It’s official: I’m hooked on American National Parks. As part of my recent trip to Salt Lake City, I spent a few days exploring the National Parks of south-eastern Utah. From the massive expanses of Canyonlands, to the sculpted beauty of Arches… I’ve honestly never seen anything like it before. It even surpassed my trip to Yosemite National Park last year, when I camped overnight deep within the forest. I’m already day-dreaming of my next National Park adventure!
Our Utah National Parks adventure started early. With bleary eyes, we woke at 6am for the 4 hour drive from Salt Lake City. The journey in itself was an unforgettable event. We watched the landscape gently transform as we left the city behind. The highways became quieter; the buildings became more sparse. Then, before we knew it, we were in the mountains that border Salt Lake City.
It was like something out of Jurassic Park. (yes, we played the theme tune in the car!).
Towering mountains of lush greenery, surrounding us on all sides. Not a building in site, and barely any fellow cars. The road merrily wound its way straight through these mountains, while we gazed out of the window in astonishment.
But what was on the other side of the mountain was where the real impact was… Have a watch of my travel video to see it all.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Our first stop was Canyonlands National Park. Think of it as a massive, open expanse of blisteringly red rocks and sandy ground – punctured with devastating canyons, that plunged deep into the earth. Dramatic much?!
We arrived at midday, ready to stretch our legs after hours in the car. Throughout the rest of the day, we worked our way slowly through the park (with frequent breaks from the boiling Utah sun!). The pinnacle of the day was venturing out to Grand Viewpoint – a short hike to the edge of a cliff face, with panoramic views across the park. Honestly, it was spectacular.
After exploring Canyonlands, we checked in to a Motel in Moab for the night. Moab was so cool! It’s a little town situated between Canyonlands and Arches, packed with restaurants and tourist shops. It had such a great vibe!
Arches National Park, Utah
After a good night’s sleep, we were up early to explore Arches National Park. With suncream applied and suitcases packed, we hopped back into our rental car for the short drive to the Park.
Arches is just a few miles from Canyonlands, so it shares much of the same geology. But what makes Arches so special is, as the name suggests, its arches! The Park is peppered with the most insane stone structures, formed through years of weathering. Some of the arches were small and intricate, whilst others dominated the landscape. It felt like walking through an alien planet!
After spending a long morning hiking through Arches National Park, we returned to the car for the drive back to Salt Lake City and the Cricut Make-A-Thon. We could easily have spent another few days exploring… but we were on a tight schedule! Both Gareth and I left with a serious case of wanderlust, already impatient to visit another National Park.
Have you ever been to an American National Park? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! – Mike.