Road Trip in Oregon

days in Oregon, Exploring nature…

How much did it cost?

Airbnb: $100 for 2 nights. We wanted an isolate room, something similar to a hotel room. We both booked 1 night as our first stay and got $40 off for $75 spent. If it’s the first time you use Airbnb, then use this link for $40 off your stay.

Gas: $60

Food: $100

Permit and passes: $40, which was $30 Northwest Forest Pass (valid 1 year) and 2 x $5 for State Parks.

🚗 We used my boyfriend’s car but if you have to rent one it was around $100 for 3 days

1st day

We left on Sunday morning around 3:30am and arrived at Ecola State Park at 7am. There is a $5 fee entrance that you pay at a kiosk. It was still grey and cloudy but the view of Cannon Beach was amazing. We stayed there about 40min and the scenery turned blue just before we left.

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7am
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7:30 am

 Then, we went to Cannon Beach where we spent about 2h, walking on the beach, taking pictures, enjoying the scenery… it was unreal! The sand was wet and gave a nice reflection. We were so happy to be there and explore the coast.

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We headed to Cape Kiwanda, which is 1h30 drive from Cannon Beach. My GPS took us to a private road, so I decided to park the car of the side on the road where two other cars were parked. Well, we learnt later that the parking lot was 5min drive further 😅 GPS’s fault 😂 We spent about 2 hours, walked on the beach, looked at people paragliding, and climbed uphill where we had an amazing view.

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Another hour drive and we hiked Drift Creek Falls, which is an easy 2.7 mile hike. We arrived there around 3pm and the parking lot was full. We parked the car on the side of the road. It took us 1h15 to make it. Really nice hike that leads to a bridge with a view of the waterfall, then you can hike down to the waterfall.

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From the bridge

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Got soaked!!!

Last stop for the day was at Devils Punch Bowl, which was a 50min drive from Drift Creek Falls. It was high tide, so we couldn’t go down to the beach and explore inside. If you are going, I recommend you to check for the low tide.

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Then, we drove to Corvallis where we stayed for the night via Airbnb. It was a nice detached room with bathroom.

2nd Day

We left early, around 7am, and went to Silver Falls State Park. Known for its 10 waterfalls loop hike. We parked at the South Waterfall’s parking lot. The loop is about 9 miles. Not really difficult. This is a very busy trail. We followed the recommendation I read online “go on the weekday and early”. Well, we basically had the trail for ourselves. Many cars and people were there when we got back to the parking lot around 1pm. Glad we started early. Our favorite waterfall was the North Falls but they were all pretty awesome.

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South Falls
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Lower South Falls
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Double Falls
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North Falls

Then, we wanted to hike Abiqua Falls, which is 50 min drive from Silver Falls State Park. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about the road conditions and we had to park about 2 mile from the trailhead. On our way I started to get a really bad headache and I didn’t feel good enough to hike 5 miles instead of 1 like I planned. Well, we just saw a dozen waterfalls and more were planned for the next day.

We drove to Gresham where we spent the night via Airbnb. We really loved this place. It was really comfy in the basement, with TV, couch, laundry room, private bathroom, 2 bedrooms and access to the hot tub.

3rd day

We left early morning around 7am and went first to Multnomah Falls. This place is very popular and I wanted a chance to enjoy it without the crazy crowd. Well, we were lucky. We saw a couple people but no one on our pics 📸🖒

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Then we went to Wahclella Falls. 2 miles. Very easy. It ends with a little loop that leads to an amazing waterfall.

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Next stop was Elowah Falls. 1.4 miles. The trail was actually closed because of a mudslide but we gave it a try anyway and it was worth it. A really small part of the trail collapsed but we could get passed it easily. Another way was possible but really steep. The trail kept going after the waterfall but we turned back and kept going up the fork to see Upper McCord Creek Falls, which was not in my plan and added another mile to the hike.

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Elowah Falls
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Upper McCord Creek Falls

Heading to Wahkeena Falls, we made a stop at Horsetail Falls, which was right on the side of the road. Really nice stop on our way.

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We made a fast stop at Wahkeena Falls, which was 1.4 miles out and back. Pretty cool but not as impressive as Elowah Falls or Wahclella Falls.

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Last stop was at Latourell Falls. First we went to the top but the view is definitely not as good as the bottom. Despite all the cars in the parking lot we had the waterfall for ourselves at least 5min. We went behind the waterfall. Probably the most powerful waterfall we saw on this trip. We were so soaked after this hike that we had to change our clothes in the parking lot and unfortunately I forgot to put the bag back in the car that had our hiking shoes and pants in it that added an additional $250 to the road trip’s cost. My bad 😑

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This was a 3 days road trip but if you have only 2 days (weekend) I will recommend you these places:

  • Cannon beach
  • Cape Kiwanda
  • Silver Falls State Park
  • Multnomah Falls
  • Whaclella Falls
  • Latourell Falls

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    Road Trip #2 : Colorado-South Dakota-Nebraska (August 2016)

    days in Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska

    I did this road trip by myself in August 2016. I was a bit stressed and anxious cause it was the first time I travelled alone in National Parks. I planned to camp and backpack every night but I mostly slept in my car because I was too afraid. I will do better next time, though. 😅

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    HOW MUCH DID IT COST?

    I booked the flight and the rental 2 weeks before my trip.

    Flight: $190 from Seattle,WA to Denver,CO

    Rental: $292 for 5 days with Alamo

    Gas: $85

    Ticket for speeding: $145 😐😅

    Backpacking: FREE. One night at Badlands National park, I slept in my car the other nights.

    Food: $110

    Visit:

    • Wind Cave: $12
    • Jewel Cave: $12
    • Mt Rushmore: $10

     

    Where did I go?

    》》》 There will be a post in more detail about each destination except for Mount Rushmore and Nebraska《《《

    STAY TUNED

     

    I landed around 12am in Denver in Colorado, got the car and headed to Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. It was really hard to stay awake, drive about 6h at night and not sleep at all. My itinerary made me drive a part of Wyoming State where I caught an amazing sunrise before I entered in South Dakota State. 

    I arrived at Wind Cave around 8am, walked around and took one of the tours offered by the Park. During the tour, I met a very nice guy named Jacob from Chicago. We shared the trip as far as Badlands, following each other with our own car.

