Hiking to Devil's Bridge @ Sedona (unfortunately, most of our pictures for this post were lost during our website conversion.)
This awesome hike is about 2 miles round-trip if you start from the trailhead, meaning you have a 4×4 with high clearance as the jeep trail from the parking to the trailhead is very rocky/small boulder-y. So we parked in the first lot & hiked the jeep trail to the trailhead which makes this more like 4 or 5 miles roundtrip, but I didn't think it was so bad at all. We went first thing in the morning, about 8am so that we could do the Cathedral Rock hike in the afternoon, so the jeep trail was empty & pleasant. I'd say this is a lovely & must-do hike if in Sedona because of the stellar Devil's Bridge at the top. Plus it's a pretty mellow & tranquil hike as it is. The stacks of rocks wrapped in chicken wire along the trail work as markers so you don't get lost like we did at first… The hikes in Sedona are just so beautiful with the wind-twisted tree trunks, greenery, blue skies, vortexes & red rocks. I really can't wait to come back to do more hikes! And make sure to take photos on the bridge, it's not as scary as it looks & I'm super scared of heights, but this is totally do-able. Remember to always bring water, snacks & glasses or a hat for shade
Hiking to Cathedral Rock @ Sedona
We had taken a very short trip/long weekend out to Sedona so did not have much time for too many hikes, but I think we hit the nail on the head for some beautiful beginner hikes while we were here. We'd like to venture more into Sedona's back country the next time we come back! Cathedral rock offered some really breath-taking views for this short, 1.5 mile roundtrip hike. The funny thing is that I thought this hike would be the mellow afternoon hike (which it technically is) but being scared of heights, this hike challenged that much more than Devil's Bridge. The hike is short, but it is an uphill climb throughout. Nothing that gets you really sweating, but definitely gets you climbing. And this hike is not worth doing if you are afraid to do the climb as the views only get better & better as you get higher & higher. Make sure to make it up past the saddle as there are all kinds of different nooks & rock formations to be discovered around this top point & it is also said that this is where the vortex is, but we didn't get to really experience that. If ever in Sedona I'd say for sure check these hikes out & if you have more time, get a little adventurous with what their back country has to offer, as Sedona is an outdoor enthusiasts' playground
17 mile, overnight, top-down hike & camp @ The Zion Narrows!
This hike/backpacking trip is by far the most beautiful & rewarding hike & possibly thing we have ever done. The Zion Narrows is a river flowing through the canyons & is one of the most beautiful sites in Utah. Pictures could never do it justice, which is why at some point we just stopped taking them, 1. because we were exhausted & 2. because everything wouldn't stop being beautiful & the camera just couldn't capture it enough. There is a day hike you can do if you are not ready for the commitment that allows you to hike from the bottom of the river up & back which is very beautiful & also very crowded. We were ready to do our first backpacking trip, so we decided to do the 17 mile, overnight hike from the top of the river down while spending the night in the middle. This kind of experience was so priceless & I love a hike where you don't have to go back the way you came & see everything twice… In order to see a lot in the day hike, you'd have to hike about 6 miles up the river to reach the beautiful Big Spring which makes that a 12 mile day hike roundtrip anyways… So most people don't make it up to Big Spring on the day hike. I can't express what a perfect backpacking trip this is if you are up for the emotional & physical commitment. There was not a moment of these 17 miles that the nature around us stopped being so perfect, amazing, diverse or beautiful. It was a constantly awe-inspiring view. They only allow 40 people a day to do this top-down hike, meaning you pretty much see no one the whole time. We did this with a group of 9 of us, so we had a great time. You don't have to be amazingly in shape for this, but you definitely have to be active. I don't personally work out at all anymore despite being a competitive swimmer for the first 18 years of my life, but for the last 8 years, not so much of a worker-outer. I mainly take daily walks with my dog, shoot for a weekly hike & eat generally healthy yet I was still totally in enough shape for this. I think it's about having strong ankles because you're walking through a river of slippery rocks/uneven ground most of the time & to our surprise, the member that worked out most in our group actually got the sorest the quickest, so I can't really tell you how to prepare for this other than having strong joints & being healthy mentally & physically. We rented most of our backpacking gear/boots from the Zion Adventure Company from which we also took the shuttle with to the Chamberlain Ranch trailhead. If interested in this backpacking trip, I highly suggest you prepare a good checklist in order to pack as light as possible while still having all of your necessities. It is so worth the planning. The experience was surreal. We saw no one the first day of hiking as the first half of the trail is only open to those reserved for backpacking & as we began to see people on the 2nd day in the last 3 or 4 miles that were there for the day hike, it was such a trip, like we were strange creatures out of the wilderness, I can't explain it, but just a day alone in nature with no one else but your group will do that to you I guess. This is a gorgeous backpacking trip with beautiful greens, wildlife, canyons, rivers & waterfalls; bucket-list worthy!
where we rent our water socks / boots, stickers, bags, sleeping & sleeping pad. they're pretty legit.
Childhood friends & familiy (above). <3 them.