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Andrew Jennings
(breaktheshoal) - MLife

Locale: High Desert
Dad's first trip to Utah on 10/31/2012 07:39:18 MDT Print View

Good morning all,

I feel a little guilty posting here seeing that I haven't been all that active the last few months, but I've always received great advice from other members and I'm hoping this post will prove no different.

A little background: I quit my job with a defense contractor back in May of this year and have been living out of my car, backpacking around the west (hit every state north and west of New Mexico at this point) ever since. When I started my trip I had always envisioned myself doing multi-day backpacking trips through the more remote areas the National Park System, but after a family of mice moved into my car in Yellowstone on an overnight (not to mention the value of some of the things that I have to leave in it while I hike making me a little nervous) I started to embrace long day hikes and haven't looked back.

About a month ago my father lost his job, and not wanting to miss out on some quality father-son time I used miles to fly him out to Denver where I am going to pick him up for his first trip into southern Utah (November 7-14). My father and I both share a love of photography (I can thank him for that), but miraculously, in spite of all of the time he has spent in the western US my dad has never visited Zion, the Grand Staircase, Arches, Canyonlands, etc. My experience in Utah has been limited to Bryce, Zion, and a weekend in Buckskin Gulch (Paria River/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness), but I've got until next Tuesday to add to that list. I am writing this post from the McDonald's in Hurricane and plan on heading into Zion as soon as I'm done, but here's my question:

If you had 5-6 days to go anywhere in southern Utah with your father, where would you go?

My dad is in decent shape, but I can't imagine that he would find enjoyment in doing the 12-20 mile day hikes that I've been averaging this summer so keep that in mind when posting your thoughts. While I am more than able to carry additional weight if we decide to do an overnight, I would think that a 3-day, 2-night trip would probably be the limit of his comfort zone. I had envisioned taking him over to Arches and Canyonlands since they are a little closer than say Zion or Bryce, but the more I think about it the less I care about proximity to Denver. What matters most to me is where I can take him that will blow him away more than any other. For me, that was, and still is Zion, but hopefully you guys can fill in gaps for me and steer us in the right direction.

So that's my novel, my thanks if you made it this far!

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - F - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Dad's first trip to Utah on 10/31/2012 08:22:36 MDT Print View

I'd vote Escalante area for easy access to mind-blowing prettiness and tons of dayhiking (plus lots of short overnight/2 night opportunities). There would be more than enough there but you could also drive up the Burr Trail from Boulder and hit up some stuff along the Waterpocket Fold and Capitol Reef (If nothing else your dad should drive back that way).