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Category: National Parks

How to Spend 2 Days in Arches National Park

How to Spend 2 Days in Arches National Park

Arches National Park may just be the most iconic place in Utah. Delicate Arch particularly gets a lot of limelight and is even featured on the state’s license plates. It’s just one of the astounding formations in this surreal park that has the highest concentration of arches in the world. I’ve seen a bunch of 1-day itineraries for Arches. While it’s a small park compared to some of the giants like Glacier or Yellowstone we think that you need at…

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A Windy Finale – Wind Cave National Park

A Windy Finale – Wind Cave National Park

After our sandy and snowy time in Colorado we made our way to the last stop on this leg of the journey—South Dakota. While the comforts of family, friends, and (let’s be honest) showering regularly are inviting, we’re sad to end this travel session. We plan to go out with a bang though and have many grand plans for South Dakota. There’s not one, but two caves close in proximity to one-another—Wind Cave and Jewel Cave. If you haven’t noticed,…

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A Story of Sand and Snow – Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mountains

A Story of Sand and Snow – Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mountains

Sand and snow are the themes of our next two National Parks. No, I’m not talking about children born out-of-wedlock in Westeros. After spending a warm long weekend in Cortez, CO and Mesa Verde, the next stop on our eastern journey was Great Sand Dunes National Park. Wolf Creek Pass The Great Sand Dunes are located in southern Colorado about smack-dab in the middle of the state. To reach them, we must cross the Great Divide. We get a tad…

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Cities of the Ancients – Hovenweep and Mesa Verde

Cities of the Ancients – Hovenweep and Mesa Verde

The main attraction in Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks are natural rock formations. After visiting Canyonlands and Natural Bridges it was time to start exploring some human created formations. We headed to Hovenweep National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park. These sites (along with many others in the four corners region) contain the ruins of ancient civilizations. Specifically, Ancestral Puebloan communities that built large elaborate villages near canyons and cliffs. Hovenweep National Monument Hovenweep includes six different villages spanning the…

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Canyonlands and Natural Bridges – Exploring the Land of Rock

Canyonlands and Natural Bridges – Exploring the Land of Rock

We made it to our last Utah National Park—Canyonlands. It’s Utah’s largest park and has some of the most challenging and remote terrain in the nation. Canyonlands is part of the Colorado Plateau—a large region known for canyons, buttes, mesas, and other dramatic rock formations that have been carved by water and erosion over millions of years. The park is divided into three sections by the Green and Colorado Rivers: Island in the Sky The Needles The Maze Canyonlands gets…

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What Not to do in Arches National Park

What Not to do in Arches National Park

Our last few posts have been informational about Utah’s national parks so we thought it was time for a travel story. This is a tale of a series of bad decisions and what not to do if you find yourself stuck in a thunderstorm. Hope that you learn from our mistakes and enjoy this story about hiking to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. The Iconic Arches Arches NP is one of the most iconic places in Utah. It has…

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7 Reasons Not to Miss Capitol Reef National Park

7 Reasons Not to Miss Capitol Reef National Park

We weren’t sure what to expect at Capitol Reef National Park. It’s quite literally Utah’s middle child of National Parks. Bryce and Zion are found in the west, while Arches and Canyonlands lie to the east. Many people pass over this park in favor of the more visited ones but we think that they’re missing out. And that’s not just middle child syndrome talking. While some of Utah’s parks have an abundance of a specific formation type (Hoodoos in Bryce…

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Best of Bryce Canyon National Park

Best of Bryce Canyon National Park

If Salvador Dali and Dr. Seuss created a place together, it would look like Bryce Canyon National Park. We think that everyone should experience it at least once in their life. Bryce is part whimsy, part eerie, and part stop-you-in-your-tracks stunning. Plus you get to say hoodoos a lot, which is just fun. What the Heck are Hoodoos? The native inhabitants of the area thought that hoodoos were people who had been turned to stone by the trickster coyote. It’s…

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5 Awesome Things to Do in Zion National Park

5 Awesome Things to Do in Zion National Park

After Nevada’s muted color palette, Utah is shockingly bright. Zion National Park is our most vibrant park yet! It’s like a kaleidoscope of color. The rocky peaks and cliffs are bright red and orange with bands of black and white stripes. The sky is pretty much the exact color of the sky blue crayon. And lush green vegetation grows near the water sources. Even the sand at Zion is brilliant. Shuttling the Masses So this first one isn’t part of the…

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A Great Rescue in Great Basin National Park

A Great Rescue in Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park. The name makes us think that the park will be mostly flat, centered around one of the many basins scattered across Nevada. Once again, Nevada had a surprise for us. Great Basin NP is actually centered around the Snake Mountain Range. There’s a huge diversity of landscapes and ecosystems to see in Nevada’s only national park. Lehman Caves Another surprise was finding out that Great Basin NP has a cave system to explore. All explorations are…

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