    Day 1

    Wind Cave National Park

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    Then, Jacob and I headed to Jewel Cave around 11 am, which was 30min drive from Wind Cave.

    Jewel Cave National Monument

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    Finally we drove to Mt Rushmore, which was 45min drive from Jewel Cave.

    Mount Rushmore National Monument

    Majestic figures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt & Abraham Lincoln

    This place was why I wanted to go to South Dakota. After a few google searches, I added Wind Cave, Jewel cave and Badlands to my list. We arrived there mid-afternoon and spent about 2h.

    The first impressive view of Mt Rushmore was from the Avenue of Flags

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    We admired the Mt Rushmore from Grand View Terrace

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    Took a walk on Nature Trail to Scultor’s studio

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    And kept going on Presidential Trail that took us very close and almost under the Sculture

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    Then, we drove around a bit and waited for the night before we went back. It was really cool to see in the dark

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    We decided to drive as close as possible to Badlands and slept in our car in a rest area about 45min drive from Badlands.

    Where to sleep?

    Camping opportunities are available throughout the surrounding area.

    Lodging is available in many nearby communities: Keystone (3 miles away), Hill City (13 miles away), Custer (20 miles away) and Rapid City (24 miles away)

    You can check out Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association

    Day 2

    Badlands National Park

    It was an incredible experience. I loved this Park. We did a hike, stopped at some overlooks and did backpacking for the night.

    More details in an upcoming blog post 》》》Don’t want to miss it? Subscribe to my blog ❤

    Day 3

    Nebraska

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    It was time to say goodbye to Jacob and keep going toward Rocky Mountain in Colorado. I added a drive in Nebraska at Oglala National Grassland and Scotts Bluff National Monument. This took me almost the entire day. I drove on a dirt road for hours because of Oglala National Grassland. I didn’t see anything special and when the GPS told me I was there, I was actually on someone’s property and had to drive through. Maybe I had a bad experience because the GPS but I didn’t like it.

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    Scotts Bluff was a bit better. It has served as a landmark for peoples from Native Americans to emigrants on the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails to modern travelers. I drove to the summit, checked out North and South overlooks, which took me about an hour.

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    I probably wouldn’t do it again, I would definitely save my time and gas for something else.

    Finally, I arrived at Rocky Mountain around 7:30pm, enjoyed the sunset and parked the car at Fall River Visitor Center where I spent 2 nights sleeping in the car.

    Day 4 & 5

    Rocky Mountain National Park

    I spent 2 days hiking as much as I could. I really liked this Park.  In my opinion, 2 days is not enough. I mostly spent my time on the East side of the park.

    More details in an upcoming blog post 》》》Don’t want to miss it? Subscribe to my blog ❤

     

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    Grand Teton

    You will never forget the beauty of the Grand Teton

    Grand Teton National Park is located in Nothwestern Wyoming in the U.S and only 10 miles south of Yellowstone National Park. It is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range at 13,770 feet. Also, it’s a popular destination for mountaineering, hiking and fishing.

    How to get there?

    If you went to Yellowstone National Park before, then you will drive by the Yellowstone’s south entrance to get the North entrance. The road is closed from early November to mid-May. Otherwise, you can enter at the east entrance or the south entrance.

    The nearest airport is Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) located at the base of the Park. It’s 5h drive from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC).

    Where to sleep?

    Camping: There are 6 campgrounds in the park. They operate on a first-come, first-served. Advance reservations are not accepted. Campground fees change each year. Only revervations for group camping are accepted at some campgrounds through the Grand Teton Lodge at 307-543-3296. Campgrounds are open from early May to mid-October depending on the campgrounds. During the winter, primitive camping is allowed in the plowed parking lot adjacent to the Colter Bay Visiter Center for $5 per night from December 1 to April 15.

    Other campsites are available near and outside of the park.

    Backcountry camping: A trip into the backcountry requires planning in advance. All backcountry camping requires a permit.  They are issued on a first-come, first served basis for $25 no more than 1 day before the start of your trip. You can apply at the Colter Bay and Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Centers, and at the Jenny Lake Ranger Stations. For advance reservations you can book through Recreation.gov from the first Wednesday in January through May 15. Fees are $35. Also, bear-proof canisters are required for overnight stays.

    Lodge: all details on Grand Teton’s website

    What to do?

    Many activities are offered but the most famous are climbing & Mountaineering, hiking and fishing.

    • Climbing & Mountaineering: No permit required
    • Hiking: Hundreds of miles of hiking trails wind around the lakes and through the mountains
    • Fishing: A license is required according to Wyoming state laws
    • Backcountry camping
    • Wildlife viewing
    • Scenic drives
    • Boating & floating
    • Biking
    • Horse back riding
    • Cross-country skiing & snowshoeing
    • Ranger Programs
    • Concessioner activities: buzinesses and organizations licenced to provide visitor activities

     

    Safety

    This is a bear country. Always carry bear spray and make bears aware of your presence.

    Be prepared for rapid weather changes.

     

    My experience

    Grand Teton National Park was a part of the road trip we did with Yellowstone in June 2016. We drove there from Yellowstone’s South entrance at the end of the day. The scenery was spectacular. The Teton range took my breath away. The sky was cloudy and the light came through them. We spent 2 days there.

    We stopped at the Visitor Center and asked a ranger where we could find a campsite available, which was Gros Ventre Campsite located near the south entrance and the airport. We were lucky to find a spot that late of the day. However, we were less fortunate the next day and had to drive about 1h outside of the park.

    Day 1

    I wanted to challenge myself and Grand Teton was a good place for that. Amphitheater Lake was our destination, which starts at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. But we decided to start at Taggart Lake Trailhead and reach the Valley Trail Junction to get there.

    Taggart Lake Trailhead

    At the very beginning of the trail we took a right and walked a mile before we had to take another right and walked another mile as far as Bradley Lake. 

    Bradley Lake

    Then, we walked 1.5 miles and reached the Valley Trail Junction. A turn to the right would lead us to the original Trailhead. We took a left to continue on towards Amphitheater Lake. The trail made a strenuous climb over a couple switchbacks. As we were climbing higher, views of Jackson Hole became even more prominent and both Bradley and Taggart Lakes came into view as well.

