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Packing for a Hiking Trip
Training for a Hiking Trip
The hike from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park down to Dark Hollow Falls provides plenty of photo opportunities. The hike down is easy, but if you’re not used to regular cardiovascular exercise, be prepared to take a few rest breaks during the hike back up.
Wanting to keep it local, we took our granddog Pablo to Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park located in middle of suburbia. Our relatively short hike took us through parts of a 67-acre forest and gave us beautiful panoramic views of the Potomac River.
It was wonderful to venture beyond our pandemic bubble and hike at Sky Meadows State Park. The views from the top of the mountain into the valley below are beautiful and well worth the moderately difficult hike.
Our visit to Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam was quite fun. The spectacular views of the massive dam and beautiful lake provided us with unforgettable memories.
The walking tour through Lower Antelope Canyon located on Navajo Land near Page, Arizona takes visitors through breathtakingly beautiful slot canyons. It’s a photographer’s paradise, so Bill and I were in heaven!
Located within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Horseshoe Bend is a beautiful horseshoe shaped carving etched away over the course of millions of years by the Colorado River which now extends 1,000 feet deep into the sandstone desert landscape.
Bryce Canyon National Park, one of Utah’s Mighty 5, is one of my favorite parks. There’s always been a special place in my heart for those cute hoodoos.
Whether choosing to sand board, motorbike, ride your dune buggy, or hike, Coral Pink Sand Dunes has 3,730 acres of coral pink desert sand just waiting to be explored.
The Belly of the Dragon hike can be cut as short as a half mile by just going from one end of the tunnel to the other and back, or it can be extended for another four to five miles to view the little slot canyon at the far end of the sandy trail.
Even though Sand Caves in Southern Utah were not created by Mother Nature, it’s well-worth the easy hike off of Highway 89 to see these beautiful caves.
The short hike to Dinosaur Tracks required a steep climb on loose rocks before we reached the top of the mesa where we found well-preserved bipedal three-toed dinosaur footprints. The views of the surrounding area from the top of the mesa weren’t too bad either!
Annually, only 10% of visitors of the Grand Canyon make their way to the North Rim. After having visited both rims, I enjoyed the contrast of the North Rim’s greenery to the South Rim’s desert and consider myself lucky to have visited both sides. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon provides a variety of hikes so there’s something for everyone from easy short hikes to strenuous and much longer hikes.
We loved Zion for the variety of hikes and types of scenery that’s spread across its 146,597 acres. There’s something for everyone from easy to strenuous hikes on trails that stay low along the canyon floor to others that reach high into the sky with long dangerous drop-offs.
While driving from the airport to our vacation destination, we stopped to explore Red Rock Canyon, a 195,819-acre National Conservation Area within the Mojave Desert. With time for only one hike, we chose Ice Box Canyon and were rewarded with a little of all types of terrain.
Dead Horse Point State Park is a beautiful state park in Southern Utah just 32 miles from Moab. The park has spectacular views of the Colorado River winding its way below the mesa. We had an ulterior motive for visiting during the day because we planned to return again at sunset. We wanted to search out the perfect view so we could be perched and ready for the sun to set!
Designated as one of the Mighty Five in Southern Utah, Canyonlands is 337,598 acres of breathtaking canyons, buttes, mesas, and arches. Canyonlands National Park is divided into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Maze, The Needles, and The River (Colorado and Green). On our most recent visit we spent a day in Island in the Sky, the district closest to our home base in Moab.
It’s hard to find a desert more beautiful and majestic, than Arches National Park located on the Colorado Plateau in Southern Utah’s Moab. The park’s 76,679 acres has wide expanses of open red desert dotted with scrub brush and cacti which are occasionally interrupted with spectacular sandstone arches formed by millions of years of erosion. Hiking trails marked with cairns take visitors off the road to explore some of Arches most prized features in the high desert.
When planning our trip to Wyoming and Utah, we had specific items on our agenda; obviously running in the Grand Teton Half was top on my list, but hiking in the Grand Tetons, visiting some of the southern Utah national and state parks, and seeing our friends was also part of the plan. A Deer Valley hike wasn’t initially on our radar, but we’re glad our friends suggested it.
Just a few short hours after completing the Grand Teton Half Marathon, my husband convinced me that in order to make the most out of our vacation, a Phelps Lake hike was in order and there was no time like the present. I, on the other hand, thought a shower and a long afternoon nap would be the perfect way to relax and celebrate running a great race…
If we have time when we’re in Blacksburg for a Virginia Tech football game, Bill and I like to go to one of the many local trails to hike. On this particular trip, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and changing leaves and headed to Jefferson National Forest for a hike to Cascade Falls.
Not too far from Virginia Tech is Cascade Falls, a nice little four-mile round trip hike where Little Stony Creek falls 69 feet over a cliff face and boulders into a pool below. It’s a favorite place for outdoorsy Virginia Tech students to hike, and in our case, returning alumni.
Bill and I broke our honeymoon into three segments – immediately following our wedding we spent a week at the beach, then another week driving cross-country for our move to Utah for grad school, and for our grand finale, we spent a week in the Tetons and Yellowstone. Our highlight of the three weeks was a 15-mile roundtrip hike from Jenny Lake to Lake Solitude where we enjoyed the breathtaking views of the Tetons and Lake Solitude.