket LOL… Don’t speed through Utah!
My backup plan was Toroweap, or Tuweep. It sits 3,000 ft over the Colorado River and has some spectacular views of the Grand Canyon and Vulcans Throne (Cinder Cone) Its quite a drive out here, when you turn off the main road, its another 2+ hours on dirt roads and rough farm roads to get out there. A high clearance vehicle is needed and I suggest you pay attention if you want to make it out there. It is a park and you will be greeted by some rangers… where do they even live?! LOL. If you don’t have a high clearance vehicle you can probably still make it most of the way (weather dependent) and park in a designated area, but its a long walk from there to the cliffs.
This place is amazing and best of all NOT CROWDED, probably because not all vehicles can make it. You can get a permit ahead of time to stay over night in one of the camping spots here, this would be a cool spot to camp, you cannot get it at the rangers office, so plan ahead. There is NO water, NO service, and conditions can change very quickly… so think smart. We came from AZ 389 between Fredonia, AZ and St. George, Utah, it was a pretty good route. I found it on all trails too so I could load it in the GPS and navigate it without service.
It was soooo windy here!! I felt like I was in one of those hurricane arcade games with 50 mph winds lol. I am not afraid of heights, but this place made me nervous, I could feel the wind pushing me and I was sure it was going to push me right over the edge!
The next morning we had a tour of Lower Antelope Canyon, so we had to head back towards Page, AZ. We had decided we would be camping this trip, so I was looking for the best campground and came across Alstrom Point. Another 4×4 accessible area, about 2 hours from the highway on rough roads again, but was promised to be worth the trouble. It would be VERY easy to get lost out here, and although the roads “have names,” there is no way to even begin to tell what they are LOL. GPS loaded and we were off. We were watching the sunset on the drive out… that alone made it worth the drive to me!
Alstrom Point is on the Utah side and part of Lake Powell, you’re staying right on Gunsight Bay. Its a couple hours at least from Page, and I drive fast anyway LOL, but also have quite a bit of experience off road, if you don’t, be careful! We did end up getting a flat from this part of our trip, there is NO service and NO help, so just be prepared… because it was completely worth it!
This is BY FAR the best place I have ever woken up in my ENTIRE LIFE. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! Incredible dramatic cliffs, views of some of the house boats camping and their fires on the shore lines below, a faint glow from the town across the lake, a full view of the Milky Way, and more stars than you even thought imaginable. It was spectacular. We had this place all to ourselves, absolutely phenomenal. @thehikingmermaid got some cool star shots, I’ll post those when I get them.
We decided to get out of here pretty early, because we had to make the tour and when you’re spending your time crossing the border 100 times, you have absolutely no clue what time it actually is… be aware of this if you have to make it somewhere lol because our phones changed automatically about 20 times! We snapped a quick pick of the lake on the way out and we were outta here!
Antelope Canyon… worth it? Maybe! They said they get over 6,000 visitors A DAY!!! INSANE. I tend to enjoy less peopley places, but hey, we were here, only Morgan and I could get a ticket, we got the last two, two months ahead of time.I love slots and the red sand made for some great lighting, the tour was about an hour, straight through. Upper Antelope is an out and back trail, more famous from social media, whereas Lower Antelope Canyon is below ground and a straight through trail. Both are still insanely busy, but either one, you’ll see the canyons you’ve been searching for.
After Antelope, I wanted to get some more slots in, and there are hundreds of them that aren’t famous, so we decided on Buckskin Gulch. It was a little tricky to see where we should enter this trail as the Gulch is 25+ miles long, and only a few ways out. Make sure you check the weather, this is VERY important when you are in slot canyons. Flash floods are extremely dangerous and these canyons fill up fast! We passed several dead cows that had obviously drowned within the last week or so. We went in at Wire Pass, and hiked though to the T (the massive rock pictured below) and made a left, as the way to the right required some water navigation from the past rains. There is a slight drop down, about 10 ft that can be easy or hard to get down about a mile in, we thought about grabbing some rope but figured between the three of us, we could get everyone up and down. There is a way around it if you cant pass there, but I don’t think its easy in anyway. You can camp here with a permit, I would like to come back to do the full route and camp in the future.
I got to try out my climbing skills and navigate the river bed, this was my favorite place, and after the initial mile, I don’t think we passed anyone else. Once you get a couple miles in, it starts to look like the familiar Grand Staircase Escalante Park, with formations similar to the Wave in between where the canyons start again. Cactus was also in full bloom this May, which made the desert even more beautiful.
The next morning I wanted to hit Angels Landing, so we boosted it back to Utah, the girls had never seen Zion National Park, and well… if you haven’t been here, put it on your list.
Angels Landing is probably the most famous hike in Zion, besides the Narrows (see my post from June last year for that one!) Its not regulated and anyone can do it… which means its also ridiculously crowded. I usually hit up Utah with friends that have already done this hike, so I wanted to squeeze it in. I come back next month for some more technical stuff that requires a permit and I didn’t know when I would get a chance again to do this. We wanted to head up first thing, but had some technical difficulties LOL. Instead we spent an hour on the phone with Spirit Airlines just trying to fix flights so we could make it home. We ended up hitting the trail around 8… later than I wanted but still early enough, we hiked up quick, in about an hour… 1500+ ft of gain… so we were huffing LOL, but we didnt want to get stuck with the masses.
This hike is infamously known to take a few lives every year… one bad step and its over.
Chains help stabilize you on the rock and make it quite interesting when passing a fellow hiker.
But those views…. I can see why this is a crowd favorite, you have to do some rock scrambling and when you start up the spine, you’ll see even the toughest men crying in fear.
We got down a little slower than we got up, passing herds of people on the way up, this is for sure one to get up early for. I am shocked its not regulated because it could be incredibly dangerous. We passed hundreds of people on the way down and were quite happy to be leaving. As tradition goes… I had to stop by Meme’s to get a crepe… the best crepe in the whole world, I might add. Then we headed back to Vegas to catch the airplane. A little over 20+ miles of hiking, 800+ miles of driving, 3 states and not much sleep… but completely worth every minute!