After Moab, I traveled West across Utah to explore some of the other state and national parks.

I first traveled just a few hours over to Goblin Valley State Park, a place I’d heard of from multiple travelers for its unique rock formations and hoodoos.

There’s some trails there but the main draw and attraction is a few mile wide open area with thousands of hoodoos to explore, walk around, and climb.

Right by Goblin Valley is another natural area that caught my eye, Little Wild Horse Canyon. I drove over and parked around midday, thankful for the low heat despite the sunshine.

I set off on the trail, and was accompanied by two hikers also leaving at the same time, a middle-aged couple, Linda and Jim. I always appreciate traveling alone as I find I’m not alone for long and always end up forging helpful connections with others, even if it’s peaceful silence and shared community with nature.

This areas is a slot canyon loop trail and after hiking for nearly two hours, upon examining a sign on trail, we found that we ended up taking the Bell Canyon portion of the trail, missing the more famed section. This was surprising and the crew decided not to continue for the next ~6 miles of trail, intending on instead completing a there-and-back over the loop. I was fine with that decision made for me, as I’d intended on seeing other places that day and also look forward to having another trail to come back to. The whole area was gorgeous though; I didn’t feel slighted in the least.

After this I drove West to Capitol Reef National Park, an area I’d visited and driven through on prior travels but had not dedicated much energy or time to exploring. I spent half a day there on this occasion, which means there’s still much more for me to explore in the future.

On this trip, I hiked to the Hickman natural bridge, which is a short jaunt with a massive payoff.

There’s also a good view of the park at the end of the trail if you opt to take the loop route.

There are also some fucking great petroglyphs in the park.

With the dusk soon approaching, I hemmed and hawed but decided on hiking to the Cassidy Arch. It involved a drive on a primitive road to an area known as Grand Wash, which was absolutely gorgeous. A sign said .3 miles – Cassidy Arch and I figured I had time. I didn’t realize this meant that was the distance to the trailhead, with a trail after being 1.5 miles one way. I was thankful I took necessary supplies and water with me but found myself completing this hike while worrying about the setting sun. Not that that would be a major problem, but I’ve noticed my night vision has been particularly terrible after lasik a few years back and particularly after working remote (damn screens), which makes night driving arduous. Anyways I did the hike, and was fine, but I was stressed and also ended up with a bubble guts feeling halfway through the trail and was thankful no one else was around as ya girl squatted behind a pine tree. But I digress. Here’s some great pictures from the trail, and the arch, though because I was alone and also hunched over in abdominal pain I didn’t get the cute pictures with the arch that most do. That’s fine; seeing it in its splendor was enough. I’ll be back.

The next morning, I traveled across Utah and stopped at a natural hot spring outside of a small Utahn town. There were a few people in attendance at the Red Hill hot springs, mainly van lifers and all that. It was great, refreshing, and I loved smelling like sulfur for the rest of the day.

On a recommendation from a hot springer, I pulled off at some areas at the Fremont Indian State Park to see some more petroglyphs. There’s much more to see here, but of course I had a lead foot.

I continued west to Nevada, which I’ll cover in another post.

The final stop I made in Utah was at the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park, which is always uncrowded and offers fantastic views. I caught it right before sunset on my way southward.

I skipped the rest of Zion and Bryce so far this year, keeping my trip lean and flighty, as I want to be on the road for a shorter period this year.

This concludes this trip to Utah. It’s a great state and I look forward to returning and exploring further.