Wow so, I apologize for the lack in updates and cool places. Life has a way of throwing all-or-nothing times at you when you least expect it. The biggest of which? I am now officially a Seattleite! One of my goals for 2017 was move to a new place, and although I didn’t expect everything to happen so quickly, I’m proud of myself for making a cross-country move completely on my own. While, Utah will always be my home, my main squeeze and the love of my life, I now have a vastly different landscape to explore—complete with an unfamiliar climate, and new challenges to face once I’m out and about.
Before I took off for my new life, I had the opportunity to take one last camping trip to the mother of all desert National Parks: Zion. I’ve been to Zion multiple times, but as anyone who has been there will tell you, there’s a lot to take in. Each place that you encounter is breathtaking (both figuratively and sometimes literally) so it definitely warrants multiple visits. And, like always, Cash the poodle was with us, so there were only a few places we could stay. We opted to stay in the teeny, tiny town of La Verkin. This was definitely one of the better ideas that we’ve had as La Verkin, or more specifically, the La Verkin Overlook, offered some truly spectacular views, prime camping, fairly easy accessibility and close proximity to Zion. I don’t think we could’ve picked a better spot. Not to mention that watching the sun rise over the red rocks and canyons always makes me emotional.
What also makes this spot great is it’s close proximity to to the town of La Verkin. The city center is about 30 minutes from the overlook—you actually have a nice view of the town from one side of the overlook—which made re-supply runs much easier. However, they are not open on Sundays, so keep that in mind. You can re-supply at Zion National Park, but that presents its own set of challenges (mostly that it’s more crowded and expensive).
If you want to catch an amazing Western sunset over the red rocks set your alarm for 6:15 am—that should give you enough time to get your camera set up before the sun actually comes up. Note: You may want to wake up even earlier if you’re attempting this as it get warmer since you will most likely be sharing this spot with other people. I took this trip in late March and there were people already waiting when I got up. It’s a hot spot for photographers, so just keep that in mind.
Zion National Park is by far one of my favorite national parks. For one, it is insanely versatile meaning you can find a range of hikes and activities for all skill levels. We did the Pa’rus Trail which is a really easy paved, trail that follows the Virgin River. It’s dog-friendly and runs one of the campsites. This is my recommendation for beginner hikers or anyone wanting to explore Zion overall. You can start with this and continue to the Temple of the Sinawava, which dead ends into the start of the infamous Narrows hike. But even if you’re not up to hiking the entire trail, you can still get a feel of Zion. You’ll still be surrounded with breathtaking red rock formations and the Virgin River offers a nice touch, and it offers a nice resting point when temperatures rise. However, as you can see, we encountered stormier conditions.
While it wasn’t the worst weather I’ve encountered in the outdoors, when you think of Zion, you usually think that it’ll be really hot and really dry. But I found this to be a nice change of pace for Southern Utah, and the storm clouds made an incredible backdrop against the red rocks, even if everyone got a little wet. In fact, the red rocks look even redder when they’re wet!
I’m sure you’ve heard me say it a million times, but I could spend a lifetime in one of these parks and still never discover all of its secrets. But I suppose the mystery is part of what makes the natural world so beautiful. It certainly is what makes it so enchanting.