Utah and Arizona: Life Elevated

Taking road trips is one of those experiences that create everlasting bonds. Thus, my fiancé and I are avid road trippers. So last weekend while at brunch when I asked Dustyn, my fiancé if he wanted to take a little road trip to two of the most unique states in the United States, he couldn’t say no! Utah and Arizona are jam packed full of places on my bucket list. Zion, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Sand Hallow, Kanarraville Falls, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, and Glen Canyon are just a few of the breath taking places that have been waiting to be crossed off my list of things to do before I die. Best part: each of these locations is within 3 hours apart!

Utah and Arizona lindsie

Thankfully, the summer just kicked into full effect and it’s about 117 degrees out here in middle of the orange desert; so we can explore all of the rivers and creeks that have helped sculpt all the deep canyons scattered all over this land.

Utah and Arizona desert step

Utah and Arizona – Hidden Sand Dunes

Ever dream of watching the sunrise hidden deep in sand dunes? I always have wondered what the sand looked like when the sun kissed it for the first time that day. The truth is, the sand turns pink and reflects the shining of the sun beautifully. As the sun rises, the sand starts to take over its true color and warm up to be just as hot to the touch as it looks! What was very cool and tightly packed sand becomes warm and awakens with life. Mice, birds, and little insects of all sorts immediately start moving and singing as soon as the sun is up, it is as if the light switch in the dunes was officially set to “on”.

Utah and Arizona beautiful desert


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Utah and Arizona – Horseshoe Bend

Next, only an hour and a half away, my most anticipated location yet! This location is one of the most photographed places in the United States. It is Horseshoe Bend!! This breathtaking natural wonder is a horseshoe shaped incised meander of the Colorado River on ever outermost edge of The Grand Canyon. This little piece of magnificence is so grand and so lively, that even though I had seen photos of Horseshoe Bend more times that I could count; I still was taken back.

Utah and Arizona horse shoe bend

Utah and Arizona – Rest at Denny’s

The hike back to the trailhead from Horseshoe Bend has a little bit of an incline in which can help build up an appetite. Fortunately, Denny’s is only a 5 minute drive away! (TRAVEL TIP: Denny’s has a “create you’re own value slam option in which includes pancakes, eggs, and bacon/sausage for only $4.)

Utah and Arizona food


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Utah and Arizona – Lone Rock

Just down the way is Lake Powell which has one of the coolest sites I’ve seen: Lone Rock. Lone Rock is a single standing rock in the middle of Lake Powell. However, Lake Powell is drenched in unique rock and mountainscape, so Lone Rock is just the start of fun placed rocks within the lake! Dustyn and I have an Adventure Prius (that’s what we like to call it) and we have battled some tough things in it: snow, ice, rain, and giant rocks but nothing could prepare us for sand! I hate to say it…. but we got stuck. Like, digging a hole around the entirety of the  car with a long board and still not be able to move stuck…. However, with Utah being home of some of the kindest people; Dustyn and I were pushed out of our hole and running full speed into the water in no time.

Utah and Arizona beach

Utah and Arizona – Kanarraville Falls

Kanarraville Falls is Cedar City’s best kept secret! This local hike is located directly behind Zion National Park. This lovely trek sends us on a 5 mile action packed adventure filled with mesmerizing sights and narrow canyons filled with water!

Utah and Arizona beautiful trek

-bottle in this photo by Elemental Bottles-

Utah and Arizona trekking water together

Craving more water bound thrill we head over to The Narrows in Zion. We stroll along for about a mile before we hit the most striking turquoise water I have been blessed to see. This vibrant water feels phenomenal in the 117 degree weather. The rest of this journey is river based. As we walk against the current we are led up to a remarkable bend in the river where now the rocks were seeping water forming small waterfalls. The sun hits them, and they glisten sparkles onto the water creating a true utopia. I feel fortunate to see The Narrows in all its glory.

Utah and Arizona trek in water

Utah and Arizona lindsie trek in water


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Utah and Arizona – Sand Hallow State Park

On our way back to California from the amazing expedition we just started to wrap up we hit Sand Hallow State Park at sunrise to catch the sun greet the lake. As the sun peaks over the burnt orange mountain it paints the sky a golden yellow and shades everything else. Chasing the sunrise has always been one of my favorite hobbies, its rewards are always so great.

Utah and Arizona sunset

Utah and Arizona lindsie by the beach

-watch in this photo by Daniel Wellington-

Now even though the trip is coming to an end, I find myself seeking more. This road trip has brought me closer to this grand earth, helped me appreciate its beauty in a whole new way, and shown me that even getting a little stuck results in a good time! All in all, thanks to AirBnB and the magnificence within the natural beauty of this great earth this trip rounded out to be an incredibly affordable $500.

Utah and Arizona lindsie hiking

Check out another traveler’s video about this beautiful place! Her name is Mollie and I totally love her v-log!


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About the Traveler

Lindsie is a 23 year old from Las Vegas, Nevada. She met a true prince charming: Dustyn, whom she followed to the Golden State itself, where the sun might actually shine the brightest: San Diego! Consumed by wanderlust and adventure she has found herself lost in the need to see every square inch of this beautiful earth. So here she is now: her second year in Sun Diego, trying to stuff way too many pairs of shoes into a suitcase, planning a destination wedding, taking impulsive road trips, and trying to spread a little kindness in this world.

INSTAGRAM: @neon.gypsea

TWITTER: @neongypsea

WEBSITE: www.neongypsea.com

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  • Lara Dunning

    I’ve been to Zion a handful of times and every time there have been flash flood warnings for the The Narrows. It is on my bucket list to do. Airbnb has certainly made travel to certain places more affordable. Looks like you had a great time!

  • Elaine J Masters

    Great post and pictures. I love road trips but not that heat. Welcome to San Diego too. Are you part of our local Travel Massive chapter. We’d love to get to know you and your travel business.

    • Thanks Elaine! I’m not part of the chapter. This is a story shared by one traveler. Nevertheless it’s my pleasure to know you!

  • Wanderlust Marriage

    This is part of the US that we’re hoping to explore soon as it looks amazing, and you have captured some of that beauty!

  • I am planning a trip in October and we were debating between leaving the country or going to these areas in Utah! I really want to see Zion, the Sand Dunes etc. Your photos are beautiful!