Utah is easily one of my favorite adventure spots. Being a 6hr drive from me, Southern Utah is a place I know well. I have explored my fair share of it, but not enough! Did I mention the National Parks? If you haven't added a Utah National Parks road trip to your bucket list, then you need to!
Not only are these shoes extremely comfortable, but they were great for the light trail walking I did on this trip. I drove for about 25hrs total, and it was such a relief to wear shoes that felt like tiny clouds on my feet.
I would also like to note that for this Utah National Parks road trip you will be car camping! That is typically my favorite thing to do during road trips and I have the best of luck with BLM land.
Things To Do In Arches National Park
What is a Utah National Parks road trip without a stop at Arches National Park? My first time visiting Arches National Park was in the winter. If you haven’t seen this desert wonderland turn into a wintery dream yet, I highly recommend checking it out! If you’re deciding what time of day to head there, shoot for sunrise. When the sun rises in arches, it paints all the arch formations in a dreamy orange that you will not see elsewhere.
Delicate Arch is probably the most iconic structure and top things to do in Arches National Park. There is no reason to not include it in your Utah National Parks road trip! The hike itself is relatively easy and has a bit of an elevation gain at the end. You can expect this trail to have a crowd if you visit it in the middle of the day, but it is still worth the visit!
Park Avenue is another one of my favorite things to do in Arches National Park. While it is a trail, the Park Avenue view is something you can quickly stop, see and snap a picture of if you only have time to drive through the park during your Utah National Parks road trip.
While you’re there, you also have the chance to see off-road lovers drive around Swing Arm. Swing Arm is where rock formations have created ramps for the bravest of drivers to run their vehicles around.
Cathedral Valley Road
No Utah National Parks road trip itinerary is complete without a little off-roading! Now that you’re out of Hanksville and on your way to find things to do in Capitol Reef National Park make sure Cathedral Valley Road is high on your list! While Cathedral Valley is an off-roading road that stretches about 50mi, you can opt to hit the Temples of the Sun and Moon instead.
The Sun and Moon temples are about 35mi from Hanksville and 17mi in from Caineville (where the road officially starts). The Cathedral Valley Road will require at least a high-clearance vehicle to get to them. Compared to most off-roading roads I have driven on, this one consists mainly of harsh washboards. You will first pass a series of gypsum mounds, which are incredible in color! Then you’ll find yourself face to face with the Temples of the Sun and Moon. If you are looking for a place to camp for the night, I recommend camping near the temples! It’s a beautiful area, and the starry sky makes it even better. I think Cathedral Valley Road is a great thing to do in Capitol Reef National Park for sunrise and sunset. There are no services on this road so you will need to make sure you get gas beforehand.
False Kiva Hike
False Kiva is one of the lesser known things to do in Canyonlands National Park. It is a short hike to a ruins area where you get a great view of the canyon below. This hike isn't even on a map of the park. I am sad to say that recently this hike was ruined by vandalism, which caused park management to close the trail as of July 2018. At the time I am writing this blog, the path is still closed, but I wanted to include it in this blog to showcase some of the beautiful places available to us and how they can be easily ruined for all to see. Please, if you are going to visit our National Parks, make sure you are following Leave No Trace principles and respecting the land. Only camp in designated camping areas. Leave any rock formations alone. No one wants to visit a place to see your name and "I heart U"'s carved into rocks/ trees. It makes me so sad every time I see someone breaking the simple rules we have when we're enjoying the outdoors. Educate yourself on LNT principles and keep the outdoors wild!
This blog was written by Mountain Chicks Founder Dani The Explorer.
Before moving to Arizona, I spent my childhood in Illinois. I don’t remember much about the Midwest, so when I recently had the chance to visit Ohio, I was excited to see all the things to do in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and all the other things to do in the Cleveland Metroparks. Ohio is full of lush green forests, prancing deer, and lakeside beaches.
While exploring Ohio, I had the opportunity to try Bionica Footwear’s new Orsola shoe. The Orsola is an incredibly light and comfortable sneaker that I found to be perfect for the short trails and walks I took in the Cuyahoga Valley. The footbed left me feeling like I just finished walking on clouds, which is much more than I can say about most light trail sneakers.
Blue Hen Falls
When I was first looking at things to do in Cuyahoga Valley National Park during my first visit a couple of winters ago, Blue Hen Falls caught my eye because I thought it would make the perfect winter wonderland scene. I was right! This waterfall during the winter is one of the dreamiest sites you will ever see. Can you imagine this area with fall colors? During my most recent visit this summer, this Cuyahoga Valley National Park trail was still just as beautiful. I had forgotten how great it felt to sit down and take in the views with no one else around.
Other Cuyahoga Valley National Park Trails I recommend seeing include:
The Cleveland Metroparks
The Cleveland Metroparks is made up of over 23,000 acres of land and 300 trails. Some parks include epic sunset locations and lakefronts. The Metroparks are the perfect way to escape the city.
Huntington Beach is on the shore of Lake Erie in Bay Village. It’s a great beach to watch the sunrise and go for a swim. You can also visit the lighthouse for a scoop of ice cream or go for a bike ride around the perimeter of the lake. If you’re not a swimmer, there are spots along the beach where you can launch a kayak for a different view of the area.
A few other Metroparks areas include:
-Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
For more information on things to do in the Cleveland Metroparks, you can visit their site here. If you would like to see another list of things to do in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you can visit their website here.
I would like to thank Bionica Footwear for sponsoring this blog post. To see more of their fall line of shoes, visit their website here.
Author - Dani The Explorer