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Weekend At Zion

With all the craziness going on in the world right now, the wife and I needed a vacay. Turns out last month, my mother got a great job offer in Arizona so we ‘offered’ to drive her U-haul from Florida to the Southwest to make sure she gets settled in (and have a little adventure ourselves)…

Always time for a little photo at a Visitor Center!

(Screenshot of our trip) Which of course, we didn’t drive all the way through.

It took us about 3 days, we only stopped twice along the way, with the occasional stops for food.

My advice to anyone traveling this far, do what we did and bring a cooler with some healthy snacks along the way. Stopping for food is a waste of time and money in my opinion.

The wife and I actually talk about this little drive on one of our podcasts titled: “This Is 2020.” Take a listen on wherever you listen to podcasts or CLICK HERE to hear to our adventure out west, amongst other shenanigans.

After we helped the mom move into her new place, we wanted to take this opportunity to have a little weekend getaway ourselves, because like most things, we had to cancel our yearly vacation #ThanksCOVID.

We rented a nice ride from the local Enterprise and took a couple hour drive up north to start our adventure together!

If you'd like to see the video, you can visit my Instagram account or CLICK HERE to see the quick 2min IGTV video. Enjoy!

I’m telling you folks this ride is quite beautiful. If you find yourself ever having the opportunity to visit anywhere out west, specifically Arizona, Utah, Nevada, there’s so much to see and very little people.

Which sometimes is a good thing 🙂

For example, we took 1-10 from Arizona to Utah by going through Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam. However, on the way back we took another route (more on the west side) to take us through the desert and some National Forests in the area, which was unbelievable and way better!

Getting back to our trip; since we only had a few days to hang out we wanted to do something fun, adventurous as well as something we haven’t done together before.

We decided on Zion National Park! Zion is breath taking because they have everything for an outdoor adventure seeker; like canyons, waterfalls, hiking/bike trails and tons of wildlife.

We really wanted to be in the action so we didn’t waste time driving around and since we’ve been in quarantine for months, we figured the more walking and vitamin D, the better. Carefully picking our hotel, we landed on the Curio Collection by Hilton. Being an Honor member, I try to stay at Hilton’s a lot because of the good rate and even though this wasn’t a typically 5-star Hilton hotel, the views made up for it (the photos below are outside our room)

Note: Be sure to book in advance, I think we just got lucky with this but they were sold out the rest of the week. Plan ahead!

On that subject, I would book EVERYTHING you do out here in advance. Since we were being spontaneous, a lot of the stuff to rent we had to wait for; like the bikes and hiking equipment or it was sold out most days so be sure to research before you get out there.

We rented our bikes and gear from a great spot walking distance from the Hilton. Be sure to check The Zion Outfitter for a lot of services including snacks, food and rentals but there’s tons of places around so do the research.

Again, just reserve EVERYTHING in advance.

Since the National Park is so close we could’ve walked but we had a car so we wanted to explore. Day one we went in there to find a good parking spot, then walked up and down the canyons for some cool shots (below) but as you could guess we didn’t cover a lot of ground. It was hot and exhausting. Oh and be sure to bring a lot of water since there’s hardly spots on the trails for drinks/snacks.

Of course we needed some fuel for the hikes and thanks to my pals at Superfat, we were loaded with snacks! Check out their website HERE or click the banner below. Use the code BERARDO10 for a discount!

The next day we absolutely had to get bikes! We could cover more ground and see the park without being totally exhausted after a few miles. We were on a time crunch, so we woke up early and called about 5 places tracking these bikes down!

One of the best parts of this park is during your bike ride/hike, there are so many great spots to just stop and relax. Maybe hop in the water, take a climb up a mountain, the park is one big play ground and it’s awesome!

Now, the “Mount Everest” of this place would be what they call, THE NARROWS. Unfortunately, like most of this trip we didn’t plan it out completely and since traveling to The Narrows is an ALL DAY hike we couldn’t get to the large waterfall that’s there but from their website, it looks well worth it.

We got pretty close though (below) so we absolutely want to make a trip out here again to conquer the beast. If you’re looking for adventure and views, this is the spot to go to.

Zion National Park is full of history and when you arrive the staff is very friendly and helpful. Here’s just a couple take aways if you want to go…

  1. Plan ahead and bring the proper gear, stuff may be pricey up there.
  2. Book restaurants, hotels and equipment in advance.
  3. Unless you’re driving all they way, I recommend not having a car, unless you need to. Most stuff is walking distance or there are shuttles.
  4. Look up the shuttles run times, they may change depending on seasons.
  5. Pack light. If you do this right, you’ll be hiking a lot so you won’t need a lot of stuff on you.
  6. Plan on survival. Bring water, knives, flashlights, battery packs, etc when you’re hiking because there’s not a lot of staff members when you get to a certain point.

Hope some of this helps and maybe we’ll see you out there next time.

Travel safe friends!

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