Exploring Close to Home

A few weeks had passed since our trip in the Paria and we were feeling antsy to get back on the road for some more adventuring. Since the weather has been amazing so far this Fall we thought we should try to cram in a few more trips for some hiking and biking. We live in such a cool area with limitless places to explore, so we decided to keep this trip a little closer to home. The lodge at the North rim of the Grand Canyon had just closed which meant it was perfect timing to head that way... NO TOURISTS!!!

We had recently read about the Rainbow Rim trail, an 18 mi long single track trail that traverses the North rim of the Grand Canyon and were itchin' to check it out, so we packed up the bikes and set off.

We arrived just in time to set up camp and capture a beautiful sunset.

Day 2:

In the morning we set off on the Rainbow Rim trail.

The trail weaved in and out along the rim eventually opening up on some amazing view points.

We knew being camped on the rim would give us a great chance to view great sunsets and they did not disappoint.

Loved the reflection of the sunset in the van.

A picture of a picture.

Pointing out all of the amazing clouds in the sky.

And while the dark clouds loomed for our entire stay we somehow lucked out with no rain.

Day 3:

On our 3rd day we packed up and headed to Lake Powell to meet up with some friends. The weather could not have been better, with highs in the 70's which made for perfect camping on the beach.

Day 4:

We spent our first morning at Lake Powell trying to fit in as much play time as we could. We rode fat tire bikes along the beach, swam, paddle boarded and ran along the beach before packing up and heading on to our next adventure.

After just one night at Powell we packed up and headed on. As mentioned in my post about backpacking the Paria Canyon we were unable to start our hike at Buck Skin Gulch due to high water levels. Since we were back in that neck of the woods we decided to give it a shot again and headed that way.

Buck Skin Gulch

The mud we'd experienced in the Paria canyon just weeks before was all dried up.

The narrows of Buck Skin Gulch.

We set out far too late in the day to make it through the narrows before the sun set, but we were determined to try to at least get to the start of them before heading back.

Happy to make it this far, but time to turn around.

We made it out just in time for the sun to set, grabbed dinner in Kanab and headed to a friend's house in Hurricane, UT.

Day 4:

On Day 4 we headed in to Zion National Park for some hiking and beautiful scenery.

Weeping Rock

We made it back to Hurricane in time to get a little riding in on the fat bikes.

Riding with the cows

Matt and I aren't much into the selfie movement so we decided we'd take a "shelfie" instead. Get it? A shadow selfie. Hahaha! I came up with that one myself. Or at least I think I did??

Day 5 & 6 were spent in Vegas. My family was in town and we headed there for a visit. Sorry, no pics available from this trip. Remember, "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas!".

It might have involved a little of this...

Ladies night

A little of that...

And maybe even one of these...

Okay, not really, but eventually we will get around to planning a wedding. It's just so hard when you have so many priorities (like riding bikes) to find the time to plan a wedding.

Day 7:

After realizing we had left too much play untouched in the SW corner of Utah, we decided to head back that way after Vegas meeting up with our friends for some more riding.

Gooseberry Mesa

The picture below was taken before I fell off a 3 foot ledge. Just glad I didn't fall all the way into the canyon.

Still smiling, but not for long.

Day 8:

On day 8, we headed back into Zion National park to camp and do some more hiking. The hike below is from Angel's Landing.

We decided to end the hike at this point. The hike actually ends at the top of the next rock you see past me. You are on a ledge the whole time and fighting with tourist traffic in both directions. We decided we'd do it when we could come back and avoid so many people, especially since the Visitor's Center is sure to warn you about the deaths from people falling. YIKES! No thank you!

Soaking up the view and the sunshine

Day 9:

After a night in the park we headed back out to ride the JEM trail.

Parked at the start of the trail

"Don't fall in. Don't fall in."

And when you are on the road living out of a van you will take a shower any which way you can even if the water is FREEZING. We were lucky to find this little swimming hole in the Virgin River after our ride just a short hike away.

On Day 10 we headed for home. It was time for a shower and a reset. Although, we were weary of our timing being off with the upcoming election. Turns out we probably should have stayed hiding in the woods :)

Until next time,


"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt." -- John Muir