Utah

SNOWBIRD/ALTA

SNOWBIRD/ALTA

After driving straight home from Whistler, we took a few day break in SF, but pretty quickly headed back out with the aim to ski Tahoe for a week before heading to LA for a close friend’s wedding. After a day in Tahoe with pretty horrible conditions and a snow storm forecasted for UT, we decided to pack up and drive to UT for the week instead. It was definitely worth it. The snow at Snowbird/Alta was dramatically better than Tahoe. - Jonathan

BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS

BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS

We had a 18 hour drive ahead of us from Vail back to the Bay Area. Halfway we stopped at Bonneville Salt Flats. It looked completely different than when we passed thru during the summer. The flats had filled with water from recent storms and the reflection was incredible. Definitely worth the stop.

- Jonathan

BRIAN HEAD AND BRYCE CANYON

BRIAN HEAD AND BRYCE CANYON

With a gap of 10 days between dropping Jason/Paula/Oliver off at the airport in Salt Lake City and meeting friends in Vail, we needed to fill the gap with a few other destinations. First was Powder Mountain, then with Utah still on the mind, the Wave started my mind going. Well, southern Utah isn’t exactly right next to northern Utah so I figured … why not stop by Brian Head and ski a day as a stopover, so we did.

POWDER MOUNTAIN

POWDER MOUNTAIN

We heard from our friend Blake that a group of young entrepreneurs had purchased a ski resort in Northern Utah a few years back with a dream to create their “perfect” town to foster new ideas and the sharing of knowledge. Since we were in the area, we decided to check it out. About an hour and a half north of Salt Lake City, just outside the small town of Eden, UT, is Powder Mountain.

SNOWBIRD

SNOWBIRD

On our third day, we headed out to the Snowbird Resort, which is about a 45 minute drive outside of Park City. It’s more of a local mountain, so we were looking forward to less crowds and different terrain – and it’s EXACTLY what we got. I fell in love with the mountain within the first two runs that we did….beautiful scenery, wide runs, varying pitches….and very few people. It’s like we had the whole mountain to ourselves. And to top it off, it was a gorgeous day so I feel like everyone’s spirits were up.

PARK CITY

PARK CITY

We spent the first day of the new year skiing at the Park City Resort, which we were able to walk to from our condo in town. Bright and sunny day in search of some good groomers and maybe even some powder? Yup, we were able to do a short hike off the Jupiter chair to hit some snow that was still barely touched. Jason rocked the beardhead to keep warm as the frigid temperatures stuck with us. We thoroughly enjoyed Park City, both the skiing and the town. We will be back for sure.

- Jonathan

THE CANYONS

THE CANYONS

After spending four days in Jackson Hole, we drove about five hours to Park City, Utah, where we would spend the next four days scoping out a few resorts in the area. The Canyons was our first stop – which welcomed us with super cold temperatures, to the point where it felt like our fingertips and toes and even noses were frozen! We have no idea how cold it was…but it definitely felt colder than Jackson Hole. It was really awesome to experience a different terrain than what we’ve seen so far…and see the endless rows of bare aspens against the white snow. Can’t say this was a favorite of ours, but definitely glad we came for a visit.

- Allie and Jonathan

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK DAY 2 AFTERNOON

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK DAY 2 AFTERNOON

After heading back from town, we decided to have lunch by the rim of the canyon. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm decided to move in at the same time. We ate lunch in the car, but were blessed with incredible sunny skies in the afternoon allowing us to hike to False Kiva, a Class II archeological site off the beaten path and no official trail. Luckily based off of reviews, we knew to stop by the visitor center and they were showed us some landmarks to look for so we wouldn’t get lost.

The thunderstorms had all passed leaving us with an amazing sunset to watch just a short walk from our campsite overlooking the Green River Canyon.

- Allie and Jonathan

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK DAY 2 MORNING

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK DAY 2 MORNING

How often do we really get up to watch the sunrise? Truth be told...it's not very often.

We decided to make it happen on our last day in Canyonlands and did the short hike to Mesa Arch, where the sunrise view thru the arch was supposed to be insane. Well…there just happened to be about 30+ photographers there trying to get the PERFECT shot…so we decided to go a little bit off to the side and enjoy the sun rising over the canyon instead.

Still pretty incredible.

