Pa’rus Trail, Zion National Park: Not Just Another Walk in the Park

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The Pa’rus Trail, Zion National Park, Utah—C.Helbig

I’m a little obsessed about making sure I get enough exercise. Sometimes I “miss-out” on beautiful trails because I dismiss them as too easy.  After our wonderful hike to Observation Point in Zion National Park, Mike and I hopped onto the park shuttle bus to take us back to our car at the visitor center. It was such a gorgeous day we decided to get off a couple of stops early, at Canyon Junction, and walk the rest of the way along the Pa’rus Trail. Great decision! The late day lighting was stunning and it was the perfect, peaceful, cool-down walk. We enjoyed it so much we did it twice more during our stay at Zion.  Continue reading

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Observation Point, Zion National Park…looking down on Angels Landing

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Observation Point, Zion National Park, Utah—C.Helbig

I knew it would be a tough sell convincing Mike to do Zion National Park’s signature Angels Landing hike. Heights are not his friend. One look at a photo of the razor-edge ridge with huge drop-offs on both sides was enough to make his hair stand on end. We opted instead for Observation Point, a spectacular hike through diverse terrain with killer views of Zion Canyon. The best part: we got to look down on Angel’s Landing from our perch way above. Observation Point is not without its own share of long drop-offs (only on one side though, and the trail is decently wide). I was proud of Mike for staying calm and focussed. It was another great day in Utah, exploring Zion National Park. Continue reading

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Sinking Ships and Tower Bridges on Fairyland Loop Trail, Bryce Canyon

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The Chinese Wall on Fairyland Loop, Bryce Canyon—C.Helbig

When hiking in Vancouver’s North Shore mountains, I’m used to starting on steep uphills and being surrounded by thick forest. I’m not complaining, but once in awhile it’s nice to do a hike that is completely different from what’s in my backyard—I found it on the Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. This 8 mile ( 12.9 km) trail starts at the canyon rim and descends into a wondrous, wide-open landscape of hoodoos, sinking ships, tower bridges, and Chinese walls. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

Happy Holidays and Best in the New Year!

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One of my happy places: Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver

To my dear readers: I wish you and your families a happy holiday, and joy and peace in the new year.

Writing this blog gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure. It started out as a simple love of travel and writing. It has morphed into a relationship with an extraordinary group of people. Thank you for reading my rambles. I so appreciate your likes and lovely comments. I’ve enjoyed “getting to know” you. Thanks to fellow travel and hiking bloggers who make my list of places to go/mountains to climb longer and longer. Thanks to a diverse group of bloggers who introduce me to recipes, arts, photography, life’s beauty and challenges…Your words and images inspire me.

I am grateful for a wonderful year of travel and outdoor fun with Mike, Alex, and my awesome friends. I’ve put together a collage of some of my 2016 highlights. I look forward to more travel and adventure in the new year—it’s off to Laos and Cambodia in January.

Cheers to you all—Caroline. Continue reading

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Sci-Fi and Yoga at White Pocket, Arizona

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White Pocket, Vermilion Cliffs Nat’l Monument in Arizona—C.Helbig

Part 2 of our extraordinary day at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona continues at White Pocket. If you missed Part 1, check out my post on South Coyote Buttes. I doubted that anything could match up to the geological wonders we saw at South Coyote Buttes. But then… there was White Pocket, another beautiful freak of nature. I’m really happy we saw both places on our combo excursion with Kanab-based Dreamland Safari Tours. I still can’t decide which one I liked better. Take a look… Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , , , , | 22 Comments

Hollyburn Peak, Cypress Provincial Park: Snowshoeing Season is on!

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Hollyburn Peak, Cypress Provincial Park—C.Helbig

I momentarily interrupt my Utah/Arizona series for a post from sunny Vancouver. Yup, after months of rain and gloom the last few days have been glorious, and we’ve had a whack-load of snow, with more to come. It has been a fun week in the white stuff— skiing in Whistler and today a gorgeous trek up Hollyburn Peak with my friend Nicole. My mood is so drastically buoyed from the clear skies that I just had to share some photos from Hollyburn Peak in Cypress Provincial Park—one of my go-to winter favourites. Continue reading

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South Coyote Buttes, Arizona: The Ultimate Consolation Prize

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Split colour rock in South Coyote Buttes—c.Helbig

I got all excited about a hike called The Wave after reading about it on Another Walk in the Park. It turns out that getting a permit for the famous, much-photographed Wave in Coyote Buttes North is about as likely as getting struck by lightning (even mid-week in November). Luckily there is a so-called consolation prize—South Coyote Buttes. Permits are much easier to obtain but there is nothing “consolation” about this amazing hike. Located in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, in remote northern Arizona, there was no way our Dodge Dart rental would’ve got us there. We hired Dreamland Safari Tours, out of Kanab Utah. Our day of exploring the stunning Navajo sandstone formations at South Coyote Buttes and White Pocket (next post) was the best of the best of our two weeks in Utah and Arizona. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, United States | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

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