July
8

#GetOutThere Guide: Southern Utah

Our MI OLA brand ambassadors know how to #GetOutThere and ambassador Becca (@roamwildandfree) raises the bar with her outdoor adventures. Becca and her husband are on an eight-month road trip across the United States. They recently spent a couple of weeks exploring Southern Utah. We were so inspired by her photos of picturesque landscapes, so we caught up with Becca to get the insider tips on how to #GetOutThere in Southern Utah.

#GetOutThere Guide: Southern Utah

Greetings from our 4-wheeled adventure mobile! My husband, beloved pup and I are on an 8 month road trip all around the American and Canadian West hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and summiting peaks. We fill our days with the activities that we love the most and I’m here sharing one of my favorite areas of our journey – Southern Utah.

Rappelling from Looking Glass Arch outside Moab, UT. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Imagine you’re wading through a crystal clear emerald river with massive, red canyon walls on either side. A few days ago, you were camping out under the stars surrounded by nothing but desert and a few cacti scattered about. In another few days, you’ll find yourself mountain biking across some of the best slick rock in the world. Where is this paradise? None other but Southern Utah. Southern Utah is home to some of the best hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, rock climbing and canyoneering in the world. Read on to plan your own epic road trip.

Your treasure road trip map to paradise! Map courtesy MoabAdventureCenter.com

Your treasure road trip map to paradise! Map courtesy MoabAdventureCenter.com

Starting your Journey – How to Get There:

Geographically, it makes the most sense to start your adventure either in Springdale, UT and head east, or begin in Moab, UT and work your way west. In the effort to streamline your road trip planning, this guide will be broken up into three geographical areas – Moab, UT (Arches and Canyonlands National Parks), Capital Reef National Park, and Springdale, UT (Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks). Since most of your journey will be in a desert climate, plan your road trip for Autumn- Spring. Avoid the summer unless you enjoy roasting away in the sweltering heat. 

 

What to Bring:

For the outdoor lover, bring your camping gear because I’m about to tell you about some of my all-time favorite camping spots! Pack clothing accordingly. You’ll be in the desert and it may be hot during the day and chilly at night. Don’t forget a trusty pair of hiking shoes and a reusable water bottle!

Overlooking Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands National Park.

Overlooking Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands National Park. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Moab, UT (Arches and Canyonlands National Parks)

Moab is the home for all things adventure. Hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, sky diving… It’s all there! Moab is your “one stop shop” for a wide variety of landscapes and awe-inspiring views around every bend.

Where to Hike
– Devils Garden Loop in Arches National Park – 7.2 miles round trip offering a variety of views including eight arches, a relatively flat trail, steep ledges and rock scrambling.
– Gooseberry Canyon in Canyonlands National Park – 5.4 miles round trip descending (and ascending) into the Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands providing hikers with Grade A panorama views.
– Negro Bill Canyon off Scenic Byway 128 – 4 miles round trip along an easy going stream winding through steep canyon walls to an underground spring and Morning Glory Natural Bridge.

Where to Mountain Bike
– For beginner riders, check out the Bar M Loops. It’s a great spot to test out your skills and jump on more intermediate trails as you progress.
– For intermediate to advanced riders, look into THE Slickrock trail in Sand Flats Rec Area.

Where to Rock Climb
– Wall Street off Potash Road – Belay from the comfort of the top of your car! Famous for the “park and climb” day, Wall Street offers top rope routes for beginners to advanced.  Be aware, you will have road noise and the area is quite popular.
– Indian Creek – The mecca for crack climbing, any rock climbing enthusiast will be happy here for days and weeks on end!

Where to Camp

– Goose Island – A BLM managed campground right on the river just minutes outside Moab.
– Jaycee Park Campground – Another great BLM managed campground less than 10 minutes outside Moab with great access to rock climbing.
– Sand Flats Recreation Area – Boasting over 120 private campsites, Sand Flats is the place to camp for those interested in mountain biking the infamous Slick Rock Trail.

Where to Eat
– Moab Coffee Roasters for your morning brew.
– Eklecticafe to load up on fuel for the day.
– Milt’s has the best burgers and milkshakes in town.
– Zak’s pizza has an impressive all you can eat buffet to reward yourself after that grueling hike.

Plan for at least 3-4 days in the Moab area, there will be so much you’ll want to do without near enough time! We spent a full 3 weeks in Moab and still have a list of things to do when we return.

Exploring the never ending canyons around Capital Reef & Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Exploring the never ending canyons around Capital Reef & Grand Staircase-Escalante. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

Capital Reef National Park

Capital Reef National Park, as well as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, will leave you inspired for years to come with giant sandstone formations, impressive arches and an ever-changing horizon for the wander-lusting soul.

Where to Hike
– Chimney Rock Loop in Capital Reef National Park – 3.6 miles round trip best suited for sunset views.
– Coyote Gulch in Grand Staircase-Escalante – 11.5 miles round trip winding through a slot canyon as well as passing numerous arches.
– Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante – 5.8 miles round trip rewarding hikers with a 130 foot waterfall with a swimming hole underneath!

Where to Camp
– Fruita Campground is the only developed campground inside Capital Reef National Park. Fill up on water here for your hikes.
– Calf Creek Campground is inside Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park with sites filling up on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Where to Eat
– Kiva Koffeehouse in Escalante for your morning coffee and bodily fuel.
– Escalante Outfitters Café in Escalante will feed your hungry belly after an arduous hike.

Capital Reef National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are a bit off the grid and the “beaten trail”. Many folks plan 1-2 days but the opportunities for the outdoor lover are endless in this vast area.

Enjoying the view on Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park.

Enjoying the view on Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

Springdale, UT (Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks)

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are some of the most picturesque landscapes in the entire world. Springdale, a cute little trendy town located just outside Zion National Park, offers visitors a plethora of restaurants and local art.

Where to Hike
– Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park – 4.8 miles roundtrip of strenuous, exposed hiking leading up to one of the best views in Zion. Be aware, this hike is extremely popular (with good reason). To avoid crowds, plan for a sunrise or sunset hike.
– The Narrows in Zion National Park – The Narrows are not necessarily a hike, but rather a thrilling experience wading through the Virgin River with steep walls on either side.
– Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park – 8 miles roundtrip offering hikers impeccable views of Bryce Canyon.

Where to Camp
– North Campground in Bryce Canyon National Park.
– Watchman Campground in Zion National Park.
– South Campground in Zion National Park.

Where to Eat
– Cafe Soleil provides a great breakfast and friendly baristas ready to prepare you for your day.
– Oscar’s Café is a perfect spot for a lunch complete with outdoor seating at with canyon views all around.
– Bit and Spur can’t be missed for dinner, the prices and experience are well worth it.

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks provide excellent opportunities for the outdoor lover. Plan for at least 3-4 days here to enjoy the minimum that this pristine area has to offer!

Happy Trails! Stay tuned for more #GetOutThere guides coming your way from our 8-month journey around the American and Canadian West!

Happy Travels!

Happy Trails! Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree