Driving through Utah has been one of the highlights of our entire road trip through America.
The scenery is spectacular and other worldly.
Unfortunately when we went the government shutdown had closed all the national parks, meaning we couldn’t visit Arches National Park. I was really disappointed because I’d been looking forward to this National Park for a long time.
Luckily for us though, the government shutdown didn’t affect Monument Valley as it is run by the American Indian reservation rather than the government. So we paid our $10 entry fee and went for a hike around Monument Valley.
The American Indians call Monument Valley ‘The place where the Earth touches the Sky.’ And with the below photo it’s easy to see why!
Take a look at our landscapes of Utah:
These are some other landscapes of Utah we saw hiking:
We hiked along The Wildcat Trail, which is 3.2 miles (5.14km), around the West Mitten Butte within Monument Valley. It took around two hours. I’d recommend doing it at the beginning or the end of the day as it’s the desert and can get ridiculously hot. Even though we went in autumn (or fall) it was still very warm by the time we finished at 10am.
Someone had built this cute little arch along the trail and I posed underneath it.
The previous night we had stayed in a primitive campsite off the main road leading to Monument Valley. You could hardly call it a campsite really, it was more a dirt parking space with a little bit of shelter and some benches. There was no water and only portaloos.
But the view was spectacular. We were right in the middle of the valley and watched this beautiful sunset (below). We also got up early to watch the sunrise.
This cute little stray dog was running around the campsite and we fed him scraps and water which he devoured hungrily. He was soon our new best friend. I’m sure he gets spoiled by all the campers though!
While we were in Utah we managed to enter Zion National Park. Although it was technically closed because of the government shutdown, you were still allowed to drive through the park as long as you didn’t stop.
We slowed down a little when we were driving through and I took these photos by hanging outside of the car window. We wished we could’ve got out of the car and hiked but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. Thanks Federal Government!
We had heard that Moab is a lovely town to visit so we drove on towards it. Located close to Arches National Park, we were told that there is a rock arch formation that wasn’t inside the park and so was still open to visitors.
Excitedly, we got up early one morning and drove out to it. It was called Corona Arch and the hiking trail was about 3 miles (4.8km) long, round trip.
Along the route to the arch, we saw this landscape:
And came across this cute little ladder:
And before we knew it, we could see the arch:
To finish off our time in Utah, we decided to go for a drive along the scenic highway that surrounds Moab. It takes about two hours to drive and combines both La Sal Loop Road, which takes you into the mountain, and Highway 128 which goes along the canyon adjacent to Arches National Park.
The scenery is spectacular because on one side you have the mountains and the forest, and on the other is the desert and the amazing rock formations.
Have you been to Utah? What did you think?
All of these photos were taken with my iPhone. I used the app Camera+ to edit them.