The La Vista Verde Trail, in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area, runs from State Highway 567 to an overlook point with the Rio Grande Gorge rapids far below. The steep-walled gorge trail has dramatic changes in elevation and draws many species including raptors (such as eagles and hawks), songbirds, waterfowl, beavers, cougars, ring-tailed cats, and mule deer. The trail is 1.2 miles long. We started at 6,243 feet, with an elevation gain of 88 feet as the trail climbed—a gradual gain in elevation and an easy hike.
On the website for Stone Canyon Inn is one of the area’s “best-kept secrets”—the Tropic Trail—and we planned to hike it that day. When we checked into the inn, we inquired about the “secret back entrance” to Bryce Canyon and were told the gravel road is well maintained and traversable by all vehicles. We had rented an SUV, so we weren’t worried about the road conditions unless a 4WD vehicle was required. We were also given directions and a hand-drawn map of the trail system. Continue reading →
Just around the corner from our lodge was Cafe Soleil. We ate breakfast there and then headed for the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to catch the park shuttle. We planned to ride it to the end of the line—Temple of Sinawava—a forty-minute trip. Along the way we discussed which trails to explore, knowing we couldn’t cover them all in one day. Now I understand what visitors mean about there being a lot of good hikes in Zion, and we could’ve spend a week hiking this park alone.Continue reading →