Indian Trail – Ogden
In early June we headed up to Ogden to hike the Indian Trail. The trail is just shy of 8.5 miles and has 2,700 feet of gain. It follows an old Shoshoni Indian trail through the mountain pass, climbing up to Ogden Canyon and descending into Cold Water Canyon. It’s a steep climb and goes through various terrain – rocky and exposed at the bottom, winding through shady pines, and descending into a lush forest on the backside. The second half of the trail winds along a creek, which our (sometimes) water-loving dog thoroughly enjoyed. Once we got to the bottom, we turned around and did the whole thing in reverse.
Escalante Natural Bridge – Grand Staircase Escalante
Escalante Natural Bridge is a 4 mile out and back trail in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. There will be a more detailed post about our trip to the National Monuments/Parks in Southern Utah later, but suffice to say, Grand Staircase Escalante is amazing. We detoured here on our way to Bryce Canyon for the simple fact that National Parks don’t allow dogs and we wanted to hike with Snickers. The trail itself is flat and easy, though it is very sandy and there are about 4 stream crossings. We’d recommend wearing sandals or shoes you don’t mind getting wet. The trail goes through a canyon surrounded by sheer, red rock faces. There are supposedly petroglyphs on the walls, though we didn’t see any. It makes its way through desert landscape until it ends at a gorgeous natural bridge. We went in the afternoon and the trail was completely empty despite the parking lot being full. It was a perfect place to stretch our legs after a long drive.
Navajo Loop Trail – Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. It’s spotted with hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock that formed when a thick layer of soft rock (mudstone, sandstone) is covered by a thin layer of hard rock (limestone, basalt) that protects the softer layer from erosion. Our initial plan was to just go to some of the lookouts and walk the Sunrise-Sunset trail since that’s the only place dogs are allowed, but Beth and Casey offered to hang out with Snickers on the rim so Matt and I could do a quick hike of the Navajo Loop Trail. The trail is short (1.3 miles) and not too difficult. It winds down via switchbacks into an amphitheater and loops around through fir trees before climbing back up to Sunset Point. The views were amazing throughout and the rock formations were incredible. The trail meets up with other trails at the bottom, so you could easily log some miles in the canyon if you have time (and don’t have a dog).
The Narrows – Zion National Park
The Narrows is the last stop along the Zion Canyon bus ride. This place is aptly named, as you drive up this curvy road the walls becoming closer and higher until you arrive at the bus stop where you are in the flat washout from a hard cut river with tower rocks on both sides. There is a 1 mile walk from the bus stop to the Narrows proper where you will see hundreds (thousands!) of people wearing goofy rental water hiking shoes in the mid-morning going for a COLD! walk in the shallow, rocky water. We walked maybe a half mile up the river where it never gets above waist deep; however, the more adventurous will want to start at the end and do the 14 mile water hike descent.
My parents had this as their must-see item on the trip into Zion and it doesn’t disappoint. No dogs allowed on this section, so it was just the three of us here while Beth did the Pa’rus trail.
Pa’rus trail – Zion National Park
While Matt, Beth, and Casey were off enjoying the Narrows, Snickers and I explored Zion a different way. Unfortunately dogs aren’t allowed (which we knew going in) so we walked along the Pa’rus trail and up the Scenic Road for a total of 10 miles. The Pa’rus trail is a nice, paved path that winds along the Virgin River and into the canyon. You can see all of the incredible rock formations that Zion is known for with very little disruption from other people. Snickers loved getting to play in the river to cool off and I enjoyed a leisurely walk. Since we knew it would be a while before the gang got back, we also walked along the road to Zion Lodge so we could experience a taste of what goes on in the park. Cars aren’t allowed on the road during the summer – only shuttle buses – so we didn’t have to worry too much about traffic. The pink and red sandstone cliffs are a sight to behold and we enjoyed just being outside and exploring.
Holbrook Canyon Trail – Bountiful
We hiked this trail back in May, but came back for an easy weekend hike/jog in June. Check out our May Hikes post if you want to see this trail again 🙂