46 miles of trekking in 2 weeks. Yesterday was the official first day of summer. But here in Phoenix summer really hit on the 1st of June. This is the time of year when smart hikers hit the northern part of the state and/or start hiking at 4am. Phoenix has been having a heatwave, which seems totally redundant to me? For 2 weeks, the temperatures have been climbing to well over 110°.
6•11•16 | Fossil Creek | 8.82 miles
Fossil Creek is located in Strawberry. Wouldn’t you just love to live in a town called Strawberry? It’s a steep hike down into a canyon where the reward is this gorgeous spring fed creek with waterfalls, crystal clear cold water, luscious foliage, caves, and deep blue swimming holes. We hiked to the creek and jumped into the water. Enjoyed lunch. And played for about 4 hours. The hardest part of the hike is the steep climb back to the top of the trail. 4 miles of steady uphill canyon trekking. Worth every minute. This place is considered to be 2nd only to Havasu Falls.
6•18•16 | Angels Landing | Zion National Park | 5.4 miles
My niece and her boyfriend arrived in Phoenix on Friday. We got up bright and early Saturday morning for an epic road trip to Zion where we hit Angels Landing. Zion is one of the prettiest places I’ve set foot in so far. A combination of Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, it is just stunning. We started our excursion with Angels Landing, a very steep 1500 foot climb up a paved trail carved into the canyon wall. We were all surprised by the paved trail. Once we reached the saddle, the real fun begins as you grab hold of a big chain and scale your way up to the Ridgeline. As you cross over the ridgeline, the chain drops away at points where the trail narrows to about 3 feet wide. This one is not for the faint of heart. A real butt kicker with a spectacular view of the valley below.
6•19•16 | The Narrows | Zion National Park | 6.16 miles
The Narrows is what Zion is best known for. The quintessential water hike. You make your way down a one mile trail on land to the Virgin River and climb in. The hike takes you up the river as far as you want to go, through rapids and clear blue pools of water, over rocky terrain, surrounded by beautiful gigantic canyon walls. It’s a slow hike as you have to use all your power to wade through the water. But on one of the hottest weekends on record, the perfect hike. I only fell and smashed my knees twice. It wouldn’t be a hike if I didn’t fall. 😜 as the canyon walls close in on each other, the sun disappears and you begin to get cold because the water temp is in the 60s. Such a fun hike. As we made our way back out, there was a group of hikers rappelling down the canyon wall. A crowd gathered around to watch their amazing feat.
6•20•16 | Antelope Canyon / Horseshoe Bend | 2 miles
As we made our way back south into the blazing heat of Arizona, we stopped for a 2 hour tour of Antelope Canyon, one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. But before we arrived, the AC in the car died. Because it’s blazing hot of course. At the moment we realized something was amiss, we came upon Glen Canyon Dam. We stopped to look under the hood and enjoy the free air inside the visitor center. After Antelope Canyon, we had lunch and moved on to Horseshoe Bend. We got out there as fast as we could in the 100°+ temperatures, sun blazing on us the entire way. We snapped a few photos and made our way back to the baking car. The Rangers were on hand for the many tourists who had no water! I said a small prayer for the air to be working again, and PTL, it worked for the rest of the way home!
Super fun weekend with my people!
365 miles down. 635 miles to go.