Zion National Park

The landscape is so amazing at Zion. I’m not able to take pictures that can capture the views completely.

Zion is great for everyone. You could just drive through, stop at a couple of view points, or get out and get hiking. Any way you choose to visit Zion the experience will be worth it.

One of the things we really liked about Zion was the ability to just park and walk out on the rock. You can walk just a short distance and find great backdrops for you pictures or awe inspiring landscape shots

Did you know that there is a tunnel through a mountian.. a whole mountain. The Mount Carmel tunnel is a whopping 1.1 miles long and we have to admit the kids (and adults) really enjoyed driving through.

There is access to the Virgin River and despite visiting in the spring we made sure to dip our toes, some decided whole heads, into the water.

For more about Zion National Park go HERE

White Sands National Monument

The sand may look like a normal dune, but it’s not… it’s a gypsum dunefield and it almost has the feel of kinetic sand. It is the largest of it’s kind in the world. Located in the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico, it really stood out off in the distance. We hadn’t had it on our list of stops for our road trip until we saw it and wondered what all that white was. At first, husband said it was just a white looking city. Once I opened the map we discovered a must see stop for the family.

What you need to know about possible closures…The new norm has become checking the parks website for closure information. In this case, always check. White Sands Missile Range conducts testing that will close access to the park as well as the highway.

Must see Dune Drive..  The only road in to access the dunes winds its way past parking areas, trails, and picnic shelters. We visited in early November the weather was mild and we were lucky enough to avoid crowds

What to bring… pack picnic lunch and plenty of water. Bring a snow saucer and wax. While the visitor center sells disks they are expensive. . Like $20 for a new one and $15 or $16 for used. Bring your own disks. We have found disks for about $5-10. Check Cabelas, Target and BiMart. We are a family of 5 so buying them at the park would add up. Of course, you could always share?  If you don’t have wax you’ll not get as much speed. The visitor center sells wax at a more reasonable price.. about $2.

For more information about White Sands National Park visit the National Park Service website