Howdy, Friends! I was slightly distracted last week and didn’t get around to posting my weekly summary. Check out the last two weeks of our trip below 🙂 Also, I’ve been loving the questions people have been asking me on how to make this dream a reality. Keep them coming!
Stop #12 Salt Lake City, Utah
“You’re going to LOVE Salt Lake City. I bet you’ll end up moving there”, said everyone. Unfortunately, not the case. Don’t get me wrong, Salt Lake is a pristine city. One of the cleanest I’ve been to, honestly. However, the entire time Joe and I felt like we were missing something. We were baffled because we weren’t understanding all the excitement behind it. I did keep in mind that we were visiting during a pandemic, but there weren’t many signs of life. It had a dreary and empty feeling to it. There was an uncomfortable absence of people around, a feeling you rarely experience in a city, even during a pandemic. Aside from the monotonous atmosphere of the city, the surrounding mountainous hikes are ASTONISHING. We drove up through Big Cottonwood Canyon where Brighton Ski Resort sits at the tippy-top of the mountain. Funny story, we only came across this on accident because I put the wrong coordinates in the GPS. However, it made out for a scenic drive through the yellow and red alpine.
Side note: Check out Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade for a delicious breakfast!
After hundreds of miles, we finally reached an In N Out Burger! Long-awaited it was! As excited as I was to try this iconic west coast staple, I wasn’t as blown away as I anticipated. I think I’ll stick to McDonald’s burger and fries for half the price :p
Stop #13 Lindon, Utah
After getting tired of the city life, we packed everything up and drove about an hour south to Lindon Marina RV Park. Ah, it was so relieving to be out of the city. Our first night we checked out the dive-iest of dive bars, LaSabre. I spent the night hustling and bustling the pool table, winning the entire bar shots. Iconic.
After spending much of the following day in the RV recovering from our lack of beverage control the night before, we saddled up for an epic hike through American Fork Canyon. We began at Silver Flat Lake and hiked 6 miles round trip up a 2,395 ft. elevation gain to Silver Glance Lake. The turquoise waters that await you at the top are well worth the difficult (in our eyes) hike.
Side note: the drive up the mountain to Silver Glance trailhead is rough! Make sure you have a car that sits high enough and has a good enough suspension to handle the rough terrain.
Coordinates for Silver Glance Lake Trailhead: 40.50727, -111.65643. Dog friendly hike!
Stop #14 Fillmore, Utah
There’s not too much going on where we stopped in Fillmore, Utah. About 20 minutes south in Meadow, Utah lies 3 natural hot springs in the middle of a cattle ranch. Such a random, yet unique find. The first hot spring, usually the busiest since its often the hottest of the 3, was full of visitors. Fun fact: this hot spring is supposedly 27ft. deep. I wouldn’t know. Not a chance I was sticking my head underwater. There were too many “unknowns” in the springs to put it nicely. Unknown fish, unknown slimy stuff, unknown bacteria. The cows also come right up and drink from the springs. Not the cleanliest feeling. Skipping the first spring without a beat, we walked over to the second hot spring for a more private experience. Beautiful sunset location. Definitely worth checking out, but would I go back a second time? Probably not.
Side note: It is dog friendly! Piper was loving it. She was running through the field and around the springs.
Stop #15 Beaver, Utah
One hour south of Fillmore is a charming little town, Beaver, Utah. I accidentally took us to the wrong RV park (this really doesn’t happen as often as it seems in this post, lol). Regardless of intention or not, the outcomes always turn out great! We loved the artsy, rustic RV park we happened to stumble upon, Beaver Canyon Campground. They had a lot of seasonal renters, so the sites were really done up and decorated. Some had personal gardens, outdoor bars, décor like you wouldn’t believe! The staff and residents here were so welcoming and helpful. They were never shy to lend a helping hand when Joe was out working on fixing different parts of the RV. Raise your truck hood in an RV park, I dare ya! People will come flocking from all directions. To top it off, there was the most delicious, authentic Mexican restaurant on-site, Marias Cocina. My mouth is watering just thinking about their chimichangas.
