48 hours in Zion

Last minute, my wife Eden and I decided to hop on a plane to Vegas and spend a few days exploring the area that surrounds the city. With both sets of grandparents splitting the time watching our 2 year old, we knew she was in good hands and we could relax and have some fun exploring. 

We arrived in Vegas at noon on Thursday, picked up the rental car and less then a hour later, we were hiking uphill at Red Rocks. Though it was busy, we scrambled and explored the rocks around Calico for a couple hours. We then retreated to our hotel on the Strip (SLS Las Vegas) had a good dinner and hit the hay ready for the next two days of hiking and exploring.

Friday Morning we woke early and headed North 2.5hrs to Zion National Park. We arrived, found parking on the roadside, caught the shuttle and with our sights set on Angels landing, headed up that way. I have been up there a few times before but Eden had not seen it, so it was awesome to show her what beauty the park offered. We made good time up and out to the airy ridge and the summit. The conditions were pretty icy and we were glad to have our Kahtoola crampons strapped to our feet. It was actually surprising to see how many people were up there and didn’t have adequate gear for the conditions.. After spending a few moments up top, we decided to beat the crowd heading down to the saddle and hiked another couple hours West to more beautiful landscapes and views of the park.

As the sun was getting low in the sky we retreated to our hotel in Springdale (Bumbleberry INN), had a great dinner and got ready for one more day of hiking. Saturday we decided that we would get up early and catch one of the first shuttles in the park, given that it was a Saturday and it was the New Years eve weekend. We got dropped off at the Observation Point trail and made our way up through endless views, a few canyons and then onto even more spectacular views higher up. The sun was still low in the sky and the lighting was superb! Observation Point is one of my top 5 hikes from anywhere in the world. There is very few hikes that rival this one. It was relatively quiet given the day that it was. With the fresh blanket of snow, it made an already beautiful landscape, pop even more. We slowly made our way down the trail and began the drive back to Vegas. 

We decided since neither of us have ever really seen the strip that we would walk down it, have dinner somewhere and walk back. We ended up walking 15km all the way down and back. I don’t think I ever have to do that again. It was busy, loud, fake and so commercialized that I was so far out of my comfort zone. The lights and people were just too overwhelming. Cool to see but I don’t think I would do that again.

The next morning we had a slightly delayed flight so we quickly headed back to Red Rocks to explore some of the shorter trails and walks before having to spend the rest of the day travelling home. We missed our connection in Calgary due the delayed departure from Vegas. It added some time to the travel but it was manageable. Here are a bunch of photos from the trip. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did:-)

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