Hello and welcome to I Went Somewhere!
Utah. Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?
Today we go to Zion National Park with Zora where she conquers the world famous Angels Landing and make some new friend!
So lace those boots up, we're headed to Utah.
Hello! Tell us a little bit about you and where you traveled to?
My name is Zora and I conquered Angels Landing at Zion National Park! I was on a solo trip hiking the Seven Falls in Colorado last summer. I couldn’t get the angle on my camera right so I asked somebody random to take a picture of me. This random person is now one of my closest friends, but we live on opposite sides of the country. I’m from Minnesota, and my friend James lives in Philadelphia. We share an intense love of hiking and bonded over the fact that we both work with kids. So we stayed in touch after meeting in Colorado and decided to meet up in Las Vegas next where we drove to Zion National Park last January 2023.
How great was the trip?
Me and my friend James had seven days to hike Utah. So much hiking. And the southwest gets cold in the winter. Those early morning hikes are brisk. It was my first time hiking in hail. We spent most of our time in Zion National Park, some of our favorite trails were: emerald pools, watchman, west rim, angels landing and canyon overlook. Utah really does feel like another planet. We also hiked Bryce Canyon National Park, about an hour drive from Zion. It was much less busy during the winter months so if you are looking to avoid the crowds, winter hiking may be the right choice for you.
What did you do while you were there?
We were extremely nervous when it was time to hike Angels Landing. Angels Landing is an iconic part of Zion National Park, a spot where several people have died over the years. A part of me wanted to back out, but once we got the “congratulations” we knew we at least had to try. Angels Landing is so famous that you now need a permit to hike there. You apply for the permit a day before your hike, it’s a lottery system. I didn’t realize how much adrenaline I had until the hike was over, when I got to the car my hands were still shaking. My life flashed before my eyes a few times but we did it. Mission accomplished.
How did you learn and prepare for this trip?
I was informed that some hikers had just died from hypothermia at Zion National Park. I knew that my clothes primarily made out of cotton were not going to cut it. So I had a friend take me shopping at an expensive, probably overpriced hiking store to get some appropriate clothing. But it was worth the money and now I love REI co-op. I even have a membership at REI now. I had on four layers of clothes while hiking and I stayed comfortable despite the changing weather. I learned that high quality hiking clothes are worth the money. I brought microspikes as well. Some of that equipment can be life saving.
How did you get there?
I flew with Sun Country Airlines. I am pretty neutral when it comes to airlines. I will not fly with Spirit or Frontier if I can help it due to bad experiences in the past. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. I have been traveling full time for seven years, and airports have felt like a second home. I have been using Turo for about a year now and I love it. I recommend this app one hundred percent if you have not heard of it, think Airbnb for cars. Yes you are renting out other peoples cars, it’s affordable and helps support small businesses instead of corporations. Rental cars are out. Turo is in. Much less hassle.
Where did you stay?
We stayed at an Airbnb about thirty minutes away from Zion National Park. It was a cute 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom vacation rambler home. My friend James is a little bit more adventurous than me in the sense that he stays in hostels when he travels. I am all about my Airbnbs. When I travel solo, I often rent a room in somebody's house. When I travel in a group we split the Airbnb. Super affordable. We each paid under $500 to rent our Airbnb for six nights in Utah.
Would you go back and do it again?
The entire state of Utah is a hikers paradise. I would absolutely go back and hike Zion and Bryce Canyon all over again. It was worth all the time, effort and money. I had an amazing time hiking Utah in the winter because it was less crowded and the snow made it even more magical. Utah is on my list of places to go back to since I only made it to 2 out of the mighty 5. Utah is home to 5 out of this world national parks. My advice for hiking in Utah, make sure you come prepared. Bring all the hiking essentials.
Where can we go to connect with you?
My Instagram is @travelingandtrekking. Where I post all of my travel content.
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Excellent trip! Southern Utah has so much to explore and those red rocks are like walking into Radiator Spring in the movie Cars! Thank you for sharing!
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Catch you next time. Happy travels!