Tag Archives: Utah Scenic Byway 12

September 7, 2017 Navajo/Queens Garden Loop.

Photo Gallery: My Favorite Hike in Bryce Canyon

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By Michael Lanza

Bryce Canyon’s Navajo Loop/Queens Garden Loop is a popular trail for good reason, with constant views of hoodoos—the multi-colored, limestone, sandstone, and mudstone spires that look like giant, melting candles, including the famous formation called Thor’s Hammer. But once turning onto the Peek-a-Boo Loop, you lose the crowds—and discover the scenic heart of Bryce Canyon while hiking below the Wall of Windows and row after row of towers in fluorescent shades of red and orange.

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March 6, 2017 Hiking the Chesler Park Trail, Needles District, Canyonlands National Park.

5 Great Southwest Hiking Trips You Can Take This Spring (Even If You Haven’t Planned Ahead)

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

The Grand Canyon. The Narrows in Zion National Park. Paria Canyon. The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. These are among the best backpacking trips in the Southwest—arguably in the country. But their renown demands that you plan those trips and apply for a backcountry permit months in advance. If you haven’t done that already, you’re likely out of luck for ticking off one of them this spring. But there are lesser-known, gorgeous hiking and backpacking trips you can still take in the Southwest this spring, even if you’re only getting around to planning a trip right now. Here are five of my favorites. Continue reading →

October 3, 2016 Above Crack-in-the-Wall, Coyote Gulch

Photo Gallery: Hiking and Backpacking Utah’s Wild Escalante

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By Michael Lanza

Explore slot canyons so narrow you have to take off your daypack and turn sideways to squeeze through. Dayhike to a waterfall that pours 126 feet over a multi-colored cliff into a perfect swimming hole. Backpack one of southern Utah’s most achingly gorgeous and family-friendly canyons. And that merely scrapes the surface of this weeklong adventure in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The photo gallery below offers a peek behind the curtain of this less-busy corner of the Southwest’s canyonlands.

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November 5, 2015 Above Crack-in-the-Wall, Coyote Gulch, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.

Great Trip: Backpacking Coyote Gulch in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

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By Michael Lanza

Whether you’re an expert desert backpacker, taking a first multi-day hike in the Southwest canyon country, or heading out with your family, the three-day hike of Coyote Gulch has everything you’d want in a canyon trip: soaring, redrock canyon walls that go for miles, surprisingly lush greenery, a year-round creek that saves you from having to carry a lot of water, and relatively easy hiking. Little wonder that this tributary canyon of the Escalante River, in southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, has earned a reputation as a classic. Continue reading →

September 14, 2015 Near Frying Pan Trail.

Photo Gallery: Exploring the Wild Playground of Capitol Reef National Park

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By Michael Lanza

Only in southern Utah, home to America’s greatest concentration of national parks, could a place like Capitol Reef National Park remain relatively unknown. But that’s good for those of us who like parks where you see few other people on the trails—if any—and where the scenery just keeps getting more unbelievable around every bend. Through many visits over the years, including two with my family, I’ve had the opportunity to explore much of its backcountry, from the wild contours of rippled sandstone towers to the tightest slot canyons. And our kids have loved our adventures here. Continue reading →

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Grand Canyon Hiker