    Views of Jackson Hole, Bradley Lake (left) and Taggart Lake (right)

    After 1.3 miles we took a right and walked about 2 miles. Finally, we reached the short side trail that leads to surprise Lake, which offers an outstanding view of Grand Teton from its southeastern shore. It was only a quarter-mile walk to reach Amphitheater Lake, so we decided to come back there later and swim.

    Surprise Lake

    Amphitheater Lake lies in a cirque basin below Disappointment Peak. My friend and I climbed on the side of the lake to get a higher view of it. Also, we had a great view of Jackson Hole and Taggart Lake.

    On our way down, just before Bradley Lake, we kept going straight instead of taking a left, which was the trail we took earlier. That allowed us to see Taggart Lake before getting back to the parking lot.

    Taggart Lake

    I recorded this hike but my phone shut down about 30min shortly after.

    Recorded: 15 mile – 3,697 feet elevation gain – Total time 7h30 – Moving time 5h

    I recommend starting your hike as early in the morning as possible to avoid the hight temperature during the climb.

    We wanted to find a spot at Jenny Lake Campground and be closer for our hike the next day. Unfortunately we couldn’t find one, although we tried to find one early before the hike. After the hike, we tried to find a spot at Gros ventre Campground where we spent the night before, but this time we didn’t get one. Probably because it was Saturday. We had to drive about 1h on Gros Ventre Rd to find a spot outside of the park.

    Day 2

    We took it easy on day two and chose to do Jenny Lake, which is the 2nd largest lake in the park, and String Lake. They are 2 different hikes but we wanted to combine both. Also, they are very easy and mostly flat. We started at Jenny Lake Visitor Center and headed south.

    After about a mile, we took a junction that leaded to Inspiration Point. We had a nice and panoramic view of Jenny Lake by gaining about 500 feet elevation.

    Inspiration Point

    Then, we walked back down to Jenny lake and reached String Lake by crosing a bridge.

    I looked at back on the Grand Teton while heading to Spring Lake

    We did the loop, which was about 3.7 miles. 

    String Lake

    Finally we finished the loop of Jenny Lake by the north, which was my favorite of Jenny Lake cause we had a view of the mountains.

    I also recorded this hike but unfortunately my phone shut down again. I couldn’t record the entire loop of String Lake. About 1.3 miles are missing, which I drew in black.

    Recorded: 10,9 mile – 1,037 feet elevation gain – 5:10 Total time  – Moving time 3:40

    Also, there is a shuttle boat that takes you from the Visitor Center to the other side of the lake.


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    Yellowstone

    The oldest National Parks in the world!

    Yellowstone National Park was created in 1872. The park is located in the U.S state of Wyoming. A small part of the park is located in Montana and Idaho. It is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features. The park contains about half the world’s geysers. Also, you probably know or heard about the Grand Prismatic Spring, which is the largest spring in the park and the 3rd largest spring in the world.

    Did you know that Yellowstone National Park is an active super volcano?

    You may not see any volcanoes but that’s because much of the entire park is a volcano.



    How to get there?

    Most people stop by Yellowstone while roadtripping in the USA. They also add Grand Teton National Park to their trip, which is located South of Yellowstone. There are 5 entrance stations but only 2 are open year-round (North and Northeast entrances). Read about access at each station at different times of year on the Yellowstone National Park’s website.

    The nearest commercial airlines are located in Cody and Jackson (Wyoming), Bozeman and Billings (Montana) and Idaho Falls (Idaho). They serve round-year. The West Yellowstone airport is serviced from June to early September from Salt Lake City.

    Where to sleep?

    Camping is the best way to experience Yellowstone. Either inside the park or outside if campgrounds are full. There are 12 campgrounds (over 2,000 campsites) into the park, 5 reservation campgrounds and 7 first-come, first-served campgrounds. Prices range from $15 to $47.75. To make a reservation Click here

    Backcountry camping & hiking: Yellowstone has a designated backcountry campsite system, and a Backcountry Use Permit is required for all over night stays. You can obtain your permit at the visitor centers or ranger stations, only in person and no more than 48h in advance of your trip. However, you can reserve your backcountry campsites in advance. For more information, visit Yellowstone National Park’s website.

    Lodging: 9 lodging facilities are in the park (more than 2,000 rooms) but only 2 are open in the winter. To make a reservation Click here

    What to do?

    Depends on the season. Here’s a list of what you can do:

    • Snowmobile & Snowcoach Tours
    • Skiing and Snowshoeing
    • Backcountry camping & hiking
    • Day hiking
    • Bicycling (Spring & Fall)
    • Fishing
    • Boating
    • Wildlife Viewing
    • Guided Tour: a large choice of services are offered. Backpacking, biking, day hiking, boating, fishing, ski and snowshoeing, painting & photography tours
    • Ranger Programs
    • Horseback riding

     

    Safety

    Yellowstone is a “dangerous” place. Here’s some rules:

    ◇ The animals are wild and should never be approched. Always stay at least 100 yards (91m) away from wolves and bears (carry bear spray), and at least 25 yards (23m) away from all other animals. Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any animal and they can sprint 3 times faster than humans can run.

    From Lamar Valley

    ◇ Stay on boardwalks and trails in thermal areas. Hot Springs have injured and killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature. You might of heard about the man who died after falling into a scalding hot spring in June 2016.

    My experience

    It was a road trip from Seattle, which is where I live. It was about 13h drive. My friend Dylan and I spent 5 days at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park in June 2016. We didn’t hike that much in Yellowstone. It was mostly a drive from point to another point and walk on the boardwalks to admire geysers, hot springs and mudpots.

    North Entrance

    How much did it cost?

    This trip was pretty cheap. We used my friend’s car, so we didn’t have to rent one. We camped every night, which was about $10-15 per night. We mostly had to pay for food and gas, about $400 for both of us.

    Day 1

    We arrived a bit after 12 pm and started with Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. It’s a walk on boardwalks above steaming thermal features. We spent about 1h there.

    Then, we drove on Lamar Valley, which is known for its wildlife. This is where I saw a bison for the first time. It was an exciting experience. We saw a bear (very far away), a Pronghorn, a bull moose and other animals.

    Lamar Valley

    Black bear

    Bull moose

    After that, we had to drive outside of the park to find a place to sleep because all campsites were full. We found one about 20min drive from the North entrance.

    Day 2

    We started the day early and stopped at these places:

    Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (again) it was a bit different to see in the morning. The steam was more dense probably due to a colder temperature in the morning than in the afternoon.

