justagirlnhercamera@gmail.com | Portland, OR

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Utah, Arizona & Nevada Road Trip

 

Road trip or bust. Here is my road trip from Portland, Oregon to Utah, Arizona & Nevada. It was a total of 51 hours of driving over 9 days. I would definitely say this road trip was one of my favorite of all time. 

Day One

 

Portland, Oregon to Bonneville Salt Flats took around 13 hours to get to. Yes, it was a longgg day of driving , but worth the wait once we got there. It was a smart decision to do this long driving stretch in the beginning. 

Here is the road trip map from Portland, OR to Bonneville Salt Falts. A total of 13 hour drive.

We arrived in Nevada around lunch so we decided to stopped for lunch at this really cute diner, called The Griddle. This diner has been open since 1948. You could definitely tell they had an authentic old timey feel. I had a balsamic chicken wrap that was pretty tasty. I wish we had a enough time to stick around for pie. They looked awfully tasty!

After lunch we decided to drive the rest of the way to Bonneville Salt Flats. We arrived around 4:00 PM, with lots of time to spare for pictures. 

When we got to Bonneville Salt Flats, we had about a 20 minute before a crazy wind storm set in. We went in May so a lot of the sand flats were still covered in water. If you look below you can tell the vast difference between the two photos. 

The windstorm was so strong, we had to stay in our cars most of the time. As you can tell above the sand definitely kicked up a lot. It was pretty hard to see. After the storm was over we saw a beautiful little rainbow. Mother Earth letting us know she was sorry for the storm. 

We made camp really close to Bonneville Salt Flats. But by 9pm the wind pick up again and was so strong, we had to pack up our campsite and make a reservation at a Best Western in Wendover, UT. It was definitely a weird start to our trip. After we had a great night sleep we were more than ready for Day 2 and everything it had to offer. 

I would give this hotel 4/5 stars. It was perfect for what we needed, but nothing outstanding. 

Day Two

Day 2  may have been my favorite part of my trip. Moab, Utah is like nothing I have ever seen before. Living in the PNW you get used to seeing vast amount of green everywhere. Moab is 100% different. Everything was red, tan, or brown. Very different from where I live. 

 

Moab, Utah

Bonneville Salt Flats to Moab, Utah took around 6 hours. We got up early and got to Moab around 12. 

Arches National Park

Delicate

ARCH

Delicate arch hike is around a 3 mile loop. This hike is hard to moderate. If you look at the picture below you will notice there is a steady incline at the beginning, but it only has 610 total elevation gain.

Delicate Arch trail map.

Once you get past this hill, it is pretty easy the rest of the way. I have to say when I went, it was 80+ degrees but felt like 100. The rock you hike on almost magnifies the heat. So even if its 60 degrees out, walking on rock like this could make it feel like 80. I was pretty exhausted on this first incline, just like the guy below. If you are going on this hike, make sure to carry lots of water. Don't be under prepared and be like me.

 That was totally me 

We ended this hike around 4pm. The national park was under construction and closed at 6pm, so we could only stop at one more location. We decided to stop at Park Avenue Trail.

Park Avenue Trail Map

Park Avenue Trail is very short. Only about 1.8 mile walk. You can really turn around anytime. We walked down just to the middle and turned back due to the park closing soon.

Slick Rock

We were lucky enough to camp right across the street from the Slick Rock Trailhead. This trail is one of the best mountain biking trails out there. Unfortunately, I don't really mountain bike lol. Luckily I was with someone who loves it. We strapped a GoPro on him and let him explore. He said it was a killer ride. Both amazing and extremely hard. 

Day Three

 

Day Three was our second day in Moab, Utah. We decided to go to Canyonlands National Park for our second day.

Canyonlands National Park Map

False Kiva Hike

False Kiva's Trail Map.

Now you wont find False Kiva Hike on any Google or Apple Map. This hike is hidden to keep all the loads of tourist off of it. Respect nature and the trails. Never leave a trace behind. Especially on historical hikes like this one. 

Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch short trail map

Mesa Arch was a very short hike, only 0.7 miles round trip. This easy hike leads you to Mesa Arch and some steep drops. I would avoid looking over the edge if you don't like heights. 

Dead Horse State Park

Dead Horse

STATE PARK

Dead Horse State Park

Shafer Road

This State Park is actually outside of Canyonlands National Park. It does coast around $10 to get in. But the America Is Beautiful pass also covers this fee. Deadhorse offers some great views with lots of colors. 

Shafer Trail

This drive offers great some views! Don't miss out on this drive. This was one of my favorite activities in Moab, Utah. Take a look at the map below. 

Shafer Trail Road Map

Shafer Road is a 19 miles dirt road. Shafer is a fantastic road to drive if you have 4 wheel drive vehicle. You begin at the top of the butte, and begin your decent with multiple switch backs. The decent is around 3,000 feet. 

Day Four

 

Day four we headed to Zion National Park. Around a 5 hour drive with no stops.

Moab to Zion map.

We arrived in Zion around 9:00 am on May 9th. The drive into Zion was absolutely incredible. The height of these mountains are something I have never encountered before. Driving along these curvy roads, really puts your size into perspective.

Weeping Rock

Weeping Rock is a famous landmark in Zion National Park. It is a large bowl shape alcove, made from eroded sandstone. There are small upper pools above the alcove that cascade down. Causing it to look like the rocks are weeping. This area is the perfect environment for plants. If you notice below, there are lush green plants everywhere, with some little gardens even hanging from the walls. This location is also a short hike. It is paved and only around a 10 minute stroll.

After this hike, it started to rain so we decided to head out in search of an open campsite. By the time we headed back it was about 4pm and pouring pretty heavily. We got to the top of a bluff that was BLM land. Perfect for camping, right? Maybe not... Our truck was extremely muddy. You couldn't see the treads on the tires. We looked at the weather report and saw that it was going to heavily down poor that night and the next day. I had a gut feeling that we might not be able to get off this hill tomorrow with all the mud on our tires. We decided to head back down the dirt road and find a safer spot to sleep. Going down this hill was one of the most SCARIEST moments of my life. The car was basically sliding down the mud road, while on the other side on was a 100 foot drop. We ended up getting to the bottom of the hill safely. But that drive could have been a lot worse if I didn't have an amazing driver, who was calm and not freaking out like me lol. I learned my lesson that day that if your gut tells you something, follow it. Because if we had left the next day, we could have been in a worse situation. 

Holiday Inn Express near Zion National Park.

Holiday Inn Express Springdale - at Zion was a great night stay for such short notice. I have to say how much I love staying at the Holiday Inn Express. Every hotel is always the same, clean, and has a free breakfast.

Day Five

 

Hidden Canyon

We woke up a little later this day and decided to hike the Hidden Canyon trail. I absolutely loved this hike. It was roughly around 3 miles total and had a elevation of 1000 feet. I would only suggest this hike to in shape individuals. It had many switch backs, but would be tough for anyone who was in shape. The first portion of this hike is just gravel/dirt switch backs. Stop and look around at each point because the views are spectacular. After you reach the top of the switchbacks, the trail takes you along the rock on a narrow path with only a metal chain to hold. This part was very narrow. It was a little scary but also thrilling.

Hidden Canyon trail map.

After you pass this section you get to the Hidden Canyon. This is where the trail became really interesting. You could feel the temperature change once you were in the Hidden Canyon and the ground was very sandy. Even as high as we were, there could still be flash floods in the Hidden Canyon. If you notice below you can see tree stumps from past flash floods.

Since Zion was going to have continuing bad weather all day, we decided to change our plans and head to Lake Powell.

 

Google map of Zion National Park to Lake Powell.

We arrived at Lake Powells around 5 pm and decided to camp at Wahweap RV & Campground. We ate dinner and we walked on the beach.

 

I really liked camping at Wahweap RV & Campground. It had roomy camping areas and a clean bathrooms. It was a great campsite! 

But wait there's more! Do not miss out on page two. Click above!