Beaver is just over an hour’s drive from Bryce Canyon National Park, as well as to a scenic drive through Zion National Park, and about 1 hour and 40 minutes to the park’s entrance in Springdale. While you’re in the area, check out the quickly growing town, St. George. We met some people who recommended St. George as a great place to move, so we did some scouting. The location doesn’t get much better than St. George. It is only an hour from Zion National Park and just minutes from smaller state parks. Great location for outdoor lovers.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to hike throughout Zion since we didn’t reserve shuttle bus tickets to enter the park. I was blown away by how busy it is this late in the season. For anyone going, make sure you make time for The Narrows hike and Angel’s Landing. From what I hear, they’re incredible! Do your research prior, though! For the Narrows, you may want a wet suit and Angel’s landing may not be best for those with a fear of heights (me)!
Stop #16 Monroe, Utah
This is a spot I’ll remember forever. Joe and I had ourselves a magical night at Mystic Hot Springs and RV park. Producer/Director/Artist and Owner, Mike Ginsburg turned a geological wonder into an epic art gallery. This authentic hippie paradise will take you through a time machine back to the ’70s through the eyes of a true deadhead. There is no lack of Grateful Dead décor here. Dad if you’re reading, I feel like I was sent back in time to experience somewhere you’d be caught hanging out as a kid. They have a stage for concerts, tubs for soaking, and fire pits for jamming. A truly magical place. If you’re looking for a resort feel, this isn’t it. Mystic Hot Springs is for those who can appreciate the untouched realm of the ’70s with antiques surrounding the property, restored pioneer cabins, and renovated school buses to sleep in. Aside from the incredible hot springs themselves, the stars in Monroe are so enchanting they make it difficult to find words to explain just how beautiful and bright they truly are. They radiate the sky from left to right and make for a perfect night by the fire. This was also the perfect spot for Joe and I to cook some fish our neighbor in Beaver caught on the lake and gave to us. What a wonderful night it was!
Stop #17 Moab, Utah
I’m sure most of you have heard of the famous Moab, Utah, home to Arches National Park. Joe and I drove around the park and hiked probably one of the busiest trails, Delicate Arch. After the 3 mile roundtrip, we were ready to escape the crowds and check out Mesa Arch for sunset in Canyonlands National Park. Between you and me, Canyonlands National Park is UNDERRATED. Canyonlands has such a vast array of colors preserved throughout the canyons making for an unearthly feel. Being only a half-hour from Arches National park, I feel it often gets overshadowed.
I didn’t get to hike either of these parks as much as I wanted to, but will be back later for more exploration. Joe was ready to get out of Utah’s desserts and back to some greenery.
Stop #18 Cortez, Colorado
With a spin of the finger over our route to Texas, we ended up in Cortez, Colorado. Home to the Mesa Verde National Park and driving distance to numerous breathtaking towns such as Telluride and Durango. Cortez was the perfect meeting ground. The drive to the famous ski town, Telluride Is a straight shot on the San Juan Skyway (CO-145N) through the San Juan National Forest. The windy road through the mountains alongside the Dolores River filled with Aspen and Pine trees makes for a memorable drive. Previously a mining town, Telluride is now a small ski resort town only 8 blocks wide and 12 blocks long nestled in a canyon. Unfortunately, much of it was shut down due to COVID, and being offseason, it was still awesome to see. I would love to get back here and really experience the town at its peak season surrounded by snowy mountains. I attempted to do some solo hiking here while Joe was hard at work but quickly had to reverse it down a single lane dirt road along a cliffside on my way to the trailhead. Morgan driving an F-150 up a barrier-less mountainside is a TERRIBLE IDEA. Remember that fear of heights we talked about? It was in FULL EFFECT here.
Located in the Animas River Valley, Durango is a destination to add to your itinerary! A hip town filled with breweries, quaint little shops, ski resorts, steam train rides through the mountains, and oh yeah…dispensaries (you know, cause weeds legal in Colorado). Don’t worry Mom & Dad, I did not indulge in ANY illegal activities. I felt like I had to add that in there before I received unwarranted texts. However, I did check the shops out.
That’s all I have for you guys this week…Stay tuned to hear about our days exploring the Ancient Ruins in Cortez!
Check out my previous posts here!