Welcome back! We went to many different places around Baltimore before we moved out west, but we’ve also spent each weekend exploring the beautiful area surrounding Page. Our first real weekend in Page started early. After viewing homes for sale, we packed up our camping gear and the dogs and headed out on an ambitious trip – heading towards Bryce Canyon and diverting off on the Burr Trail towards the back country of Utah. This trip takes you through Grand Staircase Escalante, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and Capital Reef. It is very important to remember that each of these parks is under a different designation (national park, rec area, etc.) and is also under a different agency, such as the Bureau of Land Management or the National Park Service. Always check to see if camping, lighting a fire, drinking the water, etc. is allowed before assuming it is! For Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Capital Reef National Park, a free permit is required before camping, even in dispersed locations. You can stop by a Visitor Center to obtain a permit. Also remember to pack it in and pack it out – the great outdoors is not your personal dumpster! Take your trash out of the area and properly dispose of it. Make sure your camp fire is completely out and remember to look up! The stars in remote locations are gorgeous!
We visited the Burr Trail when we were working a summer job at Bullfrog Marina in Glen Canyon years ago. From what Clinton and I remember, it was not a very well traveled road and took some navigation, especially up and down the switchbacks. It was about a five to six hour drive one way and about the same back. While driving, it is hard not to stare out at the beautiful landscape. I highly recommend that you take your time and pull over whenever possible. Even if that time is spent just staring out into the wilderness, it is definitely worth the time. We also had the dogs, and the weather was just perfect to get out and explore when we could. Since this is the desert, we packed multiple sources of water along with plenty of snacks in case we got hungry during the drive. We had our jet-boil so we could cook dinner, and we’ve been experimenting with dehydrated food while camping.
I should probably mention right about now that I drive a Honda Accord. Before that I had a Honda Civic, and it drove on every single road I’ve been on with the Accord so far. Do your research, make sure you feel safe, but don’t underestimate the power of a smaller sedan. It has gotten me in and out of many different landscapes. Be confident, but don’t be stupid. If the ground feels strange as I drive over it I stop and reassess. My point is that you don’t need a huge SUV or a 4×4 just to get to a remote location – but you better believe we’ve done our research. Front wheel drive helps a lot, and we ALWAYS get our maintenance done. Sometimes we do it ourselves, but it gets done. Don’t put yourself in a situation you could have avoided.
The dogs have really loved climbing along the red rock that makes up a lot of the landscape here. Another cool feature is Navajo sandstone. Predominately found in southern Utah, Navajo Sandstone usually looks like large domes and bluffs white in color. By far one of the best features of the landscape, it looks just as amazing even at night when the stars are out. When we first moved here, the moon was almost a full moon. We enjoyed going out and seeing more stars that we ever saw in Baltimore, but since it was so bright because of the moon we also could see neat reflections on the water or different shadows along the canyon and Lake Powell. Very pretty! Now that it is darker, the sky is bright and the constellations are amazing. We hope to join a few local star parties, and maybe buy our own telescope!
This is all for now, stay tuned! We will be going back and forth between our trips out to other parks out here in Page, or the places we visited on the east coast before we moved out here. Until next time!