Utah and Colorado back country hiking road trip

With my good buddy Mike Butler, I just came back from two weeks road tripping and hiking Utah and Colorado and what a trip it was.

Overall, we spent $3,021.85 on the two week trip. That means each of us spent at least $1,510.93 driving some 2,100 miles and visiting six national parks, crashing in four hotels, two campgrounds and lots of tent spots.

Below, find a quick run down with hopes of going into greater detail later.

We flew into Salt Lake City, coming into the airport over the Great Salt Lake and the nearby Salk Lake Desert, what an interesting view.

We pulled over for the Utah state sign and spent the night in Salt Lake City, taking in a brew pub, visiting the Church of Latter Day Saints Temple area, cruising the University of Utah and driving other neighborhoods.

The next morning, it was on to Zion National Park, where we arrived early that evening.

Our first trip was six miles of arduous climbing up Weeping Rock to a backcountry trail.

The terrain was fascinating, though it often made for hard hiking.

First camp ground, the next morning, having arrived there at night.

The views weren’t half bad.

Angel’s Landing was our hike the next day and an arduous one at that.

A break at the lodge before hiking back up Weeping Rock, at least then without full packs.

The next morning we were off, and made a quick visit through Bryce Canyon.

Though nearby, the sky patterns and relationship to the canyons was altogether different.

I was excited about Arches National Park, home to more strangely eroded sandstone than anywhere in the world.

The longest naturally-formed rock span in the world, more than 300 feet, Landscape Arch.

Of course we did the hike out to Delicate Arch, the state’s signature.

Camping on state ground outside Arches and along the Colorado River, we moved camp sites for a better spot in an unorthodox way.

Off roading in Canyonlands National Park, that’s the road.

Sunset over Murphy’s Point in Canyonlands, where we smoked cigars and watched a beautiful night of stars.

We made it to Colorado!

Well that was a waste of time…

The calmer edges of the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Our last two camping nights…

Oh, what up, elk.

Mostly in the mid-60s on this day, but the snow patches were plentiful.

You pee in both directions and see which stream gets there faster.

Bear Lake.

Rocky Mountain National Park had some beautiful views, though because everything is of a higher elevation, it mostly just seems like mountains, nothing of great signature.

No more hiking. Our last night is plunked in a campgrounds, with a nice fire and some whiskey.

Hell yes, we went whitewater rafting on the Cache La Poudre River. See more on this here.

Things I learned:

  • There were camels in Utah 10,000 years ago (and there are some there now for tours, in addition to mammoth at the end of the last Ice Age.

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