9 travelers flew into Las Vegas from all over the North East about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. No we weren’t reliving The Hangover, in fact we arrived, got our rental cars and promptly left Las Vegas. Among us we had a couple, a pair of siblings, some high school buddies and a few college pals. Some knew everyone, but for many it was a group of strangers with one thing in common. A yearning for adventure and the true beauty of mother nature. We were told we all had to “go with the flow” and quickly became friends.
We set out on our first trek, a 2-day 14 mile journey through the Red Canyon. Our initial plan to do a similar hike in Bryce Canyon was quashed by an unfortunate batch of “hyper-bears” that were harassing campers. The air was hot and dry as we threw our packs on (ranging from 25-70 lbs) and set off. We followed the forested path encased by red rock masterpieces soaring into the sky.
The rocks jutting skyward like stalagmites, known as “hoodoos,” are what drew us to the region. One legend holds that they trap spirits of lost travelers. As we traversed dried up riverbeds and dessert forests we saw few creatures about. The occasional lizard or winged beast came out in the heat of the day. Most were hiding in their nests resting, waiting for the cool of the night to come out and hunt.
As the heat of the day set in we took frequent water and pack breaks enjoying the stunning views. Always excited to come to the top of a hill, or bend in the trail and see the vast landscape before us. As long as we kept moving and avoided the horse scat en route we were having a grand ole time.
A few miles in we climbed out of one canyon and stumbled upon the “Little Dessert,” a series of grey sand dunes amidst a sea of red rock. Leading us into an elevated forest with spectacular views as the sun began to set. We decided to find a campground on a path the ranger told us could cut 3 or 4 miles off our trip.
Our path opened up into a phenomenal campsite with a stunning view instead of a path. No shortcut unless we wanted to tumble down into the valley below but we did manage to find a few critters to keep us company and a great view for sunset.
After a cooking around the campfire and the best starry sky any of us could of imagined we crawled into our tents. Goodnight.