Outbound Collective logo

Into the desert - Part 1

A couple of Jersey girls road tripping around the Southwest - NV --> UT --> AZ

By: Jillian J + Save to a List

Las Vegas and Bryce Canyon NP

    May 12, 2017. - Land at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. 

My best friend and I arrived in Las Vegas wide-eyed and excited to get on our way. We had previously taken a trip to Mt. Rainier/Seattle last August where we chose to do the mountains first and finish our trip in Seattle. Realizing we didn't enjoy Seattle nearly as much as we would have before exploring the beauty of the mountains, we decided to not make the same mistake in the southwest. Therefore, we planned to stay the day and night in Vegas before heading out to the national parks. Needless to say, Vegas was Vegas... and we were not sad to be leaving Sin City behind the next morning. 

May 13, 2017 - Our first stop was a 4 hour drive away --> Bryce

The drive wasn't bad at all, how could it be with all the beautiful scenery surrounding you and endless open roads with no traffic or lights. This park was very unique. The towering hoodoos rising out of the canyon floor were something I've never experienced before. The park was easy to access and park at, providing shuttles that bring you to each trail head. We stopped at Inspiration point and decided to do the walk down the canyon to the Navajo loop and queen's garden trail. It was a moderate hike, not too busy, which was nice. The canyon was beautiful from the bottom, the colors of the sandstone rock as the sun reflected off of it turned it all different shades of orange. 

This park offered a variety of different elements to enjoy throughout the hike. It seemed to be a very family friendly/accessible park as well which was nice to see. The shuttles brought people to various look out points that a variety of people could enjoy while those who were able could venture further.

a passageway we went through as we headed back up the canyon

The views leading back out of the canyon didn't disappoint. We arrived at this park early afternoon and it only took us a few hours to do this loop. There were longer trails but overall this park could be done in a day or a half day depending on which trail you choose.  Make sure while you're there to stop and smell the orange trees! The shuttle driver told us they smelled sweet and he wasn't kidding, most smell vanilla but I definitely smelled butterscotch! 

enjoying the sweet smell of the Ponderosa Pine

Next stop on our trip was our hotel in Kanab, UT which we would be staying at during our few days in Zion. I'll get into Zion in the next post, it was amazing! Until then, happy hiking! 

- Jillian

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


Top 5 Beginner Hikes With Gorgeous Views Around Shenandoah National Park

Allison Foyles

For the Love of the Land

Karissa Frye

Fall in Acadia National Park

Molly Mann

Lessons learned from bikepacking Patagonia as a family of four

Rachel Bertsch