One place that I have dying to go is Monument Valley. We decided a couple months ago that we would finally head to the Southeast corner of Utah for fall break. Our plans weren’t quite definite and it seemed like things kept coming up. The week of our planned trip we weren’t even sure that we would be able to go because it would be such a long drive for not enough time. Luckily things fell into place and we were able to leave Saturday night after a friend’s wedding. We left Salt Lake around 9:00 PM and drove as far as we could. We made it to right outside of Moab until we were just too tired so we pulled off the road a couple miles and set up our camp. Sunday morning we woke up and kept going. We wanted to make it to Monticello to go to church; unfortunately we just weren’t going to make it in time. I was looking up sacrament times and we found a small branch in LaSal. It is a very tiny town just south of Moab. There were only about 50 people in the branch. It was a fun experience to go to a branch in Utah!
In July, we backpacked in Big Cottonwood Canyon to Lake Blanche. This trail was steep and very challenging. After this trip, I wasn’t really sold on the whole backpacking thing. Blake told me that backpacking in the High Uintas doesn’t have much elevation gain. After doing some research, we agreed that Naturalist Basin would be our destination on the Highline Trail. This is located right by Mirror Lake. This is rated as a great beginning backpacking trail, so that really helped ease my worry about carrying an extra 20 pounds on my back.
Back in March I thought I would try my hand at the lottery system for The Wave. We talked to someone who had been putting in for years with no luck. We didn’t think we had any chance at drawing out but I just wanted to see how the system worked. Somehow we got very lucky and drew out. I put in for four spots so that my parents could come along. A few years ago, my parents and I were in Kanab watching Seth play baseball and saw a photo of The Wave on the wall in one of the local stores and we talked about how we HAD to go there.
A couple weekends ago, Blake and I tried our hand at backpacking. I had really been wanting to hike Lake Blanche so we chose this for our backpacking trip. This hike is pretty hard; it says it is about 6 miles round trip (I swear it is longer!). Those three miles to the lake are all uphill and actually pretty steep; about 2000 feet incline. While getting up was hard, it was well worth it to wake up to the beautiful Sundial Peak.
A few days ago, Blake and I were discussing some of our favorites hikes. We have been on some great hikes together, so I thought I would compile a list of our top ten day hikes in Utah! Here they are in no specific order:
If you have never been to Goblin Valley, I suggest you go. Like now! It is such a beautiful place. We got engaged this same weekend, last year. Since we started dating, adventuring has been a real priority for us. Blake and I decided that to celebrate one of our favorite days we would go on an adventure. We drove to Manti Friday afternoon. We drove right past the place we got engaged, such a special place for us! One of our favorite places to eat is Roy’s Pizza (best cheese sticks around), so we stopped in Ephraim and got our fill.