I recently enjoyed a birthday trip planned by my son. All he told me was that we were going to start in Las Vegas and do some hiking and that we would return from a different airport. Little did I know this four-night trip hiking in a National Park was going to be both mentally and physically challenging, but it truly was the most rewarding and uplifting vacation I’ve ever had. I returned with a new sense of awe and appreciation of the natural beauty of this part of America.
We started in glittery Las Vegas, one of my favorite places to visit. There is always something to do there. This time we visited Ethel M Chocolate Factory. There’s nothing like tasting lots of rich chocolate samples soon after breakfast! Good thing it was hot outside, or I would have spent lots of money in the gift shop! We completed the day by dropping some dollars at the casino and seeing a free concert downtown.
The next day we drove to Zion National Park and hiked “The Narrows.” It was a challenging hike in a canyon through ankle-deep (and deeper) cool, crystal clear water. The trail was demanding at times but unique and so much fun, topped off with a sense of accomplishment!
On our third day, we took a six-mile hike to Observation Point, also in Zion. After three miles, you are rewarded with a magnificent view where you can sit, relax and refresh for the three-mile return hike. During the break at the top, I enjoyed a visit with a local chipmunk who appreciated some of my water droplets!
During the drive to our next stop, we saw Bighorn male rams showing us who’s the boss and I loved the “layered look” of the mountains which reminded me of Pillsbury Grand biscuits!
The trip concluded at the Grand Canyon. This is one of the most impressive, stately, and brilliant natural creations in this part of America! Here, pictures don’t do justice. You need to see it in person to let the natural majesty soak in.
Hiking in a national park was a perfect birthday celebration and we both enjoyed the mother/son time together. If you are interested in visiting the National Parks of the west, Covington can help you plan your next adventure, either independently or on an escorted tour.
Liz Gluck is an invaluable support specialist to the Covington vacation advisors. Originally from New York, she’s adjusted to Virginia’s different pace but still has to return north periodically for a taste of home.