A few weeks ago, Colby and I went down to St. George for the weekend. It was one of those rare weekends when a holiday fell on a Friday, which meant Colby could ask for Saturday off and we had a whole weekend when neither of us had to work. It was glorious. So we decided to go to one of our favorite places and hike one of our favorite hikes – The Narrows in Zion National Park.
Happy Friday! It’s a holiday here in Utah known as Pioneer Day. We celebrate the fact that on this day in 1947, some people showed up and decided to make this beautiful place their home. As a result, everything shuts down and everyone lights off massive amounts of fireworks. Some people even get the day off work. I didn’t, but since it’s a Friday, I decided to take the day off anyway, because why not?
A few weeks ago, I also had Friday off on the day before July 4th, so my dad and I decided to go on a hike up to White Pine Lake. All the mountain lakes above Salt Lake City are truly hidden gems, and you truly have to put in work to get there.
White Pine Lake Adventure Date: July 3, 2015
Distance: 10.7 miles round trip
Time: 6-7 hours (with lots of breaks)
Location: 5.5 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon on the south side of the road
Steps: 27,194 as tracked by Fitbit Flex
Originally, we thought this trail was only about 4 miles one way, thanks to outdated trail signs and guidebooks, but it turned out to be almost 6 miles each way if my dad’s GPS watch and my Fitbit were right. We started out strong, and the scenery was gorgeous – everything was so green and in some places the trail was covered in water due to the overflowing stream and the snow melt.
The first time I heard about Crater Lake National Park, I knew I had to go. I’ve been so obsessed with it for a long time; randomly going on spurts when I would spend hours looking at pictures of it on the Internet. It looked so gorgeous, and after visiting, I can say without reservation that it is the most beautiful place I have ever been.
We visited Crater Lake in late May, and when we were first planning our trip for our anniversary, we didn’t realize that there would still be snow at the 6,000 foot elevation crater. I was in a panic when I went to their website to look for a campsite and found that their campground was closed until early June. Luckily, though, I soon discovered that it had opened earlier this year since it had been a light winter and we would be able to get a site.
A few weekends ago, we participated in something called Questival. It’s a 24 hour scavenger hunt with over 300 challenges that you can choose to complete. The object is to do as many challenges as you can in 24 hours in order to make it into the top 50 teams. Once you’re in the top 50, only style matters, so you have to make sure you’re creative in everything you do.
Our race started at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, where we slacklined, played giant “beer” pong, heard live music from Brumby, and ate the most delicious meal ever from Cupbop. The official start of the race was a resounding llama noise from everyone at the festival (fitting, as our team name was #llamanoise) and we were off.
A lot of our entries were videos, which I can’t share here because the majority of them were not on my phone. To see all of the challenges we did, visit our team page!
A while ago, I had a dream to hike every non-technical trail in Zion National Park. And after last weekend, I think I have done it! Emerald Pools, the Narrows, Angels Landing, Hidden Canyon, and finally, Observation Point. I mean, of course there are a few other small hikes throughout the main park and Kolob Canyon, but these are the five main ones I wanted!
In total I have probably spent upwards of thirty hours hiking around in Zion, not to mention the time I have spent playing in the Virgin River and kicking a soccer ball around by the lodge. The park is one of my favorite places in the world and no matter what you do, it’s guaranteed to be incredible.