For those of you who love adventure, the outdoors and U.S. National Parks, the Mighty Five in Utah is a road trip of a lifetime. The Mighty Five is made up of Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches National Park. Each park is unique and full of amazing viewpoints, trails, sights and more. To experience the Mighty Five one should not be rushed and give each park the time it deserves. However, if you don’t have a lot of time but want to see multiple parks I recommend planning your visiting accordingly. With only three days I decided to visit Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef during my Utah National Parks road trip. Keep reading and I’ll show you my highlights of the three parks and how you can plan your Utah road trip.
For the outdoor enthusiast, visiting national parks is a pastime. I wanted to visit the oldest national park, Yellowstone National Park and I finally did so on my Wyoming National Parks road trip for the first time this summer!
Yellowstone is so large it’s in three different states: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. However, most the park is in Wyoming. Another beautiful national park is Grand Teton. This picturesque park is so breathtaking, it will make you cry. Okay, not really, but photos don’t do this place justice and if you’ve seen photos you may think that’s hard to believe. I recently visited the two parks and I want to tell you about my experience. So, if you’re planning a Wyoming national parks road trip, please read on.
“Lost City of the Incas,” one of the seven wonders of the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; whatever you’ve heard Machu Picchu referred to as know that “magical” is probably the best way to describe it. That sounds pretty cliche, right? But it’s true. The entire Inca Trail was nothing short of a life-changing experience. Arriving at Machu Picchu gave me this feeling, this extraordinary feeling I can’t really put into words. It may have been an adventure high with a mix of the high elevation and coca leaves but it was truly enchanting. If you’re reading this you’re probably planning your own Machu Picchu experience. Read on and I’ll shrare my guide to hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, including my packing list and tips/tricks to making your adventure that much more amazing.
Sedona, Arizona isn’t exactly a hidden gem. I would say it’s pretty well known but not as heavily visited as say the Grand Canyon. However, Sedona is a magical wonderland that deserves a visit if you love desert landscapes and enjoy the outdoors. The backdrops of the mountains and rock formations are breathtaking. Just driving on the freeway and approaching Sedona is an experience in itself. There’s just something about the reddish-orange formations against the clear blue skies that will leave you in awe.
And if you enjoy the desert but love camping in a cooler climate then head over to Fossil Creek for the night and enjoy the activities and scenery that the area has to offer. More on Fossil Creek below.
Death Valley National Park is unlike any other California park. It’s very dry and is known for being the hottest and lowest place in the world. Its hottest recorded day was 134 degrees Fahrenheit. Yup, that wasn’t a typo! The lowest part of Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level, making it the lowest elevation in the United States. Each sight is very different from each other. From the sand dunes to the salt flats to the badlands of Zabriskie Point. It’s one of the places I would definitely keep visiting.
I went to Death Valley for the first time last year. It was during their “super bloom,” a rare bloom of wildflowers that doesn’t happen often in Death Valley, and I visited again recently. There, unfortunately, was not much of any kind of “bloom” this time around but I was able to make some stops I didn’t get to make during my first camping trip the year before which inspired me to put together my ultimate Death Valley road trip guide…
To make the most out of your visit I recommend camping. There are a few campgrounds at Death Valley; the larger ones are Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. I stayed at Stovepipe Wells campground. It’s the third campground you’ll see if you’re coming in from Lone Pine. There are no advance reservations for the campground. You find your campsite, park and pay for your site and buy your pass (if you don’t have a national park pass) at the kiosk. There is a general store in the same lot and across the street is the Badwater Saloon and Toll Road Restaurant if you need somewhere to cool off and grab a bite of non-camping food. You can also utilize the pool and showers for an extra fee. You just pay at the Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel lobby. Oh yes, if you don’t like camping you can stay at the hotel or the Furnace Creek Resort.
Information on all Death Valley campgrounds can be found here.