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Thread: The Mighty Five

  1. #1

    The Mighty Five

    A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I completed a Mighty Five trip. We did all 5 parks in 5 days. I know its a touristy thing to do, but we are from Arizona and these great parks aren't just right out our back door. Its also something we had been wanting to do for a few years now and couldn't fit it in until now. I will mention that we had already been to two of the parks Zion and Arches before so we spent the least amount of time at those. We both think all 5 parks are amazing and would love to be able to go back to any or all of them, but the one I was most surprised with was Capitol Reef. I will also note that on this limited time frame we were only able to visit the Island in the sky district of Canyonlands, not the other two. Guess that's a valid excuse for another trip.

    Day 1 was Zion. We drove up from AZ and headed straight to Zion. As I mentioned we had been here before so we only planned on one hike, up to the emerald pools, plus we needed to stay on schedule and our room was booked that evening in Bryce Canyon. We did the scenic drive through the tunnel. Something funny happened there. While waiting in line to enter the tunnel two bicyclist approached us asked for a ride since they had been turned away from entered the tunnel. I had no problems with this, so they loaded up in the bed and road with us a ways. I am mountain bike so one even took advantage of my bike mount in the bed of my truck. We parked in town, got lunch, and caught the shuttle to the Zion lodge. The route we took from the lodge to the upper pool ended up being around 5 miles. From here we loaded up and headed to Bryce for the night.

    Day 2 was Bryce Canyon. We made our way into the park and first on the agenda was the Navajo/Queens valley loop. I had heard this described as the best 3 mile loop hike out there. I can't say that I disagree. This was our first time to Bryce and it was awesome, I have seen plenty of pictures and videos so I knew what to expect but its even better in person. Already scoped out some other trails for a future trip. After lunch we had planned on hiking the rim trail up to Bryce point, but it was closed so we made it to Inspiration point and back. For us the view at upper inspiration point was the best. From there we drove out to Rainbow and I hiked the bristle cone loop. I enjoyed the difference in scenery out here. On the way back we hit up several of the look out spots along the road.

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    Day 3 was Capitol Reef. This was the park we knew the least about and I think that was nice. Basically we had a few things in mind, but the rest was a surprise. First off, the drive from Bryce to Capitol Reef on route 12 is really cool. I wish I had filmed more of it. The first stop was Hickman Bridge. this was the only hike we really had planned. This is a decent hike and the bridge is a nice sight. After that we explored Fruita. We stopped off to look at the rock art, made it to the nature center and the nice little park next to it. Made our picnic lunch and ate it. Then we went back to The visitors center and hiked along Sulphur Creek. We just did a quick out and back to the first waterfall about a mile out. Its a great place to relax for a bit. Then out to Gifford Homestead for some homemade cookies and out on the scenic drive. We explored all the side roads and trail heads made notes for the future. Then went out on S draw road for a bit. I would have liked to explore here more but the day was winding down. We had a Teepee booked and the Capitol Reef Resort. The Teepee was awesome and was our best lodging of the trip. I enjoyed sitting out in the lawn chair with a cold drink and watching the sunset over the redrocks.

    Day 4 was Canyonlands. As I mentioned early we only visited the Island in the Sky district. This is also when the weather really started heating up, it was late June and we were getting 103-15 for most of the day at this time. We checked out the viewpoint directly across from the visitors center. I immediately regretted not planning something on the White Rim road. We went to Mesa Arch, this is a must do for a first timer here right? Crowds weren't too bad I suppose. From there it was off to Grandview point where we hiked the rim trail there. Great views! We thought about heading to upheaval dome, but it was so hot that I decided on taking the Scenic route back to Moab instead and we returned via Gemini Bridges road including a visit to the bridges themselves.

    Day 5 was Arches. We had been to Arches before so we were trying to do things we had not done before. The crazy thing is, the last time we were there we had done quite a bit of hiking but for whatever reason we never made it to delicate arch. Crazy right? That was our first stop. we got there at what I thought was early, but still had to wait for a parking spot. We made the hike out and the Arch was amazing. It was attracting disneyland size crowds by this time lol, but still a site to see. O)n the hike back things got interesting. There was a couple taking refugfe under a small tree, a ranger was there talking with them suggesting them go back. I did see them head back as the ranger walked and talked with them for a while. When we returned to the parking lot there was another ranger setting up some igloo coolers which I'm sure had water at the trail head. The other ranger had retuned and they were talking and headed off into the parking lot. We noticed they were at another vehicle where an older couple was not having a good time. The man was sitting on the ground leaning back on his car. they were giving him water and the lady was in the bushes puking. Another man saw them and told us how he had just given half his water from his camelbak to some other people on the trail. Did I mention it was hot? From here we went to double arch. Not much of a hike here, but it is one of my favorites.

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  6. #3
    Lets see if I can find some pictures...

    Day 1

    a local

    hitch hikers :)

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  8. #4
    Day 2

    Last edited by cw50must; 07-21-2016 at 01:02 PM. Reason: added

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  14. #7
    Day 5

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