Zion National Park (Utah)

Our two (2) months in Maui went by just way too fast and the time spent was a great respite from our nonstop SE Asian travels.  Maui is such a beautiful and serene place and we really took to the relaxed laid back island lifestyle.  It was board shorts and flip flops everyday which always makes for a true paradise.  We were proud of our perfect record on Maui of never missing a single beach day during our entire stay.  A pretty impressive feat for the common folk but not for us beach bums.  We were sad to leave but we will return.  Even though we have been to both Kauai and the Big Island in the past, a repeat visit to one of these other Hawaiian islands next time around would serve as a good change of scenery.

We made a very brief pit stop in Las Vegas (our previous home base) to put some clothes into our storage unit and take some stuff out for our next year of travels of following the sun around the world.  We then hopped into our rental car and drove the 3 hours to Zion National Park which is one of our favorite parks in Southern Utah.  Because of its close proximity to Las Vegas, during our 19 years of living in Las Vegas, Barbie and I have visited Zion probably over 40 times over the years. Zion is spectacular.  Truly heaven on earth and a great place to visit and get in touch with nature.  The hikes in the park are phenomenal.  Some of our favs are Angels Landing, The Narrows, Observation Point.

The town of Springdale which sits just outside the park entrance is a real cool place.  Springdale has really grown over the years.  It used to be a quiet uncrowded retreat town but with all good things, they get discovered and developed.  They keep building more hotels, but fortunately, these new hotel structures fit into the desert landscape.  As a result of this hotel building boom, I have never seen the park this crowded.  European visitors clearly outnumber American visitors.  I know many Americans that have never been to Zion and the other National Parks in Southern Utah.  That is a real shame as the scenery in this region of Utah ranks up as some of the most spectacular in the entire world.  If you have never driven thru this Southern Utah region, get your ass here asap and see it for yourself.

The Southern Utah circuit makes a terrific road trip and its an absolute must visit at least once in your lifetime.  It also would be a real cool area to visit with children as they would love the activities in this outdoor environment.  The Southern Utah circuit includes driving to the following National Parks/State Parks along spectacular, out of this world scenery:

National Parks:
Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Capital Reef National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Arches National Park
Grand Canyon National Park

State Parks/Recreation Areas:
Calf Creek Falls
Monument Valley
Goblin Valley State Park
Dead Horse State Park

If you are fortunate enough to slice out 3 weeks to cover all of the above parks, I will pat you on the back for living life the right way and when you return you can pat me on the back for steering you to this life changing experience.  The best time to visit is late spring/summer.  Be warned, it is hot as shit during the summer but the extreme heat somehow adds to this trippy travel experience.  Make sure to come prepared with your music playlist for the car ride.  May I suggest the following playlists as they inexplicably blend in quite well with the surreal scenery: The Doors, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead and throw in some Neil Young and you will be good to go.

It’s now onto the east coast of the United States to hang with our gang of degenerates at Saratoga Racetrack in beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY for a 6 week stint.

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