     ◇ Norris Geyser Basin: It’s a nice 2.25 miles in the hottest and most changeable thermal area in Yellowstone. We did the whole tour in 2 different areas called Porcelain Basin and Back Basin. It was really impressive and beautiful. Each feature was totally different from all the others. We spent about 1h30 there.

    Porcelain Basin
    Back Basin

    ◇ Artists Paintpots, which is a 1 mile trail winds through brightly colored mudspots, geysers and steam vents. We spent about 30 min there.

    Lower Geyser Basin: This is the largest Geyser Basin in Yellowstone. It’s scattered over a fairly large area and features regularly-erupting geysers, hot springs, and a mud pool. We walked on Fountain Paint Pot Nature Trail and saw various hydrothermal features.

    》Great Fontain Geyser and White Dome Geyser are located on the Firehole Lake Drive in the Lower Geyser Basin Area. Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to see them erupt. Predictions are posted at the Old Faithful Visitor Center.

    White Dome Geyser

    Midway Geyser Basin: This is where we could admire the beautiful and famous Grand Prismatic Spring. I went to Yellowstone especially for this place. It was on my bucket list since I saw it online before I came to the U.S.

    Also, we saw Excelsior Geyser.  The blue color of the water is incredible and will make you wish you could swim in it but the temperature reaches 199°F (93°C) 😱😅

    We spent about 30min, walking on boardwalks, which is a 0.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail.

    Upper Geyser Basin has the highest concentration of geysers in the world and includes Old Faithful Geyser (see below). We only walked on boardwalks of Biscuit Basin. Then, we went to the Visitor Center where the Old Faithful Geyser is located.

     Sapphire Pool at Biscuit Basin
    Sapphire Pool

    》Old Faithful Geyser is the most famous geyser in the world. It’s a frequent and predictable geyser that erupts once approximately every 45 to 90 min, depending on the duration of the previous eruption, which is about 1.5 to 5min and a height of 110-185 ft. We had a chance to see the eruption. It was really cool.

    Finally we spent the night in a campsite outside of the Park about 45min drive from the West Entrance.
    This day was breath taking. We saw so much in a day. I had never seen places like this before.

    Day 3

    Mud Volcano

    We stopped by Mud Volcano before we went hiking at Avalanche Peak, which is a short and steep hike, 4.2 mile round trip with 2,100 ft of elevation gain.

    It has stunning views of the surrounding peaks and Yellowstone Lake at 10,566 ft elevation.

    While the crowd was around the geysers and hot springs, we shared the top with a french couple with who I could speak french with 😉 We hung out there about 30 min before we hiked down and drove at Grand Teton National ParkNew blog post is coming soon

    Other things to see?

    Yellowstone National has more than 900 miles of hiking trails. Here’s other places I wanted to see but didn’t have time:

    Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Uncle Tom’s Trail Hike to Lower Falls

    Yellowstone River

    Mt Washburn: strenuous 6.2 mile round trip, elevation 10,243 feet (3 122m). Stunning views from the summit fire tower.

     

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    Yosemite in Summer

    One of my favorite National Parks so far. Either in Summer or in Winter, Yosemite should be on your bucket list

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    Where should I land ?

    FresnoYosemite International  (FAT) or Merced Airport (MCE) : Allow about 2.5 hours to Yosemite Valley

    Sacramento International  (SMF) Allow about 4 hours to Yosemite Valley

    San Francisco International  (SFO), Oakland International  (OAK) or San José International  (SJC) : Allow about 5 hours to Yosemite Valley

    What kind of car should I rent ?

    Whatever you want. You can rent an economic car because you won’t have to drive on difficult roads. You can rent a Van or an RV but make sure you registered to stay in a campsite.

    Where to sleep ?

    Camping: In a tent, van or RV, it’s up to you. Reservations are the best way to make sure you have a place, especially during summer. Yosemite is one of the busiest National Parks I have seen. From April to June, the very first-come, first-served might find a campsite. Make your reservation on Recreation.gov or check it out often. If it’s sold out you might find a cancellation in a campground that accepts reservations in or near Yosemite. There are 11 different campsites but only 4 in Yosemite Valley. Camp 4 (tent site only, $6 per night) located at the beginning of Yosemite Fall trail and near Yosemite Valley Lodge. Pines Campgrounds: Lower Pines, Upper Pines and North Pines ($26 / night) located near Half Dome Village.

    Backpacking: Free wilderness permits are required year-round for any overnight stay in Yosemite. There is a limited number of people for each trailhead. Reservations are available up to 24 weeks in advance ($5 per confirmed reservation + $5 per person) If it’s something you would like to do, learn more about or make a reservation Click here

    Hotel: The hotels closest to Yosemite Valley are the more expensive ones. You will have to drive a bit further if you don’t want to spend more than $100 a night. I usually book with Booking.com

    Public Transportation :

    A large service of public transportations are available to get to Yosemite or to get around. Amtrak, Greyhound, YARTS, free shuttles… Please check out Yosemite National Park’s website for more information. I only used Yosemite Valley Shuttle, so I won’t be able to help you with the others but I wanted to let you know the possibilities. Below is some information about Yosemite Valley shuttle system:

    • Yosemite Valley Shuttle provides service around eastern Yosemite Valley and operates year-round from 7am to 10pm. It stops at most of the trailheads located into Yosemite Valley, the Pines Campgrounds, Camp 4, Half Dome Village, Visitor Center…

    • El Capitan shuttle stops at El Capitan, Bridaveil Falls, Four Mile trailhead and the Valley Visitor Center. It operates from mid-June through early October from 9am to 5pm.

    What to do ?

    Yosemite National Park offers various activities

    • Guided Tours: Take a tour at Glacier Point. Overlook with view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Yosemite’s high country. Available when the Glacier Point Road is open, typically late May through October. You don’t have to take the tour, you can drive there on your own. Also, Valley Floor Tour and Tuolumne Meadows Tour are offered. To make a reservation Click here.
    • Hiking: There are so many hiking possibilities. Easy, moderate or streneous. You can find a list with more details on the National Park’s website. For some ideas, check out below in “My experience”
    • Art & Photography: Art class and Photography walks, classes & workshop…
    • Backpacking (wilderness permit required)
    • Biking:  Bicycles are available for rent in Yosemite Valley
    • Birdwatching
    • Fishing
    • Rock Climbing  & Bouldering
    • Stargazing
    • Water activities:  Kayak, Canoe, raft
    • Winter Sports: Cross-country skiing, Snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, Snow tubing, sledding and ice skating

     

    HALF DOME

    The Half Dome is a Yosemite Icon and a great challenge to many hikers. A permit is required to hike to Half Dome.

