For years, I’ve been wanting to visit the National Parks of Utah – but work-type responsibilities have always gotten in the way. It’s really tough to try to fit big adventures into your life when you’re working 9-5, Monday through Friday. I didn’t want to short-change the parks and, like most Americans, I had a guilt-complex about actually utilizing the meager amount of Paid Time Off most companies provide.

But now that I’m freed from the shackles of cubicle life, I’ve got plenty of time to give those parks the attention they deserve … and now thanks to the good folks at Honda, I’ve got a ride, too.

crosstourHonda is letting me borrow a brand new 2013 Crosstour for the month to take into the canyons and valleys of the Southwest – which is really awesome because I don’t think my 206,000+ mile Accord would have made it there and back in one piece. In addition, the fine folks at Big Agnes are setting me up with some extra toasty sleeping gear for the trip – because as much as I’d like to pretend it’s spring in March, it’s still winter for most of the month. I’m hoping my New England blood thickens up a bit once I start getting into the colder temperatures.

So in a few weeks, I’ll be hitting the road and heading northeast. In a severe change of pace, I’ve decided I’m not going to plan this thing within an inch of its life, and instead just take it day by day and see what happens. I’d like to hit Zion and Bryce first, then maybe visit the Grand Staircase before heading to Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands. If I’ve got time I’d love to visit Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly before I head back west … because I can’t really pass up the chance to see scenery like this:

Monument Valley
Image by Moyan Brenn.

I’ll be doing some quick and minor updates along the way on my Twitter and Facebook pages, so be sure you’re following those to see what I’m up to.

And if you’ve been to those areas and feel like sharing any favorite trails, campsites, or greasy spoon diners – please let me know!

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Casey Schreiner

Founder and Editor at Modern Hiker
In addition to writing about the outdoors since 2006, Casey has also been producing and writing television since 2003.He was the Head Writer on G4's "Attack of the Show," co-writer and host of "The MMO Report," and the Series Producer / Head Writer of pivot's "TakePart Live."His work has received several honors, including Webby, Telly, and CableFAX awards.
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15 Comments

  • Samuel Savard says:

    Zion is really amazing, don’t miss it! Good luck to you!

  • Stephanie says:

    You have go to do the Horseshoe Canyon hike! Or try for a permit for The Wave. The Wave is my Unicorn never can seem to get it :(

  • Mete says:

    We just came back from a 3 day visit to Zion. It was one of the most spectacular places I have visited. We did the Angel’s Landing hike and it was thrilling. I highly recommend it. This was a great time to visit the park since it was not crowded at all. I am sure you will have a great time.

    • That’s great to hear, Mete! I know some areas will probably be closed or too icy to get into, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s out there. Those red rocks just looks absolutely stunning with a bit of snow on ‘em!

      • Mete says:

        Casey, i would also highly recommend the Canyon Overlook hike. It is really not much of a hike, especially for someone like you, but just a bit of a walk to a stunning overlook. It takes about 20 min to get to the overlook but the view is just amazing. I think we stared into the canyon for about an hour. By the way, i want to say that you have truly inspired me to get into hiking and explore the environs of LA. Thank you!

  • David says:

    What an amazing opportunity! Enjoy the hell out of it.

  • Pam says:

    I’d love to spend more time in Utah myself and struggle with a day job; however, coming cross-country back in 2006 we did hit several National Parks in Utah – and I myself loved Monument Valley the best and stayed at a Hampton Inn on the Navajo reservation adjacent to the Valley (with very competitive pricing) that is leased from tribal lands – it was amazing. Although at the time plenty of campsites were available (and we had full gear) – but my companion J was a bit worn out by that time and wanted a soft bad. My next adventure I think is Bryce. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures!

  • GeekHiker says:

    Have an awesome time! I really look forward to the pictures of all the places I’ve been before, and the ones I haven’t! (Plus, when I was in Arches, I had the flu. Piece of advice: don’t do that.)

    And someday I hope you’ll whisper the secret in my ear of how to get hooked up with cool swag… :)

  • Based off of some of the videos I’ve seen of Angel’s Landing, I’m gonna have to do some breathing-work to overcome my fear of heights on that trail :)

  • Rich Owings says:

    You should do a slot canyon – Spooky and Peekaboo in Escalante unless you can do technical slots. Subway is awesome in Zion and not on the Virgin River, but might require some light rope work (and maybe a wetsuit in March!).

  • Rebecca says:

    Woo hoo! Have fun! The scramble up Angel’s Landing in Zion might remind you of another memorable via ferrata-like adventure we had last June.

  • From what I’ve read, the river down there is pretty high right now. I’m gonna see how it is once I get closer to actually getting there … but I *definitely* am going to try to get a day-permit for the Wave when I’m in that area.

  • Kolby says:

    Awesome, Casey! You try for a Subway permit in Zion?

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