An Adventure-Fueled Father-Daughters Hiking Trip to Utah

Family travel adventures don't have to end when you're little. Take a hike with Dad this Father's Day.

My dad loves the outdoors and adores nature. (My Facebook inbox is full of national park articles and black bear videos.) On the weekends, you'll find him with his daypack and walking stick hitting up his favorite trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After one adventure ends, he's planning his next getaway, whether it's fly fishing in Colorado, doing a rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon or exploring our country's prettiest national parks.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Photo by: Emily Kitts

Emily Kitts

Bryce Canyon National Park

Me? I like being outside. On a blanket. Listening to music. With a beer and/or wine.

Photo by: Kayla Kitts

Kayla Kitts

A few months ago, Dad mentioned that he and my equally outdoorsy sister were planning a week-long trip to Utah to hike several trails at Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, take a risk and attempt to conquer a fear (or two). What better way to break the chains than with two of my best friends?

You may not be able to make it out to Utah, but taking a hike close to where you are this Father's Day is a wonderful way to celebrate your relationship and the great outdoors at the same time. It's a bonding experience and a gift you can both/all enjoy with no price tag attached.

PRE-TRIP PREP

I definitely know where I got my love for organization, Microsoft Office and travel planning. Dad had this trip mapped out to a T. Each week my sister and I got local weather updates and articles to give us insight into the trails we'd be hiking.

(Then, when Dad sent over this Facebook post from Zion National Park, it took me a few minutes to realize it was April Fool's Day. I almost backed out of that hike.)

Dad's gear list was one for the books, too. Is it possible to be too prepared?

CONDENSED GEAR LIST

For day/night hikes:

  • daypack
  • trekking poles
  • hiking boots/shoes
  • wool hiking socks
  • dry-fit t-shirts and shorts
  • cooling bandana
  • flashlight
  • sunglasses
  • water bottle
  • Camelback
  • sunscreen
  • SPF lip balm
  • insect repellant
  • first-aid kit
  • whistle
  • moleskin
  • leatherman
  • mini tripod

For The Narrows hike (daypack essentials, plus):

  • dry bags
  • dry-fit pants and jacket
  • canyoneering boots (for rent)
  • neoprene socks

For energy on the trails:

  • Kashi Snack Bars
  • CLIF Bars
  • bananas
  • oranges
  • cashew, cranberry and almond nut mix
  • peanut butter sandwiches

For later (mostly me):

  • Biofreeze
  • ice pack
  • aloe vera
  • pain reliever

Angels Landing, Zion National Park

Kayla Kitts

Angels Landing Trail, Zion National Park

Kayla Kitts

Photo By: Kayla Kitts

Photo By: Kayla Kitts

LOOSE ITINERARY

I say loose, but we stuck to this pretty well. Dad planned out the entire trip and my sister and I just gave the thumbs up. Basically, I booked my plane ticket and said, "Where and when should I meet you?"

Day One:
Meet in Las Vegas;
Drive to St. George, Utah for the night

Day Two:
Drive to Snow Canyon State Park + explore;
Drive to Bryce Canyon National Park; hike parts of Rim Trail;
Spend the night in Tropic, Utah

Day Three:
Hike Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden Trail;
Hike Mossy Cave Trail;
Drive to Zion National Park;
Spend four nights in Springdale, Utah

Day Four:
Hike Emerald Pools;
Hike Weeping Rock;
Hike the Watchman Trail

Day Five:
Hike The Narrows

Day Six:
Hike Angel's Landing Trail

Day Seven:
Drive to Las Vegas;
Detour to Hoover Dam;
Detour to Lake Mead National Recreation Area;
Spend the night in Las Vegas

Day Eight:
Depart Las Vegas

Each night ended with energy-fueling local food, beer, music, shopping and an early shut-eye.

Days One, Two, Three

The Narrows

Angel's Landing Trail

RESULTS (MAY VARY)

I'm not a morning person, but getting up every morning at 6 a.m. to hit the trails might be the new me.

My body and soul truly didn't want to come back to the Southern humidity after a week in that glorious dry heat.

I consumed more water in a week than I have this entire year (sad, but true).

I'm ready to pack up my husband (sorry, J!) and our cats and open up a boutique in Springdale.

I did not conquer my fear (heights). Baby steps, right?

I fell in love with local beers from Wasatch Brewery and Uinta Brewing. Their bottles are truly the best. Plus, after seeing so many hoodoos, we had to drink a Hoodoo.

NEXT UP

We're already talking about hiking Glacier National Park and trekking the Amalfi Coast. When we do, you'll read about it right here.

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