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    It’s a 14 to 16 mile hike (roundtrip) and you will be gaining elevation for a total of 4,800 ft. This is a very streneous hike and it is not for you if you are out of shape or unprepared. Along the way, you will have a stunning view of Vernal and Nevada falls, Liberty Cap and Half Dome. Most hikers take 10 to 12 hours to make it. The best is to start the earliest possible like before sunrise and have a non-negociable turn-around time if you haven’t reached the top of the Half Dome (3:30 pm the latest).

    The most famous and incredible experience of the hike is the ascent up the cables. The 2 metal cables allow hikers to climb the last 400 feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment. Wear good hiking boots and bring gloves for the cables (Some pairs were available before the climb but it’s better to have yours in case they are all taken).

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    It’s me 😀

    About the permit:

    A maximum of 300 hikers are allowed each day (about 225 day hikers and 75 backpackers). Permits are distributed by lottery via Recreation.gov.

    The preseason Lottery runs from March 1 through March 31. 225 permits are available each day. Results in mid-April by email.

    The Daily Lottery has approximately 50 permits available. You have to apply 2 days prior to the hiking date.

    Fees: Two separate fees are collected. The first fee is charged at the time you submit an application, $4.50 online or $6.50 by phone (per application). Non-refundable. The second fee is $8 per person only when you receive a permit.

    For 2017, they are planning on the Half Dome cables being up May 26 through October 10, but these dates could change based on conditions.

    HOW TO APPLY: Visit Recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.

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    My experience

    I went to Yosemite National Park with my friend Hellen in Mid-June. We spent 3 days there. I planned and booked this trip about a month and half before.

    How much did it cost ?

    Flight: $150 / pers (From Seattle to Sacramento) Why Sacramento? I considered to land either at San Francisco or Sacramento. The flight was the same price but the rental was cheaper and the drive a bit shorter from Sacramento.

    Rental: $160 insurance included with Enterprise (4 days) / 2 pers

    Gas: $50 / 2 pers

    Hostel: $137 for 3 nights / pers. Yosemite International Hostel at Groveland. We shared the room with 6 other people. Cheap hostel. Was OK for the price. Bed not really comfortable. Kitchen and bathroom shared with about 10 people. Located about 1h drive from Yosemite Valley.

    What did we do ?

    Day 1

    We arrived at Yosemite National Park around 3:30 pm but we were stuck in traffic in the park for about 1h30. When we could finally park the car at Yosemite Valley and start hiking, it was late and we didn’t have time for a long one. We did Mirror Lake, which is an easy, famous and beautiful hike. The entire loop is a 5 mile hike or you can hike to the lake and back, which is 2 miles.

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    Mirror Lake

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    Then, we stopped and admired Yosemite Fall before we hit the road and checked in at the hostel.

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    Yosemite Fall

    Day 2

    Early morning! I woke up my friend at 5:30am and we drove to Clouds Rest Trailhead, which was 1h30 drive. The trailhead is off Tioga Road. The parking lot is very small and fills up fast. It was already full when we arrived around 7:30 am but we still found a spot. It’s a 14.5 mile hike with 1,775 ft elevation gain (Clouds Rest elevation: 9,926 ft) . Bring enough water because it’s really hot and the hike takes about 8h. This hike is all about the destination but it’s totally worth it. You will have striking views in every direction, including Half Dome. Also, I recommend that you bring a mosquito spray. I got like 50 mosquito bites this day 😂😣

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    Day 3

    Woooow! I was so lucky. I won the permit to climb the Half Dome. I tried to get it by applying at the Daily Lottery 2 days before and I got the permit for my friend and myself. It’s probably the hardest hike I have done for now but also the one I’m the most proud about. We started the hike around 7:30 am and I was done at 4:30 pm. On our way, there were 2 amazing waterfalls called Vernal and Nevada Falls. You should definitely include them in your To-do list even if you don’t have the Half Dome permit. It is not required to see them. Also, it’s a BUSY trail. I recommend you to go early if you want to avoid the crowd.

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    Vernal Fall
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    Nevada Fall

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    Two Park Rangers were checking the permit at the base of the subdome, about 1 mile before the cable. I met people walking back upset because they were turned away, so don’t waste your time if you don’t have the permit. They strongly recommend at least 1 gallon of water (4L). I didn’t bring enough (2 quarts/2L) and it was a huge mistake. I ran out of water on my way back and it was a terrible experience. A really nice woman gave me one of her bottles of water and I can tell you, she saved my life. 

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    At the top of Half Dome

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    Getting the permit for the Half Dome changed my plan since I didn’t expect to win it 😅 There were  other hikes I wanted to do and places I wanted to see but I didn’t have time or energy. Here’s a list of what else wanted to do:

    • Bridaveil Fall Trail : 0.5 mile ~ 30min
    • Sentinel Dome : 2.2 mile ~ 1h30
    • Cathedral Lakes : 8 mile ~ 4h
    • Overlooks  : Glacier Point, Washburn Point and Tunnel view (I did Tunnel View during my winter trip)
    • Swimming and rafting at Merced River. You can rent a raft or bring your own. (June & July depending on conditions)

     

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    If you have any questions or if the post was helpful to you

    Please leave a comment ✏

    Check out my Instagram for more 📸

    Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon & Monument Valley

     Horseshoe Bend 

    It’s a Horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near the town of Page in Northern Arizona and adjacent to the border with Utah. It’s a 1.5 mile hike roundtrip from U.S. Route 89 and leads to the top of a cliff, overlooking Horseshoe Bend and the Colorado River over 1,000 feet below. The trail is accessible to people for all hiking skill levels and takes between 30min and 1h. The trail is made of sand and sandstone. There is no reservation needed. The National Park pass will be required. It might be difficult to park if the place is crowded.

