United States

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico…it Rocks!

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Canyon Trail at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument—C.Helbig

If you find yourself between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, I highly recommend turning off I-25 for a little hike at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. With its brilliant white cliffs and unique cone-shaped tent formations we felt like we were walking into a fairytale. The name Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs” in the traditional language of the Pueblo de Conchiti. We’ve been lucky to visit many of the geological wonders of the US Southwest, but this small, little-known place holds its own among the big names. Tent Rock’s two short hiking trails are loaded with amazing rock formations, mesa-top views, and a beautiful slot canyon. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

Ten Great Things to See and Do Around Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Adobe buildings and chile decor in Santa Fe—C.Helbig

Our plan had been to go to Glacier National Park, Montana, but that was kiboshed by the wildfires. A quickly hatched Plan B took us somewhere completely different—Santa Fe, New Mexico where hiking was replaced by burrito eating and gallery visiting. Santa Fe has long been on my list and it didn’t disappoint.  We were so impressed with its beautiful architecture, rich history, colourful local residents, and interesting places to visit around the area.We even managed to fit in a couple of hikes. Here’s some of the things we enjoyed most during our jam-packed week in Santa Fe. Continue reading

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Yant Flat, Dixie National Forest, Utah: Sandstone Drama

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“Quilted” Navajo sandsone at Yant Flat—C.Helbig

It was a fitting end to our last day in southern Utah: a little adventure, some drama, and a whole lot of natural beauty at Yant Flat, in Dixie National Forest near the town of Leeds. During our trip, I had become obsessed with the Dr.Zeuss-like playgrounds of swirling, colourful Navajo sandstone found in these parts. Meghan from Another Walk in the Park recommended Yant Flat (she has three great posts about the place). Yant Flat may not have quite the grandeur of South Coyote Buttes or White Pocket, but it does not require a permit, it’s easier to access, and is totally awesome. Continue reading

Categories: Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , | 29 Comments

Kolob Terrace Road, Zion National Park: Guns, Scenic Drive, and Mini Hikes

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Scenic Kolob Terrace Road—C.Helbig

We’re just back from Cambodia and Laos but my photos (and I) are still an unorganized mess, so I’m going to do a couple of posts to finish off my southern Utah series. I’m usually not a fan of car sightseeing, preferring to walk/ride, but Kolob Terrace Road, in Zion National Park, is a real gem. It starts in the town of Virgin, not far from Zion’s main visitor center, and is only 21 miles to Lava Point, one of the highest spots in the park. Kolob Terrace Road makes a great half-day excursion with plenty of short scenic hikes and viewpoints to give your legs a stretch.The majority of Zion visitors overlook this section of the park, so it’s gloriously peaceful. Continue reading

Categories: Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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

Categories: Activities, United States | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

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: , , , , | 17 Comments

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