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.
Me? I like being outside. On a blanket. Listening to music. With a beer and/or wine.
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.
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
- trekking poles
- hiking boots/shoes
- wool hiking socks
- dry-fit t-shirts and shorts
- cooling bandana
- water bottle
- SPF lip balm
- insect repellant
- first-aid kit
- mini tripod
- dry bags
- dry-fit pants and jacket
- canyoneering boots (for rent)
- neoprene socks
- Kashi Snack Bars
- CLIF Bars
- cashew, cranberry and almond nut mix
- peanut butter sandwiches
- ice pack
- aloe vera
- pain reliever
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?"
Meet in Las Vegas;
Drive to St. George, Utah for the night
Drive to Snow Canyon State Park + explore;
Drive to Bryce Canyon National Park; hike parts of Rim Trail;
Spend the night in Tropic, Utah
Hike Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden Trail;
Hike Mossy Cave Trail;
Drive to Zion National Park;
Spend four nights in Springdale, Utah
Hike Emerald Pools;
Hike Weeping Rock;
Hike the Watchman Trail
Hike The Narrows
Hike Angel's Landing Trail
Drive to Las Vegas;
Detour to Hoover Dam;
Detour to Lake Mead National Recreation Area;
Spend the night in Las Vegas
Depart Las Vegas
Each night ended with energy-fueling local food, beer, music, shopping and an early shut-eye.
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?
We're already talking about hiking Glacier National Park and trekking the Amalfi Coast. When we do, you'll read about it right here.
Our list of the 10 coolest ways kids can explore US National Parks this summer.