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    Trail
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    Sunset

    Antelope Canyon

    It’s a slot canyon located on Navajo land East of Page. A slot canyon is a narrow canyon, formed by the wear of water rushing through rocks. The color of the walls is of a very intense orange. There are 2 different canyons : Lower Antelope Canyon and Upper Antelope Canyon but most of the time people visit the Lower Antelope Canyon.

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    Lower Antelope Canyon

    Cost : There is a $8 Navajo Park Entrance Fee per person to enter into the indian reserve. You must book a tour, either online or in person. I’ll recommand you to book in advance especially during the summer. Tripods are forbidden. If you want to bring yours you’ll have to take a Photographer Tour.

    Upper Antelope Canyon : Approximate prices are $48 for a general tour (1h) and $120 for a Photographer Tour (2h)

    Lower Antelope Canyon : Approximate prices are $25 for a general tour (1h15) and $47 for a Photographer Tour (2h15)

    Different guided Tours are available. We chose Ken’s Tours to visit the Lower Antelope Canyon (see review below in “my experience”)

    You can book a tour for the Upper Antelope Canyon with :

    Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours

    Antelope Slot Canyon Tours

    Antelope Canyon Tours

    Antelope Canyon Najavo Tours

    From April to September, do the tour around 11am or 12pm. The sun is at its zenith, and enters the canyon in a spectacular way.

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    Lower Antelope Canyon

    Monument Valley

    It’s located on the Arizona-Utah border. The Valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation. It is known by its cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft (300 m) above the valley floor. The most famous buttes are called “West Mitten Butte”, “East Mitten Butte” and “Merrick Butte”. The Navajo people call this place the Valley of Rocks. Monument Valley has stood as a symbol of the American West. No reservation needed. There is a $20 fee to enter into the Park.

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    View from the Visitor Center

    🚗 Take a scenic drive : Monument Valley can be visited by driving through a 17 mile dirt road that passes 11 stop points

    1. The Mittens
    2. Elephant Butte
    3. Three sisters
    4. John Ford’s Point
    5. Camel Butte
    6. The Hub
    7. Totem Pole
    8. Sand Springs
    9. Artist’s Point
    10. North Window
    11. The Thumb
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    On the dirt road

    My experience

    We did all of those places in one day. It was a part of the Road Trip we did last year in March/April.

    We spent the night at Page and started early, around 6:30am-7am at Horseshoe Bend. In my opinion, it’s better to go in the afternoon because of the shade that cuts half of the Horseshoe-shape. The good thing was we were alone. Also, we stopped there the day before. We caught the sunset after we spent the day at the Grand Canyon.

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    Around 7am in April

    Then, we went to Antelope Canyon. Our tour was scheduled at 8:30am with Ken’s Tours, which was $28 for a general tour (1h15) + the $8 Navajo Park Entrance Fee.

    Review : 4.5/5. We entered into the canyon by group of about 12 people and a guide. The guide was very nice and provided us a verbal tour and assistance in taking photos. I got my camera a few weeks before the trip (Nikon D3300) and he helped me with the settings, making my pictures look better 😍 Also, he offered to take a panaromic picture of us with our phone. When we came out of the canyon he showed us some actual “Prehistoric Dinosaur’s paw prints”.

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    Finally, we drove to Monument Valley, which is about 2h drive (120 mile) from Antelope Canyon and spent the afternoon there. We had a great view of Monument Valley from the Visitor Center. Then we hiked The Wildcat Trail, which is 3.2 miles around the West Mitten Butte. It takes about 1h30-2h. We really enjoyed this hike. We drove through the park on a 17 mile dirt road. We had an economic car and it was totally doable to drive on the dirt road (the road was dry). We left around 5pm and went back to Page for the night.

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    If you have any questions or if the post was helpful to you

    Please leave a comment ✏

    Death Valley 

    Death Valley

    La Vallée de la Mort in french

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    Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California near the border of Nevada. It’s one of the hottest places in the world at the height of summertime.

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    When to go ?

    The best time to hike in Death Valley is from November through March due to the very high temperatures in the park. Summers are extremely hot and dry. Daytime may exceed 120°F / 49°C.

    Where to land ?

    The closest airport is Las Vegas. About 2h30 drive. It’s almost 5h drive from Los Angeles.

    What kind of car should I rent ?

    We rented an economic car and we could easily drive on the unpaved road of Twenty Mule Team Canyon. Some people were more original… 😎

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    It doesn’t mean you can drive everywhere with an economic car. Farabee’s Jeep Rental now have an outlet located in Furnace Creek. These jeeps are outfitted for rugged backcountry road use.

    Where to sleep ?

    Camping : There are 9 different campgrounds. They are all first-come/first-served except for Furnace Creek campground. Reservations are available for the camping season of October 15 to April 15 by phone or online. Acording to the National Park’s website, it’s very rare for all campgrounds to fill. Prices : From free to $22

    Backcountry camping : The backcountry permit (free) may be obtained at the visitor center or any ranger station. Check out the National Park’s website or directly with a ranger to see where the backcountry camping is not allowed.

    Lodging : Reservations online

    Hotel or RV campground : Outside of the park (Amargosa, Pahrump, Beatty)

    What to do ?

    • Wildlife watching : Death Valley’s great range of elevations and habitats support a variety of wildlife species, including 51 species of native mammals, 307 species of birds, 36 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians and 5 species and 1 subspecies of native fishes
    • Hiking : easy, moderate or difficult. It’s up to you 😉 you can find some ideas below in “my experience” or check out the National Park’s website for more.
    • Backpacking (must obtain a free backcountry permit)
    • Biking & Mountain Biking : Death Valley has more than 785 miles of roads including hundreds of miles suitable for Mountain Biking

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    My experience

    My best friend and I went to Death Valley at the end of March. We did a road trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and drove from L.A to Death Valley. We had a great time. But a bit scary when we got caught in two sands storms! Once while driving and the next while we were outside of the car taking pictures. Then we almost ran out of gas as we entered the park. Lucky there was a gas station close although gas tends to be much more expensive close to the park.

    We booked a night in a really nice RV for $52 at Pahrump (Booking.com) which is about a 1h drive from Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

    All in all, it was a great trip. It’s very nice to drive through Death Valley National Park, I love the desert. It’s incredible how the scenery can be totally different from one place to another.

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    What did we do ?

