Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip

Trip Planning

Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip

There are some places in this country that will take your breath away. I call them my RV Bucket List Locations. We decided to take a trip to magnificent Southwest Utah and knock two of these off our list.

We wanted to add some extra adventure to this trip by boondocking on BLM Land at the Grand Staircase-Escalante just outside of Kanab, UT to break up the drive from Cottonwood, AZ. We looked online and found what seemed to be the perfect spot on the Paria River. When we arrived, we were blown away!

Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
We were the only humans as far as we could see. There was unlimited hiking along the river or into the buttes. We made sure to go on a new hike each day and would often bring our dog.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
One of the joys of being mobile entrepreneurs is that we can work from anywhere. So we stayed here for five days and hiked, worked, and enjoyed the views.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
Zion and Bryce Canyon are located near each other so we decided to stay at the Bauers RV Park in Glendale Utah, just a short drive to each of the National Parks.

Zion National Park

Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
As you drive into Zion you immediately realize you’re somewhere special. The road is a series of switchbacks that open up after each curve to a new and incredible view.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
There are countless areas to pull off and go hiking into the wilderness. We were only a short hike away from the road when I noticed these guys hanging out on the rocks.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
There are a lot of great slot canyons with bright red and orange rocks to hike into.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
If you enjoy photography there are endless “perfect” spots to capture.

Angels Landing

Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
This is one of the world’s great hikes. In my opinion, it might be the best short hike in all of the National Parks. I headed out early one morning and started hiking before sunrise. This hike will get your blood pumping with the steep drop offs. It’s very exposed and if you are afraid of heights or in poor shape, do not attempt this hike. However if this is something you feel you’re up for, it will be one you will never forget.
When you’re heading up it’s tough to imagine that you’ll be heading straight up on this skinny rock path. In fact, in the above picture there are two hikers towards the top of the picture that blend into the mountain like ants. The park service put chains on parts of the exposed areas for nervous hikers to feel a sense of stability.  The view looking down from the top is unbelievable. Can you see the travel trailer on the road?
When you’re heading up it’s tough to imagine that you’ll be heading straight up on this skinny rock path. In fact, in the above picture there are two hikers towards the top of the picture that blend into the mountain like ants. The park service put chains on parts of the exposed areas for nervous hikers to feel a sense of stability. The view looking down from the top is unbelievable. Can you see the travel trailer on the road?
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
After the hike there was a couple that came down the same time as I did. They’re touring the U.S. and celebrated a successful hike with a nice, big breakfast in the back of their Type B motorhome.

The Emerald Pools

Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
This is a great family-friendly hike that’s short, relatively low elevation gain, and very scenic. Danielle and I did this hike together to walk under the waterfall.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
They say that a couple that travels together, stays together. We’d have to agree.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
At the lower falls you get to walk behind a waterfall.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
The trail to this point is very flat and easy. It gets a little rocky when you pass the lower falls but is still an easy hike. To watch the video of the hike visit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec-Wp2r0R8E

Bryce Canyon National Park

Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
Bryce Canyon National Park surprised me. After visiting Zion, I was so blown away that I was expecting Bryce to be a little less spectacular. I was wrong, it was equally as great and really blew my mind that nature could create such a thing. My photos do not do this place justice.

Bryce’s Scenic Drive

Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
One of the best scenic drives we’ve ever done is the 38 mile drive round trip in Bryce Canyon. It has 13 scenic viewpoints for you to check out right off the road.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
The drive got me really excited because as great as it was, I knew the next day I was going to be hiking down into the canyon through the forests and hoodoos. Danielle and I did some hiking at Sunset Point.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
Just before sunset we saw a car that was probably too busy sightseeing and went off the road into the snow and stopped to help them out. Being from Minnesota I’m very experienced in getting vehicles out of the ditch and we immediately got to work on it. The ditch was fairly steep and they were in pretty good so I knew it was going to be a struggle. Then something incredible happened. We hadn’t seen hardly any vehicles in Bryce that day, but all of a sudden vehicles started coming down the road and every single vehicle that drove by stopped to help. Many of them were photographers who were giving up the best light of the day to help get these people out. To watch the video of it visit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NFRcf58mho

Hiking in Bryce Canyon

Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
I decided to do a sunrise hike and combine multiple trails to make it an all day event. I started in the dark at Sunrise Point and was in awe at the views when the sun started to come up. I did a lot of scrambling around near arches and hoodoos as they turned bright orange and red.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
Bryce has the largest collection of hoodoos in the world. It’s tough to tell their massive scale until you are walking among them.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
I saw a hole in the rocks so I climbed up to see what was on the other side. The view was so spectacular that I sat in the ledge for around 15 min and soaked it in.
Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
Some parts of the trails take you through areas that are carved through the rocks that open up to a completely different area. As I was coming up the last part of the hike, I passed this couple heading down. We had a great conversation and I joked with them that they missed the best light; they said “we’re retired, we don’t wake up that early anymore!” To watch the video of this hike visit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCvpKfBU5wk

Horseshoe Bend

Our Southwest Utah Bucket List Trip
On our way back to AZ we went right through Page, AZ at the Utah/AZ border and wanted to visit another RV Bucket List Location on this trip. It’s just outside of town. When you park it’s just a short walk to the Colorado River. Bailey and Danielle loved hanging out watching the kayakers paddle down the Colorado River.

What about you? Have you been to any of these great places? Share your stories below.

family in front of RV

Shore Looks Nice

Eric Hannan

Have you ever wanted to pack it all in and hit the road full time in an RV? That’s exactly what the Hannans did when they ditched the corporate lifestyle of Orange County, CA to travel across America. They work full time in the RV while visiting friends, family and the scenic areas of this country.