USA Week 4: Breathtaking National Parks
Last week we were in
and this week we explored the breathtaking National Parks that
rich. There are of course many, but we did a nice selection of all these beautiful bits of nature. Read here which
we have chosen and why!
Thanks to a fine collaboration with
we were able to take an all-in rental car on a road trip through the most beautiful National Parks in the USA. We had an all-in luxury SUV at our disposal which made it easy for us to drive into the mountains. Most National Parks have many mountains and a more difficult road to drive on. So an SUV or Jeep is ideal!
Driving the rental car was excitingagain this time. Not because we had to learn to drive an automatic car this time, but because this SUV was very big and modern. All kinds of buttons and lights inside the car, made us nervous to drive it. Once we had mastered this, the car drove really great. It’s really worth upgrading your car from a car rental company. You can see the difference in driving and comfort! Also, this car had a reversing camera,which can be useful in areas you don’t know. With this SUV we were ready to explore the most beautiful National Parks of the USA.
Zion National Park
Our first stop after we left Las Vegas
was Zion National Park. This park is about a three-hour drive from Vegas. We chose to visit this park first because it is closest to Las Vegas and because friends had told us that this is their favorite National Park. So there are plenty of reasons for us to go to Zion!
You can choose to drive your car through this park (provided you pay an extra fee) or you can also park your car very easily and for free outside the park in the village of Springdale. A free shuttle will take you to the entrance of the park. We chose to do so as we were not really prepared to drive our rental car through this park.
The area around Zion is already beautiful. You drive from Las Vegas straight to the mountains until you arrive in Springdale. At times the surroundings reminded us of the Alps. Once inside the park, the Alps seem far away. Zion has huge mountains that you can’t quite grasp like it’s never seen before. By using the free shuttle in the park, you already get a nice picture of this park. We took the time to stop in places that appealed to us the most. For the real hikers this is the ultimate. You can step straight up from the valley to the mountains.
Unfortunately, we did not do that because we were not prepared for this. We had no custom shoes and no trained condition to cope with such a climb. Then you shouldn’t start such a brisk walk, because then there is the chance that you will exhaust your body (and we really can’t use that now). We enjoyed the breathtaking views zion offered us so much, without having to go hiking for it. And that in itself is worth it! We were greatly impressed by this piece of wonderful nature.
After our adventure in
Zion National Park,
we drove towards our next destinationby nightfall. This was Bryce Canyon and is an hour and a half drive from Zion. It was getting dark when we left by car and the GPS sent us right through the National Park to drive. This was going to be quite an adventure! Driving in the mountains is one thing. Driving in the mountains when it’s dark is another matter. Very slow and quiet we started this ride. When it was still dusk outside, the view from the mountains was really spectacular. However, there was not much time to witness this, we wanted to get out of this park as soon as possible when it got dark.
About two hours later, we arrived at our hotel near Bryce Canyon.
The hotel was more like a (scary) motel. It stood secluded by the side of the road and had tiny rooms with just a bed and a bathroom. Because it was so late when we arrived, there was no one else to be seen either. We didn’t feel completely comfortable. This place of sleep was good for one night. By the way, we had a great night’s sleep!
On an adventure
In the morning, the scenery and hotel looked much less scary than when we arrived. It was soothing and calm. Rested we could leave for Bryce Canyon! Again you could choose to drive your car in the park, but we didn’t this time either. Also in Bryce Canyon there is a shuttle from one place to another. Bryce Canyon is a huge large park that is best known for its hoodoos. These are unique rock formations and are really hugely impressive to see! You can easily descend to these rocks in the valley, but here too you have to take into account a solid climb back up. The descent went well for us, but when we tested halfway through the route whether we could handle the climb, this again seemed too heavy. Too bad, because the view must have been beautiful downstairs.
Bryce Canyon was even more impressive than Zion National Park. Bryce is impossible to grasp in his size. Everywhere you look, you see similar rocks that you won’t find anywhere else in the world like that. Bryce Canyon is definitely a piece of breathtaking nature that will make you quiet for a while.
More National Parks
In hindsight, we would have liked to have seen more National Parks, including certainly the central part of the Grand Canyon and also Antelope Canyon we would like to see in the future. Yosemite and Yellowstone are also on our bucket list. But this is the reality, it is impossible to have seen all these beautiful parks in a few days. For every park you have to take time, because it is so huge and beautiful. And we’re thrilled to have seen two of these breathtaking National Parks. That’s an experience we’ll never forget.
Is hiking for you?
If you are planning to go hiking in the USA National Parks in the future, you better prepare well! The challenging walks are not laid away for everyone. We know that now.
Even if you have another travel destination, we would like to share
even more travel tips
with you to make your next holiday as enjoyable as possible. Every Tuesday you will get the latest tips first via our Facebook page. So be sure to keep following us there!