Weekend Recap: Zion National Park

Weekend Recap

Happy President’s Day! (psst… someone remind me what we’re actually celebrating today. Thanks.) Are you off work today? I am, and Johnny kinda sorta is. We just spent a few days at Zion National Park in Southern Utah, and it was glorious and warm! But getting a taste of 70-degree weather makes the cold even more unbearable now! What have we done?!

This year, Johnny and I have planned a few $350 or less weekend getaways, and our trip to Zion was one of them. We’ll be posting the financial deets soon, but for now, here’s a recap of our trip down south:

We left early Thursday morning, and arrived in time to get two hikes in before the sun went down:

Zion 1

Zion 2

Zion 3

Zion 4

On Friday, we decided to do an 8-mile hike with Sally. It had the potential of being our best idea or worst idea ever, all dependent on our little firecracker’s ‘tude.

Zion 5

On the way up, we changed her diaper on the trail, gave her some lunch, and then she fell asleep. Yay! Not pictured: Every person we passed saying, “Next time, I’ll let you carry me up!” to Johnny as he wiped rivers of sweat out of his eyes.

Zion 6

Zion 7

Zion 8

Zion 9

Johnny and I were feeling some major nature and ‘Murica love the whole trip. I mean, can you blame us? We kept saying to each other, “Would ya just look at it??!

Zion 10

We made it to the top and decided the view was worth the sweatiness. On Saturday, we headed to Bryce Canyon and visited some downright gorgeous scenes. It’s hard to remember you’re not on Mars when you’re looking at the 40-million-year-old spire things (known as hoodoos, which was clearly named by a scientist’s one-year-old toddler).

Zion 11

Zion 13

Zion 14

Not Pictured: Johnny and me one-upping each other on how sore we were from all the hiking.

Zion 15

This little girl woke up at 5:30 a.m. both mornings at the hotel :). When we were done at Bryce, we very reluctantly said goodbye to nature and headed back home. But you better believe we’ll be back.

Hope everyone’s enjoying the day off and not waking up at 5:30. Stay tuned for the dirty dollar details from our trip!

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  • Reply Rob February 17, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Hi guys! I’m really envious looking at the pics that you posted of your trip. Lucky bums! 🙂

    Today, here in Ontario, we have a holiday as well – called Family Day. An extra holiday for families here to enjoy activities together (and help break up the long winter February blahs).

    So, happy to see that you three had such a great time sweating it out. Btw, this morning outside here it’s zero F.! Wanna trade places? 🙂

    • Reply Johnny February 18, 2014 at 12:35 am

      We’re fine right here. Thanks, though. 🙂 Although Family Day is a really awesome idea. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take any holiday, no matter the cause. But Family Day seems like a particularly excellent one.

  • Reply Alysia @ Slim Sanity February 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I’ve been to Zion National Park once, and loved it! I want to go back so badly. Beautiful pics!

    • Reply Johnny February 18, 2014 at 12:38 am

      As soon as we started driving around the Park, we immediately regretted how long it took us to finally make it down there. The hiking-nature-granola bug got us good this weekend, so we’ll make sure we don’t regret the rest that the surrounding areas have to offer.

  • Reply Little House February 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Beautiful pics! I’m actually talking Mr. LH into a Zion trip in April during my spring break. I’m curious about the details, like if you camped in a tent or slept in a hotel. I need to do homework to make sure I have enough time to book eveything.

    • Reply Johnny February 18, 2014 at 12:41 am

      Awesome! You’ll love it! We opted for a hotel. We stayed in a hotel in Springdale which is a quaint, beautiful little touristy town at the Park’s doorstep. We didn’t want to push our luck with Sally in a tent (and freezing night temps), but she ended up being a terrible sleeper in the hotel anyway, so I guess it was a wash. 🙂

      • Reply Little House February 18, 2014 at 9:50 am

        I’m going to check out Springdale. It might be easier for us to spend one night in a hotel and a couple camping. Sounds like you had a great time – except for the 5:30 am wake up calls by Sally!

  • Reply Tarynkay February 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Utah is such a beautiful state! And congratulations on the eight mile hike. The longest I have done with my kid on my back is a mile. And then I come home and collapse and feel like I have done my exercise for the month.

    • Reply Johnny February 18, 2014 at 12:43 am

      Haha. We had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into. Prior to this hike, I think the longest Joanna and I had gone was 2 miles. And that was sans child. We’re glad we stayed the course though so that we have a benchmark for what our bodies and sanity can barely handle.

  • Reply Roo // NEON FRESH February 17, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Are we just going to ignore how awesome that wolf t-shirt is?

    • Reply Alex February 17, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      HA, yes, Roo, my thoughts exactly.

    • Reply Johnny February 18, 2014 at 12:52 am

      There are defining moments in a marriage when husband and wife perfectly understand the other. This was such a moment.

  • Reply Alex February 17, 2014 at 8:21 pm


    And by that, I am only trying to draw some much needed attention to Joanna’s shirt. Girl, you are too cool. My subconscious is wondering if I have a crush on you, but I think that’s just because my 7th grade crush (Keith! <3! Where are you, Keith?…) had pretty much the same shirt.


    • Reply Johnny February 18, 2014 at 12:55 am

      Haha. I watched her steal it from my closet for the trip and I secretly cried tears of wolf-joy. I’m just glad we have photos of her wearing it for all of our posterity to see. Definitely a Top 3 proud husband moment.

  • Reply Amy February 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    We took a family trip cross country (from VA) to the Grand Canyon & Zion two summers ago in our motor home. We stayed at the National park campground in Zion. It is very nice. Zion is one of my favorite places we have been & it is definitely on our list to go back to visit again the next time we get out west. Have you guys been to the Emerald Pools in Zion yet? Beautiful & worth the hike.

    P.S. Sally looked like she enjoyed it too.

    • Reply Johnny February 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      I’d love to travel in a motor home! I think Joanna still needs some convincing, but I can’t imagine a better way of traveling on the road and seeing everything this great country has to offer.

      We went up to Emerald Pools, but since it’s still sorta winter-ish up there, the pools were a bit lackluster. We’ll definitely hit them up again this summer though.

  • Reply Anne February 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I love the photo of Sally looking up (and the rest of them too)!

    What trail was this? I’ve been to Zion once (we need to go back!) and we did a few that were long but I don’t recognize the peak on this trail, which means it needs to go on the list 🙂

    • Reply Johnny February 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      The first day, we did the Canyon Overlook trail. It’s a really easy, really short hike with an insane view. The second day, we did the Observation Point trail, which is 8 miles roundtrip. We probably bit off more than we could chew for our first “real” hike with Sally, but we’re so glad we did it. The view from the top (which is the photo before the Bryce Canyon set) is unreal. Well worth the spilled sweat.

  • Reply Michelle February 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    WOW!! What amazing pictures. I also love how inexpensive the trip was.

    • Reply Johnny February 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      If there’s only one thing you should visit Utah for, Zion is it. Hop in that car and make the quick-ish trek from CO!

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