Category Archives: Darcy

Utah 2018: Bryce Canyon National Park—Day 2

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

Utah 2018: Zion National Park—Day 2

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

Utah 2018: Zion National Park—Day 1

Take a hike—in Utah!

In my junior year at the University of Oregon, I fell in with a group of avid backpackers. Over the years, I had been on many day hikes: Toco, Trinidad; Namibia, Africa; and even the wilds of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, when I attended Lincoln Memorial University. But the backcountry aficionados I met in Oregon were hardcore wilderness trekkers, and I had no idea what I had signed up for when I joined them to backpack the Timberline Trail—a 38.3-mile hike around Mount Hood, rated difficult, and with an elevation gain of nine thousand feet.  Continue reading