    First day (Half day)

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    White Gold
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    Badwater Bassin : Surreal landscape of vast salt flats. 1 mile
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    Natural Bridge : 1 mile

     

    Second day

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    Zabriskie Point : The most popular viewpoint in the park
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    Mosaic Canyon
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    Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes : The largest dune field in the park. 2 mile
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    Salt Creek Interpretive Trail : 0.5 mile
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    Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail : 3 mile
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    Twenty Mule Team Canyon : 2.7 mile one way loop drive (unpaved)

     

    There are other places that you should check out if you have time :

    • Dante’s View : At 5,475 ft, the most breathtaking viewpoint in the park.
    • Devil’s Golf Course : An immense area of rock eroded by wind and rain into jagged spires (unpaved access road).
    • Artist’s Drive : A 9 miles scenic loop drive. This road is one-way and is only drivable with vehicles less than 25ft in total length.

     

    Other things to see ?

    Death Valley National Park has over 5,300 square miles of desert and mountains, making it the largest national park in the contiguous United States. The possibilities for discovery are ENDLESS!

    If you have any questions or if the post was helpful to you

    Please leave a comment ✏

    Grand Canyon 

    The most famous and spectacular

    National Park in the USA

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    Where should I land ?

    Either Las Vegas or Phoenix.

    From Las Vegas to the South Rim, it’s 4h15 drive if you use Google maps but you should round up to 5h to be safe. If you have time, you should definitely stop by Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours located just 45min from Las Vegas. It’s the oldest, richest and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada. You can do the historic Mine tours ($12.50 for an adult / 1h10) or just walk around like we did. It’s very cool.

    Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours

    It’s faster from Phoenix with a 3h30 drive when using Google maps, but consider 4h to be safe.

    What kind of car should I rent ?

    Whatever you want. You can rent an economic car cause you won’t have to drive on difficult roads. If your group is more than 2 or 3 people, you should rent a van or a RV. It’s fun to go for road tripping and you can sleep in it.

    Where to sleep ?

    Depends on if you prefer adventure or comfort and your budget. Sleeping in the National Park’s Lodges is expensive (prices start at $100). I will recommend Flagstaff which is 1h30 from the South Rim. Or you can camp in the park. The most popular Campground is called Mather Campground ($18/night), you have to make a reservation and if you plan to go in the summer you should make it as early as possible. If it’s already full you can sleep at Desert View Campground which is first-come, first-served.

    If you wish to camp anywhere in the park other than in developed Campgrounds, you must obtain a backcountry permit. You have to submit the permit request form either by fax or by mail. Permit requests are not accepted by telephone or by email. APPLY AS EARLY AS YOU CAN!!! (About 4 months before)

    South Rim or North Rim ?

    The South Rim is the most popular and visited and it’s accessible year around. The North Rim is closed for the winter through May 15 for the 2017 season.

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    Moran Point

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    From Bright Angel Trail

    Transportation inside the Park :

    You can park your car at different places and take the Shuttle (Refer to the map). The shuttles cover most of the park but you will have to take your car on the Desert View Drive that leads to Desert View Watchtower and the Campground. Many overlooks along the way.

    What to do ?

    Many activities are possible :

    Guided Tours :

    • South Rim Bus Tours
    • Bicycle Rentals and Guided Bicycle Tours – South Rim
    • Mule Trips – North and South Rim
    • Guided hikes with a Park Ranger (Free) – North and South Rim
    • Raft Trips
    • Air Tours
    • Jeep and Van Tours

    Hiking :

    Many options are available for day hikers. The South Rim and the North Rim offer Rim Trail Hikes that have spectacular views. Or you can choose to day hike into the Canyon. The most popular hikes on the South Rim are Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail.

    Hiking into the Canyon can be very dangerous (Falls, heat stroke, dehydratation). Over 250 people are rescued from the Canyon each year. Be prepared for a safe and enjoyable hike. Bring enough water and enough food. Don’t underestimate the wilderness and overestimate your own abilities. Wear comfortable hiking boots.

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    Bright Angel Trail 

    Havasu Falls

    One of the most beautiful, amazing, incredible blue green waterfalls. Hidden in the Grand Canyon and DIFFICULT (almost impossible) to get reservations for. The Havasupai Tribe administers the land, which lies outside the boundary and jurisdiction of Grand Canyon National Park.

    Campground reservations started on February 1st and were only taken by phone. It was impossible to get someone on the phone, all lines were busy. The ones who where lucky to make a reservation spent their entire day calling multiple times. For what I know, the Campground is already full for the 2017 season.

    It requires a 10 mile hike EACH WAY to the waterfalls of Havasupai. NO DAY HIKING ALLOWED. You must obtain a reservation and permit or they will turn you away. Also, it can be very dangerous to attempt this hike in one day. Temperatures can reach 115°F (46°C)

    Cost :

    • Entry Fee : $50 per person + 10% tax
    • Campground (300 sites) : $25/person/night + 10% tax
    • Environmental fee : $10 + 10% tax

     

    NOT MY PICTURE

    My experience

    I went to the Grand Canyon (South Rim) twice and I’m planning to go again in June. Both times I landed in Las Vegas and made a stop at Eldorado Canyon Mine Tour.

    The first time was in December 2015 with my best friend Bruna. We planned to stay 2 days, drive at each overlook and do at least one hike into the Canyon. I pictured the Grand Canyon always warm and sunny. What a surprise! It was COLD and SNOWY! When we arrived on the afternoon, we were totally exhausted after a crazy night in Las Vegas and 5h drive. So we decided to drive from the Visitor Center to Grand View Point and stop at each overlook. The first time in the Grand Canyon is magical and totally breath taking. We were so excited and couldn’t believe our eyes. A DREAM CAME TRUE ❤ We spent the night at a couchsurfer’s place inside the park. We planned to stay 2 nights there but it was very uncomfortable to sleep because (funny story) the very nice guy who welcomed us snored TOO LOUD 😅  We were too exhausted and wanted to find another place for the second night. Finally the 2nd day was snowy and foggy like crazy. No view of the canyon. So we decided to make a snowman ☃ and we spent the night at Flagstaff. We drove on a part of the famous Route 66 on our way back to Las Vegas and found a nice and weird town.

    Route 66

    The second time was in March 2016 with my boyfriend. This time the weather was way better. Cold at night but warm during the day. We started early in the morning and walked part of the South Rim Trail from Bright Angel Lodge to Mojave Point. Then we did some of Bright Angel Trail (6 miles out and back). We were done around 4pm, stopped at some overlooks on Desert View drive and headed to Page where we caught the sunset at Horseshoe Bend.

