Tuesday, June 28, 2016

May Trip P7 - Tour through Capital Reef and Overnight at Hite Campground

After leaving Mystic Hot Springs, we headed to Denny's in Salina, Utah and had a great breakfast. We then drove to and through Capital Reef National Park. It's a pretty cool drive. There was an impressive lightning show when we arrived at Capital Reef so we only drove through.

We drove south from Capital Reef and ended up at Hite Overlook and decided to stay overnight at Hite Marina Campground in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The overlook area was spectacular.

Lake Powell is very low so there wasn't much lake left. There is the Colorado river flowing by but it was nearly impossible to hike down to it from the Hite Marina Campground.

Our camp spot location: 37.873085, -110.395425

Without the lake, Hite is extremely quiet. We had a great time there with much solitude. We saw maybe four other campers the whole time we were there.  There is a little store just up the road where you can get expensive gas and some ice and other essential camping and boating supplies. But no one is buying boating supplies these days.

There is a fee to camp of about $14 a night (plus a National Park pass). This is without the senior discount.

Headed to Capital Reef National Park.

It was raining so we didn't stop to hike. But it was beautiful all the same.

Spectacular views.

We always enjoy Capital Reef National Park.
Greg and the view from Hite Overlook.

The view at Hite Overlook.

Karen and the view at Hite Overlook.

Going over the Colorado River.

Our picnic table at Hite Marina Campground.

Our camp spot at Hite Campground.

The view from our camp spot.

It's a pretty big risk to launch here these days. There is no lake anymore.
Will it ever return?

The views were amazing.

Our spot. Beautiful solitude

The bathroom with scooby-doo rock behind.

Scooby-Doo !!!!!

Sunset approaches.

Breakfast time.

The Monkeys with our solar lights.

Monkeys with our Renology solar panel.

A very lonely buoy.

Hite is a place you want to avoid in the hot summer months, but otherwise it's a really pleasant place with amazing views in every direction.

If your looking for peace and quiet, this is definitely the place. Don't tell anyone! We really enjoyed out stay and will certainly return!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

May Trip P6 - Mystic Hot Springs and Meadow Hot Springs - Utah

After Bryce, we headed North to some hot springs (we love hot springs). Our first hot springs was Meadow which is near Meadow, Utah out in a farmer's cow pasture. The farmer allows people to visit the hot springs freely. It was pretty darn cool. There are four hot or warm pools on the property but the main one is very deep (25 feet) with an underwater cave. There are no facilities and you literally will be among a herd of cows.

The location of this springs is: 38.864504, -112.503508

The first one we saw at Meadow Hot Springs is a warm pool with a dock.

This second pool is a figure 8 shaped pool full of little tropical looking fish. It's shallow and a lot of flies.

This third pool is the best. It has a cave that goes down about 25 feet. You sit on the rope over the deep cave.

There were two Utah families here on a picnic and soaking.

Greg ready to dive.

Dive! Dive! 
It is a good idea to bring goggles to this hot spring. The rope that is over the deep entrance to the cave has a second rope that you can hang on to for safety and orientation purposes. There are stories of some near death experiences from people going to far into the cave or hitting their heads on the way back up. This is very unlikely if you hang on to the rope and go carefully. This is a GREAT spot. The water in the third pool was the perfect temperature and we had a lot of fun.

Coming up for air.

Karen soaking on the rope.
After enjoying Meadow hot springs, we headed next to Mystic Hot Springs. Mystic is a commercial hot springs in Monroe, Utah.

A short hike Northeast from Mystic is a newer hot springs area called Red Hill Hot Springs. A nice guy has fixed it up for soaks while he uses some of the hot water for his hot house. He offers it's use free to the public as long a people don't abuse it.

Red Hill Hot Springs.

Looking down at the pools at Red Hill Hot Springs.

Karen's feet in pond at Red Hill Hot Springs.

Greg at Red Hill Hot Springs.

The sign at Red Hill Hot Springs.

The parking area at Red Hill Hot Springs.

After our hike to Red Hill Hot Springs, we went back and setup our van camping area at the pleasant Mystic Hot Springs camping area.

As it got cooler, later in the evening we headed for a soak in the Mystic Hot Springs largest pool.

Some of the soaking tubs at Mystic Hot Springs.

There is some junk on the property.

You can rent an old hippy bus for the night if you want.

It looked like Mystic is moving old cabins on to their property.

The owner of Mystic is an old Grateful Deadhead.

One of the buses at Mystic.

Welcome sign.

Karen standing in front of our favorite pool with a perfect temperature.
The one to the left is very hot.

A tub that is getting slowly absorbed.

Our van overnight spot at Mystic Hot Springs. The camping area is very pleasant with grass and trees.
Meadow, Mystic and Red Hill Hot Springs are clothing mandatory hot springs. Mystic charges a fee to camp and to soak. Mystic has showers and bathrooms. We enjoyed out time here.

The next day we were off for a tour through Capital Reef National Park and then to Hite Recreation Area on what is left of Lake Powell.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

May Trip P5 - Bryce Canyon

After Lone Rock, we drove to Bryce Canyon National Park. We arrived about 2:30 p.m. and were lucky enough to snag on of the last remaining campsites in the park.

Our plans were to explore the rim that evening and then hike down into the canyon the next day. We started our hike from Bryce Point, through Peek-a-Boo and up Wall Street, then back to our campground. I should mention that the caught the bus from our campground to get to our starting point of Bryce Point. We were thrilled to get to see Wall Street as it was closed the last time we hiked at Bryce. It was a wonderful hike. Toward the end of the hike, it started spritzing snow, so we stopped at the Lodge and sat for awhile in the lobby by the fire. Perfect end to a great hike.

Bryce is amazing.

In Humphrey, our camping van. It got pretty cold at night at this altitude.

In the lodge at Bryce Canyon warming up after our hike.

Great views.

Greg and Karen enjoying the view from Sunset Point.

Just WOW.

Beginning our hike into Bryce Canyon from Bryce Point

At one of the tunnels.

The tunnel.


Amazing hike.

We started at the high point to the top left.

Karen found a cave.

Karen heading back up via the switchbacks at the end of Wall Street.

The path up.

It's a tiring, slog back out via the switchbacks.
Karen put together a collage of pictures from our trip and includes pictures from trips with her parents to the same parks when she was a toddler. Camping, exploring and travel have been in our blood since we were both kiddos. Our first trip together was tent camping in Yosemite. We never tire of seeing our wonderful national and state parks - especially Bryce!
Now and then (old photos are Karen and her parents)
Next: After Bryce we went to several hot springs

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