- Allie and Jonathan

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

The both of us had visited Arches a couple years back but it was awesome to come back another time. We decided to do the short three mile hike to Delicate Arch. What an incredible formation! We're still in awe of how the heck this thing formed, but it's a thing of beauty, sitting by itself out in the open. The weather was awesome when we got up to the arch. As we began our hike down it began to drizzle, then rain, then pour, and then hail until we finally reached the car. It was cold…but actually refreshing too.

- Allie and Jonathan

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK DAY 1

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK DAY 1

Feeling pretty small here in Canyonlands. This place is UNREAL. I don’t know how my family missed this place on other trips, but this is a definite must visit place. The first day we hiked to Grand View Point, White Rim Overlook and Mesa Arch. All amazing.

This is one of our top parks so far. The views are just completely insane.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.  

- Jonathan

CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK AND GOBLIN VALLEY STATE PARK

CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK AND GOBLIN VALLEY STATE PARK

Both of these were just a stop thru for us on our way from Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument to Canyonlands. Lots and lots of driving! Nonetheless, each was definitely worth the stop. Capitol Reef has some awesome canyon views with some incredible colors and all the hikes are fairly short. Not too far away is Goblin Valley, which was a fun place to wander around amongst the “goblins”. We are now a few days ahead of schedule, so we had to rearrange the entire itinerary!  

- Allie and Jonathan

HORSESHOE BEND AND THE TOADSTOOLS

HORSESHOE BEND AND THE TOADSTOOLS

After our stop at Antelope Canyon, we couldn’t help but drive down the road to Horseshoe Bend. What an incredible view for such a short hike. We hung out for a bit til the crowds dispersed to get some good shots. The next day we hiked a short day hike to The Toadstools in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument after failing to win the lottery to hike the Wave yet again. Pretty cool spot with some balancing rocks and some insane color changes from white to red to white again as you go up the layers of rock.

- Allie and Jonathan

GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT

GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT

We went here with the mission to get permits to hike The Wave. If you haven’t heard of this hike, google “The Wave Grand Staircase” and take a look at the pictures. It's insane. So here’s the deal…only 20 people per day are allowed to hike in the Coyote Buttes North area. 10 of those spots are done thru an online lottery 4 months prior. The other 10 spots are done in a lottery for those who show up the day before they want to hike.

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

All formed by erosion, the hoodoos begin as long tall fins of rock and slowly erode to form windows and eventually hoodoos. Native Americans believed that hoodoos were “legend people” who were turned to stone by the trickster coyotes. 

The first night we drove the scenic route and just stopped at the many overlooks throughout the park. The view from above was amazing, but the following morning we hiked Queen’s Garden and the Navajo Loop descending down into the hoodoos. It's one thing to see these from the rim of the canyon, but being down below is a completely different viewpoint and definitely worth the trek.

- Jonathan

ZION NATIONAL PARK - THE NARROWS

ZION NATIONAL PARK - THE NARROWS

This was mine and Allie's second time doing the Narrows hike, and first time in a long time with my parents. When we were kids, my brother and i were too young to bring on the hike, so we only ever made it to the beginning and just played in the water building rock dams apparently. So this was our chance to give my parents the full Narrows experience. Needless to say…they loved it.

The Narrows hike is rated as one of the top 10 outdoor adventures by National Geographic. A definite must for anyone visiting Zion.

Make sure you rent shoes and a walking stick!

- Jonathan

ZION NATIONAL PARK - ANGEL'S LANDING

ZION NATIONAL PARK - ANGEL'S LANDING

This hike is only 5 miles long, but the last ½ mile is pretty gnarly. The park puts chains into the rock to help hikers climb the last section. It's not for those fearful of heights by any means. There were a couple sections where I got pretty scared my parents were going to slip and fall. Needless to say the view of the the valley from the top was worth it. There was even cell phone reception at the top…we know because my dad’s phone rang ridiculously loud and he answered it and proceeded to take a call from a wrong number.

Tomorrow we hike the Narrows!

- Jonathan

BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS

BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS

This is just a rest stop off the side of highway 80, but it's incredible. I don’t claim to know how these salt flats formed, but how far they span and the beautiful pattern they make when drying is definitely worth the stop.

Halfway home…we’ll be home before sundown. It’ll be a few more weeks before our next trip, tentative plans to hit Zion for a week on our way to the Grand Canyon for a two week rafting trip thru the full canyon!

- Jonathan