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    I just requested the Backcountry permit for Bright Angel Campground in June 2017. This time I want to do backpacking and sleep in the canyon. Hope I get the permit. FINGERS CROSSED 🍀

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    If you have any questions or if the post was helpful to you

    Please leave a comment ✏

    Road Trip #1 : California-Nevada-Arizona-Utah (March/April 2016)

    A Road Trip is an amazing way to discover a country and especially in the USA. The scenery is just breath taking. It’s like a show from your car. Also, you better like driving cause you are going to drive for long hours and some roads are straight and endless. There are so many different Road trips you can do. Depends on how many days or weeks and what you want to see. Here are some ideas… 🚗

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    9 DAYS – 2 PARTS

    For some reason my best friend Bruna couldn’t make the entire road trip with me. My boyfriend decided to join me for the second half. This is why I chose to land in Las Vegas. Otherwise a start in Los Angeles would have been the best. I spent 4 days with Bruna in Nevada and California and 5 days with my boyfriend in Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

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    HOW MUCH DID IT COST ?

    ☆ Flight : $340 / pers (from Seattle)

    ☆ Rental : $290 (Enterprise) / 3 pers

    ☆ Gas : About $225 (~2000 miles) / 3 pers

    ☆ Hotel : $300

    • 2 nights = Couchsurfing = FREE
    • 1 night = RV = $52 / 2 pers
    • 5 nights = Hotel = $248 / 2 pers

    ☆ Visit :

    • $86 Universal Studio Los Angeles (Cheaper online) / pers
    • $80 National Parks Annual Pass
    • $20 Monument Valley
    • $28 Antelope Canyon / pers
    • $65 Canyon Trail Rides Bryce Canyon (Horse ride) / pers

     

    I planned and booked everything about a month before. The earlier you book, the cheaper you will pay. You definitely can find a flight for Las Vegas for less. If you are under 25, you will pay more for the rental because of the insurance. It’s also more expensive if you drop the car off in a different place than where you picked it up. I usually book my flight with Kayak, the car with Rentalcar.com and the hotel with Booking. 

    I like to use Couchsurfing when I’m travelling in the City, either for the night or just to hang out. It’s a nice way to meet people, share culture and whatever you like, and you have someone to show you around or give advice about where to go. Usually, you’ve already researched online what you want to do and what you want to see but they can advise you about places less touristic.

     

    THERE WILL BE A POST IN MORE DETAIL ABOUT EACH DESTINATION

     

    Los Angeles

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    Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

    Death Valley

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    Zabriskie Point, Death Valley

    Click here to read the Death Valley blog

    Grand Canyon

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    South Rim, Grand Canyon

    Click here to read the Grand Canyon blog 

    Horseshoe Bend

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    Sunset, Horseshoe Bend

    Antelope Canyon

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    Monument Valley

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    Click here to read about the Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon & Monument Valley Blog 

    Grand Staircase Escalante

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    Spooky Gulch, Grand Staircase Escalante

     Bryce Canyon

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    Click here to read about the Bryce Canyon blog

    Zion

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    From Angels Landing Trail, Zion

     

    🚗 Have fun and Drive safe 🚗

    If you have any questions or if the post was helpful to you

    Please leave a comment ✏

    Glacier National Park

    Welcome to Montana

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    Glacier National Park is located in the U.S State of Montana, on the Canada-United States border with the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Glacier National Park definitly fits well its name. I hardly imagine how cold is it during the winter! Brrrrrrr I’m already cold 😅❄

    ☡ Glacier National Park is also known to have a black bear and grizzly habitat. It’s EXTREMELY important for hikers to make a lot of noise, carry bear spray and hike in groups. Trails can be closed due to bear activity . It’s a better idea to check with a ranger on the status of a trail before proceeding on any hike in the park.

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    We spent 4 days there in September and for good reason, total of square miles 1,583 split in 5 areas :

    • Lake McDonald
    • Many Glacier
    • North Fork & Goat Haunt
    • St. Mary
    • Two Medicine

    Interesting facts :

    • Total number of lakes : 762
    • Number of named lakes : 131
    • Largest lake : Lake McDonald at 9.4 miles long, 1.5 miles wide, 464 feet deep
    • Number of mountains : 175
    • Highest mountain : Mt Cleveland at 10,448 ft / 3,190 m

     

    Of course, 4 days was not enough to explore the entire park. We did the boat tour at Lake Mcdonald, and some hikes at Many Glacier and St. Mary.

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    My favorite hike so far was Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint located at Many Glacier area. A stunning view all along the hike. Starting with Swifcurrent Lake and Josephine Lake, then on your way up to an amazing view of Grinnell Lake and ending at Upper Grinnell Lake. Absolutely breath taking.

    10.6 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 1,600 ft

    Trailhead : Grinnell Glacier Trailhead or Many Glacier Hotel

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    In the same area, we did Iceberg Lake. Known for its Icebergs, but unfortunatly we didn’t see any of them. Apparently, it still wasn’t cold enough 😅

    9.6 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 1,200 ft

    Trailhead : Iceberg Ptarmigan Trailhead

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    The boat tour at Lake McDonald was pretty cool and relaxing (it was a surprise for my boyfriend’s birthday 💝) We walked around the lake a little bit, enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and admired the incredible and famous color of the pebbles. For information, boat tours start between the end of May and the end of June and are over between beginning and the end of September depending on the tour : Lake McDonald, St. Mary Lake, Two Medicine Lake or Many Glacier. Prices are from $13.75 to $27.50 for an adult.

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    If you enter the St. Mary area at the East entrance, you can enjoy the view of St. Mary Lake from the famous “Going to the sun road”. We chose to do Hidden Lake Overlook. It’s an easy but busy trail. It’s up to you to admire the lake from the overlook or keep walking to the bottom. It was our last day after we did Iceberg Lake and we still had to drive back to Seattle during the night, which is a 9h drive. So we decided to stay at the top. What a view ! Totally happy to end the trip like this 😍

    2.8 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 460 ft

    Trailhead : Logan Pass Visitor Center

    *Additional 2.4 miles out and back further to Hidden Lake, dropping 780 ft from the overlook

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