The Beautiful, Wild West

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

It seems all the hype over the western part of the U.S. is completely accurate. As spring turns into summer and a whole new world of opportunities open up for exploring this beautiful part of the country, I am in awe of the beauty surrounding me. The snow has melted, the gear has been bought and the camping trips are rolling. I have never lived somewhere before where the beauty of the outdoors is so appreciated and the locals are so busy appreciating it. Nearly every weekend since it warmed up, I have had some kind of invitation to go camping or hiking with a group of people who love this place and all the incredible outdoor activities it offers. And if I didn’t – I’ve gone hiking anyway. It’s just too beautiful not to…

The most recent trip was to Bryce Canyon National Park for memorial day weekend. The drive from Denver is about 10 hours with stops but totally worth it. The best part is that the drive is half the fun. With the interstates and highways winding through the mountains and desert, there are breathtaking views almost the entire time. I was blown away by the vibrant green color of the mountains in towns like Vail, and was shocked by the dramatic landscape of the dry, red and rugged Utah desert.

Bryce far exceeded my expectation. Upon first glance, I was stunned by the vast canyon and its red and pink colors that stare back at you. It’s moments like those that remind me how totally cool mother nature is…

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The next couple days I explored the canyon with friends, laughed by the campfire and even snuck in a solo hike into the heart of Bryce Canyon. It was so amazing to see the forest / desert contrast that Bryce has to offer. Somehow lush, green trees grow in between the cracks of the desert floor and it is so beautiful to see. The rocks that stick up in weird formations, almost like poles but much more intricate, are called “hoodoos.” They are everywhere and I never ever got sick of seeing them.

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The drive back from Bryce actually ended up being one of the highlights of the weekend… like woah. The variety of incredible views I had in a day were mind-blowing and had me completely fall in love with this part of the country. There is so much beauty and it is so inspiring. We went through the area of Escalante, Utah and winded through desert, rock mountains, Capitol Reef National Park and even a forest of aspens before being greeted home by the high peaks of Colorado. I arrived home that day stoked about where I live and the incredible adventures ahead of me. In many ways, the Bryce road trip solidified Colorado being the place for me right now. I can’t wait for all the amazing sights I will see!

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