Back in November 2018, I took my first trip to the South of Utah, and I instantly fell in love with what Utah had to offer. I fell for it so much that I’ve taken 3 trips to the same region ever since.
Utah had been on my wishlist for a very long time and the only reason was because of the Angels Landing Hike. This hike, which is 5 miles long and changes 1630 feet in elevation, is deemed to be one of the most dangerous hikes in the US. This is mostly due to the last segment of about half a mile, which takes you on a narrow path with a thousand feet drop, having a few steel chains for your support. Ticking off that hike was why we planned this trip in the first place, which we did do. But after this trip I realized, Utah had much more to offer – 5 National Parks, those panoramic landscapes, a variety of summer and winter activities.
From our first trip we were mainly focused on finishing off the Angel’s Landing Hike, but since we were in the area, we decided to include Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon in our itinerary. Although, the latter two are technically in Arizona, I still like to think of it as Southern Utah. Here are a few highlights from our weekend trip and why I fell in love with this place.
Drive From Las Vegas To Zion NP
On my first trip (and also like my other 3 trips), I flew in to Las Vegas, Nevada from Houston, Texas on a Friday night. After picking up our car, we started driving to the town of St. George on the same night. St. George is a small town, about 2 hours from Vegas and about 50 Minutes from Zion which made it the perfect stop to get some much needed sleep. The next morning, after finishing up our breakfast, we continued the remainder of our journey to Zion National Park. The journey to Zion itself is so beautiful. Since we visited during Fall, the color of changing leaves, added extra spice to the already pretty place.
The Angels Landing Hike
Since Zion is a popular National Park, finding a parking spot near the entrance is always difficult. But since the park has its own shuttle service, its not a problem even if you park far away from the entrance. Once we parked our car, we wasted no time and immediately hopped on the park shuttle to reach the trailhead for Angels Landing. It took us about 3-4 hours to finish the hike and even though we were exhausted, we were so happy with the experience – not just the challenges of the hike, but the view from up top is totally rewarding.
Stargazing At The Park
We were done with our hike by 5-6PM, at which point, we decided to get done with our Dinner. After which, we stayed in the park for a while for some stargazing. The park is well isolated from the city lights so stargazing is definitely recommended when you’re in the park.
Rather than staying in traditional hotels or Airbnb, we decided to try Glamping for a change. And boy! it was worth the risk. We had booked a Connestoga Wagon which sleeps 6 and it was just perfect. The Wagon had a room(or wagon) heater which was a lifesaver given that it was a really cold night.
Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon
Next morning, Sunday, as per our plan, we wanted to visit Antelope Canyon, but the thing we did not know then was you need to pre-book the tour for visiting Antelope Canyon. Luckily, when we called in, they had vacancies in one of the time slot, and thus, we got to keep our original plan without skipping this natural wonder. Once we were done with the tour, we drove to the Horseshoe Bend which was about 15 minute drive from Antelope Canyon. After spending an hour there, we started driving back to Vegas to conclude our first weekend trip to Southern Utah
Bonus – Arizona Sunset
While on our way back from Horseshoe Bend, we got to see one of the much hyped Arizona sunsets and it was totally worth the hype.
The beautiful landscapes, the canyons, the red rocks coupled with blue skies, the perfect Fall weather, everything about Southern Utah felt so different and special on my first visit, especially coming from a place like Houston. Even now, when I’ve already visited Utah 4 times, I feel I would still go back, over and over again, as I just can’t get over the beauty of this place.
Thank you for reading! I hope you liked my blog post. Please let me know in the comments if you did.