Iron like Lion In Zion...and surrounding areas
We planned to leave Phoenix around 9am, slowly make our way out of town to Flagstaff, then get into Page, Arizona around 3pm at the latest. The departure time was delayed several hours (due to reasons coming soon), but we finally made it out the down and on our way!
We got into Page around 9pm after stopping at REI and Pita Jungle in Flagstaff, got water at Wal-mart, then headed straight for Lone Rock Beach. Since I was a newborn, my family and I have come up here to camp for a week every year, so I knew my way around. We drove close to the water, and let the sand choose our spot for us. The number of stars in the sky were amazing, every single one came out to greet us. I was more concerned about getting to sleep, and not setting up our tent in the blowing sand. The next morning, with a little pushing we drove out, and headed to Antelope Canyon.
This. Was. Amazing. If you’re ever in the area, or have a couple hours to kill I HIGHLY recommend coming out here. We had to wait about an hour from getting our tickets to starting the tour, then once our group was set to go, we waited another 30 minutes to wait to go into the canyon. Our guide was friendly and we could tell he enjoyed it, so that helped pass the time. Once we were down in the canyon, after a couple steep sets of stairs it was gorgeous. The light bounces off the walls, filling the small canyon with oranges and reds. As we looked up those oranges and reds extended up to the sky hints of purples in the shadows. Our guide said, “if your neck doesn’t hurt at the end of this tour, you did it wrong”, which I fully agree with. The tour lasted about an hour and I ended up with about 200 photos. Each step offered a new perspective, and one curve would offer a whole new perspective 5 steps later, like flowing water. We stepped out to the canyon, and came out into the desert close to the parking lot. That was one place I can now check off my bucket list! Next stop: Horseshoe Bend!
I will never get over the view and scale of this place. Walking up to the edge and looking out into the canyon, you get a true sense of how small you are….and how afraid of heights one can be. We managed to go in the middle of the day, so it was nice and hot (that was sarcastic…I can’t handle the heat like I used to). Looking out into the canyon, my girlfriend and I got some great shots and were left in awe. With half the day remaining, we needed to get on the road to Zion, so we headed into Page, grabbed some burritos, and got on the road.
Zion National Park
Growing up in Arizona, I’ve been to the Grand Canyon, maybe 2 times? And finally went to Sedona for the first time a couple years ago...this place reminded me of a Grand Canyon/Sedona lovechild. The high rising Grand Canyony cliffs, coupled with the Sedona-y red rocks drew me to this conclusion, but the energy of this place was uniquely Zion. The first night we camped outside the park because we got to the park a little too late in the evening, and all the campsites were full. The next morning we made the effort, got up early, and headed to the South Campground to wait for a camping spot to open. Lesson learned from this? Get there early! We waited at least 2 hours for a spot, and since check out time was 11am, people weren’t rushing to beat this deadline. After this long awaited entrance, and 1 full bladder, we got a spot, set up camp, went to the bathroom, then headed into Springdale for lunch at Cafe Soleil.
We skipped doing a hike, that day since I was starting to come down with something, but sure what it was but I was knocked out in our tent for a solid 2 hours. That night it rained ALL night, soaked through the fly and ended up dripping on our sleeping bags a bit. So that was fun to wake up to, time to look into a new tent! We woke up to a morning full of fog in the mountains, and overcast skies, which i absolutely love. Today we were motivated to get out and hike, so i popped some sinus meds I got from the market, tied my hiking boots and put on a jacket and headed out to Kayenta Trail. We followed this all the way to the waterfalls, and Emerald pools, capturing the clouds and mountains. A moderate hike, that took about hour, since were stopping along the way to take pictures and just to look around. Find out more about the hike here. Our final day, we woke up around 9, packed out all our gear, and headed back through Flagstaff, and back in time for dinner! This was definitely a trip I wont forget, I mean….Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Zion National Park all in a week? Amazing!