As an in-house writer for Off the Beaten Path, a good chunk of my day is spent researching travel destinations – reading magazine articles, perusing traveler reviews, gaining insight from travelers’ blogs, and speaking with locals. And whether I’m writing about Sedona, Steamboat, San Francisco, or Silver City (New Mexico, in case you didn’t know), […]
Travel under the tourist radar and discover less-traveled trails, vistas, and cultural sites of southern Utah’s great parklands. Each of these parks is vastly different, and equally special. Experience the spring-fed creeks, dry and deep canyons, hoodoos, spires, arches, and towers of red, orange, brown, pink, and white. Listen for the haunting trill of the canyon wren. Discover the delicate plant life. At day’s end, take a dip in a cool pool and delight your taste buds with fresh Southwest cuisine.
Meet and greet in St. George, then head for the parks! Our first stop is Zion National Park’s lesser-visited Kolob Canyon, stretching our legs on a short hike. Our accommodations are inside of Bryce Canyon National Park, and tomorrow we’ll hike along excellent trails, taking in the striking spire-laden landscape.
We pack our bags and head for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. A stop in picturesque Kodachrome Basin State Park – which we may have to ourselves – offers up a gorgeous trail and picnic spot. From wonderful Boulder Mountain Lodge, we explore Grand Staircase-Escalante, marveling at features such as hanging gardens, towering cliffs, natural bridges, and a hole-in-the-rock. A visit to Escalante wouldn’t be complete without dinner at Hell’s Backbone Grill.
Last, but most certainly not least, we arrive in Zion National Park, where from wonderful accommodations in Springdale, we spend days in the park hiking to some of the spectacular places… Emerald Pools, the Virgin River Narrows, Angel’s Landing, Three Patriarchs, and…
Reluctantly, we return to St. George for flights home.