10 days have passed since our last Vicaribupdate, but about 20 days worth of awesomeness has transpired. Strap in for a long ride through some amazing locations in Southern Utah. Highlights include Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, Goblin Valley State Park and Little Wild Horse Canyon. Little Known Fact: Southern Utah is the farthest south you can be and still be in Utah.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Last we spoke, we were in Zion National Park, focusing on wet and tall hikes. After Zion we made our way up to Bryce Canyon National Park, but before actually making our way into the park, we found a fantastic, wonderful, gorgeous, free, super-LTE camp spot where we set up for three nights without seeing another soul. Here we recharged our batteries (the ones in our bodies) and cranked out some real work and blog content while simultaneously relaxing, tanning (burning) on the roof and enjoying fires and wine.
After that nice break from driving, hiking, spending money and such, we headed the 20 minutes towards Bryce Canyon National Park proper to figure out how exactly to approach our time there with a dog. Long story short, we eventually discovered the services of a wonderful lady who would day-sit dogs from a nearby town (30 minutes away), including pickup and delivery just outside the park, and all for a very reasonable price. We decided to set that up for the second day and spent the first day at the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park about an hour away checking out some really old, really big dead trees now turned to stone. Here’s Miles for a size comparison.
We didn’t get a lot of pictures here, but here are the ones we did get.
The next day we dropped Miles of at 7:00 AM and got an early start on the Fairyland Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon. It was a great 8-mile hike at around 8,000 feet altitude with about 2,000 feet of elevation change.
Here are a some more nice pictures from the trail and the rest of the park for your viewing pleasure.
Bryce Canyon is probably the most otherworldly place we have seen to date. After our hike we got to spend some time checking out the rest of the park via their shuttle bus system, as Vicaribus was too big for day-time driving through the park while we were there. Everywhere we have been in Utah has been impressive, and continuing the trend, Bryce Canyon did not disappoint. Even the bison stew and fish and chips in the super-old lodge were quite tasty.
For the subject of our 5th vlog episode, I present to you Boondocking in Bryce and Hiking the Fairyland Loop Trail.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
After leaving the Bryce Canyon area, we spent one night in another nice boondocking spot just outside of Escalante right off the beginning of the Hole in the Rock Road.
At this spot we did have neighbors, one of whom happened to be a giant rig being hauled by a semi truck that we had a brief encounter with while looking at spots near Bryce. It turns out the couple in the rig have origins right near mine, with Dan hailing from Peachtree City and Sarah from Gwinnett on the outskirts of Atlanta. They were great and so was their setup!
The next morning we got up early and hiked the Lower Calf Creek Falls trail before completing the drive to Torrey, Utah, just outside of Capitol Reef.
For all of the photos from Lower Calf Creek Falls, click here.
To see the drive from Bryce to Torrey, including our pitstops for boondocking, grabbing dinner in Escalante at Nemo’s, hiking the Lower Calf Creek Falls and more, check out the (long) Quick Run 7 video. The bit at the end heading into Torrey over the mountains is particularly stunning.
Capitol Reef National Park
We set up at the charming Sandcreek RV Park in Torrey for a couple days to explore Capitol Reef. We had been doing a good bit of hiking lately, so we decided to forgo that part of the Capitol Reef experience and focus on the scenic driving and pies. In the middle of Capitol Reef National Park is the old Gifford Homestead and their orchards. The old house has been converted into pie and homemade ice-cream rapid distribution center to feed the starving throngs of tourists passing through. Being one of those starving tourists, we did our due diligence and had some tasty treats while there. To finish up our first day in the park, we drove up and down the scenic drive taking in the ridiculous red cliffs.
Goblin Valley State Park and Little Wild Horse Canyon
The next day we made our way through the backside of Capitol Reef (surprise, surprise, also stunning) on our way towards Goblin Valley State Park and Little Wild Horse Canyon. Goblin Valley is a strange land of small hoodoos out in the middle of nowhere. We spent a while exploring this valley with Miles who got to really up his hiding in the shade game.
Just around the corner was the Little Wild Horse Canyon, which offered a fascinating and lightly trafficked slot canyon hike.
For all the photos of goblins and little wild horses, click here.
We planned on staying the night at a crazy cool boondocking spot just down the road from the canyon, even going as far as getting completely setup and settled in before making the last minute call to get our butts over to Moab so that we could start hunting for Memorial Day Weekend camping spots big enough to fit our large crew from Denver who would be meeting us a couple days later. That drive was, yup, you guessed it, gorgeous. Now we are in Moab and the Memorial Day festivities ended up being a great success. Stayed tuned for the Moab update sooner or later. We are staying here a while.
For now, we’ll leave you with one final video, Quick Run 9, which takes us from Torrey, Utah to Moab, Utah.
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