35.5K 10 Year Anniversary by endoverericfirst prev 1 next last
My wife is awesome. Our marriage is awesome. This trip that she planned for us was awesome. 10 years of awesome...and counting!
We traveled down through Utah into California. We stayed in San Diego for a few days, then did a day in LA, a day in San Francisco, and a day in Yosemite. We even hit some hot springs on the way home.
Two nights were in a motel, the rest were in our minivan RV. We even slept on Neptune Drive, Mission Bay, and at Battery Spencer above the Golden Gate Bridge.
Springdale, Utah7.6 miles N of Springdale, Utah
The Virgin River has many moods, from quiet and slow to a raging torrent. This beautiful, shaded walk meanders through forested glens, following the path of the stream ever deeper into the canyon.
This trail passes through Zion's unique desert swamp environment, a wet, green oasis in this generally arid country. Look for hanging gardens on the cliffs by the trail. The paved trail ends at the river, but if you are prepared to get your feet wet, and if conditions permit, you may be able to continue up into The Narrows. Always check at the visitor center for current conditions before venturing into The Narrows. Flash floods can be deadly.
The paved trail is mostly flat and accessible. Wheelchairs may have some difficulty on short steep grades. Wear sturdy boots when hiking in the riverbed beyond the end of the trail. Loose stones and wet, slippery conditions make for treacherous footing.
Roundtrip: 1.5 hours / 2 miles
Elevation Gain: 57 feet
Springdale, Utah6.6 miles NE of Springdale, Utah
Expect to get wet on this short hike! Weeping Rock gets its name from the continuous "weeping" of water that seeps through sandstone and drips from the cliffs above. Seasonal flowers brighten the hanging gardens and you'll find views of the Great White Throne and Angels Landing.
The trail is a short but steep walk with a few minor drop-offs. Best experienced while hiking at a leisurely pace, it is too steep in places for wheelchair access.
Weeping Rock Trail climbs through forest to a natural alcove eroded into the cliffside. Here perpetual springs nurture lush vegetation. This is a relatively accessible example of a "hanging garden".
Experience Zion's refreshing springs up close. The Navajo Sandstone cliffs hide pure water. The water travels slowly through the porous rock layer until it reaches the bottom and hits the less-permeable Kayenta layer. Like reaching a geologic stop sign, the water is forced out of the cliff face as as natural spring. Where water seeps out, you will find surprising hanging gardens in the desert. Look for maidenhair ferns and flowers in the spring.
Roundtrip: 0.5 hours; 0.4 miles
Elevation Change: 98 feet
Yosemite National Park9.2 miles S of Yosemite National Park
The mist trail is a small breakoff from the John Muir Trail through Yosemite National Park. It's called the mist trail because of the heavy amount of mist that hikers walk through as Vernal and Nevada Falls crash hundreds of feet below. The hike is short as for horizontal distance traveled but the incline will give you a run for your money. You'll ascend 639 stone stairs to reach the top of Vernal Falls. There's a waterfall in between the two that is a sight all it's own but is often forgotten because of the behemoths on either side. The hike between the falls is a nice break as it is fairly flat relative to the rest of the trail. Once you get to the base of Nevada Falls, you'll have to take switchbacks up the giant cliffs to the top.
These waterfalls are usually the last to dry up around Yellowstone Village. Whether you just love waterfalls or you want a closer view of Halfdome, Whitecap, or Mt. Broderick, the Mist Trail definitely offers world class views. There are bathroom facilities just above Vernal Falls and water just before you start to ascend the stairs. There's another trail that is less steep but that skips Vernal Falls.
|Vernal Fall Bridge||0.8 miles||400 ft|
|Top of Vernal Falls||1.5 miles||1100 ft|
|Top of Nevada Falls||3.4 miles||2230 ft|
Mill Valley, California6.3 miles SE of Mill Valley, California
This is easily one of the best places to view the Golden Gate Bridge. For over half a century, this was one of the most strategically important sites guarding the Golden Gate. Completed in 1897, the battery was named for Joseph Spencer, who had been a Major General in the army during the American Revolution. It was armed with 3 rifled guns having 12" diameter barrels. The fortification saw continuous service until 1943, when it was declared obsolete and its guns scrapped.
Distance: 0.2mi each way
Littlefield, Arizona0.8 miles NE of Littlefield, Arizona
Little Jamaica is a warm springs waterfall and pool just off the highway between Desert Springs and Littlefield, Arizona. It's a family location that doesn't get more than 5 feet deep in the pools. The plant life and rock features will make it feel a little more like you're playing in the tropics than the middle of the desert. There's even a plant covered grotto over part of the pool to complete the tropical atmosphere.
Mill Valley, California1.9 miles W of Mill Valley, California
There are several suggested hikes on the main trail leaving from the visitors center. The longest, a loop, is about 2 miles. It is the only one that leaves the boardwalk. It has some elevation gain. The others areally flat, with a boardwalk taking you to trees with signs explaining their significance. There is a lot of information posted around to inform curious minds, as well as some guided tours and programs from children. There are several other trails leaving or passing through this area, for those looking for a longer hike.