We made a few stops in Utah: Bryce Canyon, Zion Narrows, and Angel's Landing. The views of Bryce Canyon were truly grand, with large, open amphitheaters full of textured, orange hoodoo rock formations. We rode on horseback into the canyon to get a more intimate experience of the landscape and the history behind it. Also, sore butts.

In Zion, we hiked the full length of the Narrows, 16 miles from top to bottom. It was quite an adventure! We pulled an all-nighter the night before to get permits so we could camp inside the canyon overnight. Permits were limited, and even though we were the second group in line, we were one of the last to get permits. That said, it was well worth the fatigue.

Zion was on my bucket list, and it did not disappoint. Throughout the first day, we encountered few other hikers. We walked on our own, in our own thin nook of the grand chasm. Looking up, the walls on either side of us went straight up about a thousand feet. Light filtered down into our depths and made everything feel magical. We trudged onward in the water for the full day until we reached our campsite. A night's rest, and we did it again, through the more crowded, still breathtaking lower leg of the Narrows.

As a child, I loved playing in the water. I used to spend hours in the bath with my toys. I went swimming daily during my summer vacations. During science camp in 4th grade, we went on a six-hour day hike, following a small stream. I spent all six hours wading through the stream in my rain boots. I loved it. It was my childhood Zion.

On our last day in Utah, we spent a half day hiking and climbing up Angel's peak. It was hot in the bright midday sun, a complete change in ambience compared to Zion's cool sanctuary. We hiked up and up in on the dry, exposed steps. Reaching the top, we took in the view of the valley below. Not for the faint of heart! There are some very narrow segments, about 3 or 4 feet wide with a steep drop off on both sides. No hand rails or chains, but on the bright side, the path is level and rough, unlike Half Dome's steep and slick granite!

Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:North America
Subcategory Detail:United States of America
Keywords:angelslanding, bryce, canyon, earth, geology, hiking, narrows, photography, river, terrain, tourism, travel, unitedstates, usa, utah, zion