USA Week 4: Breathtaking National Parks
Week 4 USA
Last week we were still in Las Vegas and this week we explored the breathtaking National Parks of America. There are of course many, but we did a nice selection of all these beautiful pieces of nature. Read here which National Parks we have chosen and why!
Thanks to a great collaboration with Sunny Cars , we were able to go on a road trip through the most beautiful National Parks in the USA with an all-in rental car. We had an all-inclusive luxury SUV at our disposal, which allowed us to easily drive into the mountains. Most National Parks have a lot of mountains and a more difficult road to drive on. An SUV or Jeep is therefore ideal!
Driving the rental car was again exciting this time. Not because we had to learn to drive an automatic car this time, but because this SUV was very large and modern. All kinds of buttons and lights inside the car made us nervous to drive it. Once we got the hang of this, the car drove really great. It is really worth it to upgrade your car at a car rental company. You notice the difference in driving and comfort enormously! Also, this car had a reversing camera, which can be useful in areas you are unfamiliar with. With this SUV we were all set to explore the most beautiful National Parks of the USA.
Zion National Park
Our first stop after leaving Las Vegas was Zion National Park. This park is about a three hour drive from Vegas. We chose to visit this park first because it is the closest to Las Vegas and because friends told us this is their favorite National Park. So plenty of reasons for us to go to Zion!
You can choose to drive your car through this park (with an extra cost that you pay) or you can also park your car very easily and for free outside the park in the village of Springdale. A free shuttle will then take you to the entrance of the park. We chose to do this as we were not really prepared to drive through this park with our rental car.
The area around Zion is already beautiful. You’ll drive straight into the mountains from Las Vegas until you get to Springdale. At times the environment reminded us of the Alps. Once inside the park, the Alps seem far away. Zion has huge mountains that you can’t quite grasp if you’ve never seen it before. By using the free shuttle in the park, you already get a nice picture of this park. We took the time to stop at places that appealed to us the most. For the real hikers this is the ultimate pleasure. You can walk straight up into the mountains from the valley.
Unfortunately we did not do that because we were really not prepared for this. We had no suitable shoes and no trained condition to handle such a climb. Then you shouldn’t start such a challenging walk, because then there is the chance that you will exhaust your body (and we really can’t use that right now). We enjoyed the breathtaking views that Zion offered us, without having to go hiking for it. And that in itself is worth it! We were very impressed by this piece of wonderful nature.
After our adventure in Zion National Park , we drove towards our next destination in the evening. This will be Bryce Canyon and is an hour and a half drive from Zion. It was already getting dark when we left with the car and the GPS directed us straight through the National Park to drive. This was going to be quite an adventure! Driving in the mountains is one thing. Driving in the mountains when it’s dark is another matter. We started this ride very slowly and calmly. When it was still dusk outside, the view from the mountains was really spectacular. However, there was not much time to see this, we wanted to get out of this park as soon as possible when it got dark.
About two hours later we arrived at our hotel near Bryce Canyon . The hotel looked more like a (scary) motel. It was secluded by the side of the road and had tiny rooms with only a bed and a bathroom. Because it was so late when we arrived, there was no one else to be seen. We didn’t feel quite at ease. This sleeping place was good for one night. We did have a good night’s sleep, by the way!
In the morning the landscape and the hotel looked much less scary than when we arrived. It was soothing and calm. Rested we could leave for Bryce Canyon! Again you could choose to drive your car in the park, but we didn’t this time either. Also in Bryce Canyon there is a shuttle from one place to another. Bryce Canyon is a huge park best known for its hoodoos. These are unique rock formations and are really impressive to see! You can easily descend to these rocks in the valley, but here too you have to take into account a steep climb back up. The descent went well for us, but when we tested halfway through the route whether we could handle the climb, it again seemed too difficult. A pity, because the view must also have been beautiful below.
We found Bryce Canyon even more impressive than Zion National Park. Bryce is impossible to comprehend in his size. Everywhere you look, you see similar rocks that you will not find like this anywhere else in the world. Bryce Canyon is certainly a piece of breathtaking nature that will leave you speechless.
Even more National Parks
In retrospect, we would have liked to see more National Parks, including certainly the central part of the Grand Canyon and also Antelope Canyon, which we would like to see in the future. Yosemite and Yellowstone are also on our bucket list. But this is the reality. It is impossible to have seen all these beautiful parks in a few days. You have to take your time for each park, because it is so incredibly large and beautiful. And we are already very happy to have seen two of these breathtaking National Parks. That is an experience we will never forget.
If you are planning to go hiking in the National Parks of the USA in the future, you better prepare well! The challenging walks are not for everyone. We now know that too.