June 19, 2012

Ten Incredible Days on Vacation

Well, I guess vacation had to end sometime. Almost 1,800 miles of driving, 66 miles of backpacking, 16,000 feet in elevation change, and an average temperature approaching 100. Four National Parks, one National Monument, one National Recreation Area, and a handful of national forests. It really was an incredible ten days (eleven days counting the first travel night).

Below is a quick summary of the parks we hit, the trails we walked, and the scenes we cherished.

Zion National Park
Toured the park by shuttle; hiked Angel's Landing trail (5 miles, 1488' elevation gain/loss); hiked Zion East Rim trail (14 miles, 1300' elevation gain, 2700' loss); hiked the Virgin River from the the bottom up to Big Springs through the Zion Narrows through 48 CFS of water flow (10 miles).

Zion NP, seen from Observation Point.

Hiking the Virgin River through the Zion Narrows.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Drove the scenic loop, viewed the Amphitheater, hiked the Garden/Navajo Loop trail (3 miles).

Bryce Canyon NP, view of the Amphitheater.

Paria Canyon (Vermillion Cliffs National Monument)
Hiked Wire Pass and Buckskin Gulch (11.5 miles).

Paria Canyon, hiking through Buckskin Gulch slot canyon.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Visited the Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Lee's Ferry, and also the nearby Navajo Bridge.

Glen Canyon Dam
Grand Canyon National Park
Toured the North Rim for a day; toured the South Rim for a day; hiked rim-to-rim from the North Rim on the North Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Campground the first day, ascending the Bright Angel trail to the South Rim the following day (25 miles, 5790' elevation loss, 4460' elevation gain).

Grand Canyon NP from South Rim. We hiked from the North Rim (white
rock line), through the Bright Angel Canyon (middle of picture), and
up to the North Rim (where picture is taken).

Death Valley National Park
Toured Death Valley, Zabriskie Point, Artist's Drive, Devil's Golf Course, Furnace Creek, and Badwater Basin - the driest and hottest place in North America, and the lowest point in the entire western hemisphere (-282 feet).

Death Valley NP