Kicking off 2021 with a road trip is exactly what I needed! Utah is home to some of the United States’ most scenic national parks. There are five popular national parks in Utah, aka ‘The Mighty 5’ consist of Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands. By far, the best way to see the most scenic spots is on road trip.
On this trip we visited Zion, Mystic Hot Springs, Monument Valley and Forrest Gump Hill. We still have much to see and even more reasons to return and this time, with Gavin.
Planning a this trip during a pandemic involved a lot of “should or shouldn’t we go” conversations. California placed a 10 day quarantine measure for those that leave the county, which really made us consider what to do. I am able to work from home but Gavin can’t. So with much deliberation, our couples trip turned into a girls trip.
To prepare we each scheduled a COVID test and we were not shy with sharing the results with one another. Once in the hotel we each went to work with cleaning. Phase one consisted of wiping down everythinggggg: handles, phones, tv remote, counter tops, and light switches. Step two consisted of spraying pillows, blankets and towels with disinfectant spray. We did the same with our car rental.
Everywhere we went we made sure to wipe, spray and use hand sanitizer in between washing our hands.
I love to be prepared for any situation which is why I had to make sure that one; our devices would never run out of charge and two; our skin stay poppin no matter the weather. Here’s a list of items to keep handy for your road trip.
- Vaseline All Over Body Jelly Stick – great from head to toe!
- CAUDALÍE Beauty Elixir – great for refreshing your face and waking you up!
- LA ROCHE POSAY Anthelios Mineral Zinc Oxide Sunscreen SPF 50 – girl, you should have a favorite sunblock by now, but if you don’t, this is mine.
- CLINIQUE All About Eyes De-Puffing Cream – My favorite when traveling, helps when I don’t have ice to use.
- Rosebud Perfume Co.Rosebud Salve – my favorite chapstick.
- The OrdinaryNatural Moisturizing Factors + HA – great face moisturizer that lasts all day.
- Hand Sanitizer
- Clorox Wipes
- Download favorite music / podcast
- Extra charger cords
- SD camera reader for iphone/ipad
- Battery pack
- Extra camera batteries
- Thermos mugs
- Shower caps for dirty shoes
- Slides to slip in and out of
- If you’re bad at remembering to drink water, bring hydration tablets.
I want to give a special shout-out to my girls! Linda for always being down for an adventure and Ivonne for flying spontaneously from New York! Be sure to follow Ivonne and all her travels on IG, @LatinaChicTravels. I thought this trip was canceled when Gavin told me he wouldn’t be able to go because of the 10 day CA quarantine. Since Gavin’s job requires him to be out on the job sites, he wouldn’t be able to work solely from home for 10 days. So what started off as a couple’s trip, turned into a girl’s trip and tbh it was perfect ( love you Gavin) lol.
Friday morning we left Vegas early in the morning. We all flew in Thursday afternoon/evening, giving us plenty of time to get the car rental and get a good night’s sleep. From Vegas to Springdale was about a 2.5 hour drive with no traffic. We were very lucky that the roads were pretty empty and giving us enough space to be safe. There was a scary moment when the wind picked up and a semi-truck was swaying side to side. Luckily all were safe and we reached our destination in one piece.
Our room was ready when we arrived, which is always a great feeling after a long journey. We freshened up, changed our clothes and spent the day at Zion. I created a quick and easy guide for Zion, which includes where we stayed, where to eat and just some great tips. You can find all the details, here. We ended our day with drinks by the fire place, dinner at Jack’s Sports Bar and tried to go to bed somewhat early.
Saturday: Monument Valley & Forrest Gump Hill
Saturday’s itinerary focused on Monument Valley and Forrest Gump Hill. A 4 hour drive from Springdale, we woke up extremely early in order for us to make good time to and from. The drive started off scary because we had to drive through Zion Canyon, which at 5 am is pitch black. The sunrise was beautiful to watch and we stopped in Page for coffee.
After our long drive, with 5 mins to go, we were greeted with a sign saying the road to Monument Valley is closed!! Ugh. that was definitely painful to see after spending so much time on the road, but we made the most of it. We pulled over and enjoyed the view from afar before heading to the infamous Forrest Gump Hill. The Forrest Gump Hill is the location where they filmed the scene of Forrest ending his marathon and deciding to go back home.
On our way back to Springdale, we stopped in Page and had Pizza Hut for a late lunch and ended the evening picking up Thai and eating it in the hotel.
Sunday: Mystic Hot Springs & Zion
Sunday morning we were able to sleep in for a little longer before making our way to Monroe. Springdale to Monroe is a 2 hour drive north. Mystic Hot Springs is “closed” but open to those that make reservations online. We were lucky enough to have the place for ourselves until a family of three arrived. Even then, they stayed in one area and us in another. We still sprayed down the tubs with disinfectant, just incase.
You can find all the details and more, here. On our way back we stopped at Balcony One for an early dinner. The ceviche tostadas and jalapeño margarita were bombbbbb. I still think about them til this day! We ended the evening driving through Zion one last time before making our way back home on Monday.
This trip was everything I hoped for and more. It’s difficult to pick which day I loved more and if you asked me, I would go back in a heartbeat to explore more.
Have you been to Zion or Bryce? What was your favorite part?