Canyonlands in summer? What?!  Isn’t it too hot?  Tell me more!  National Park trips have traditionally been a fun summer family outing but did you realize that you can do the desert ones in the summer?  This summer Kim put together a customized dream trip that went from Arches to the Grand Canyon and yes, in the middle of summer!  The desert southwest in the summer has a monsoon season which (thankfully) keeps the temperatures down. But even so, it’s not called “canyonlands” for nada… if you get up and motivate for your activity in the morning and hide in the shade lizard like during the heat, you can have a great trip! With the tall canyon walls it is possible to hike in the shade and many of the parks include hiking and swimming in rivers and pools.  This trip started on the Colorado River north of Moab with a cool morning horseback ride.  After that, it was off to Arches (NATIONAL PARK #1 for the trip) to check out Delicate Arch.  The next day, it was time for family mountain biking up at Deadhorse Point State Park then over to see NATIONAL PARK #2 ~ the Islands in the Sky part of Canyonlands. (Photo above is the stunning Mesa Arch in “I-Sky” (local lingo!).

Teepee Sunset Capitol Reef

Next we headed over to little known yet amazing Capitol Reef National Park (NATIONAL PARK #3) where we stayed in teepees! SO fun! Inside the teepees are queen size beds, Navajo rugs, plush arm chairs…luxury! (See below) Each teepee has it’s own private (separate) bathroom, shower and even coffee maker. What a blast for kids (and adults, too!) After hiking to a far away hidden arch (see below), we checked out ancient petroglyphs and some even went hiking with llamas!

Teepee Capitol Reef National Park

After Capitol Reef, we headed up to Boulder, Utah, which is high out of the heat.  Here we hiked and swam in narrow canyons with waterfalls and through slot canyons (slide show below).  All of these lie in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  Next it was on to Bryce Canyon National Park (NATIONAL PARK #4) where we stayed right on the canyon edge to watch the incredible changing light in the canyon. From here we drove to Zion National Park (NATIONAL PARK #5) where the entire family braved the hike up to Angel’s Landing!

Below is the panoramic view off the trail to Angel’s Landing. It is one of the most exciting hiking trails in the USA and we were thrilled that the entire family was stoked to do this hike! After Zion, we drove to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for our final park of the trip (WOOHOO NATIONAL PARK #6) and boy, it did not disappoint!  How Grand It Is!  On the way in, we saw a herd of buffalo roaming (with babies in tow!) We did some fabulous hikes.  Best of all, to cap off our awesome trip, Mother Nature delivered a stunning sunset for all to enjoy!

Angel's Landing Zion Nat'l Park

Sunset view from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in August!  We were lucky the monsoonal rains gave us clouds for incredible color and photos. The stars at night were incredible and we were lucky to have the Perseid Meteor Shower happening at the same time.  This is a dream trip for any and all to enjoy….Mountain Spirits will make it happen for you!

Sunset over N Rim Grand Canyon

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