Well, I might have tricked you with the title by saying 6 national parks, it is actually 4 national parks and 2 Indian parks that are worth visiting on the West Coast; California, Arizona and Utah.
1. Grand Canyon
As soon as I saw the Grand Canyon with my own eyes, I quickly realized why it’s one of the 7 natural wonders in the world. This place is Amazing! There are so many beautiful hikes and the canyon definitely lives up to its name “Grand” its huge! What I like about it, is that whatever hike you choose to do, around each corner your view will be different and you will be reminding yourself of how many times you say the words “ohh” “ahh” “wow”
You can choose easy hikes that take about 1-2 hours, intermediate hikes that will take about 3-5 hour and then the most advanced, to hike down the entire canyon which takes two days in total.
13.1 mile / 21.1 km
South Kaibab Trail to Cedar ridge
3 mile / 4.9 km
Advanced Trails (overnight hike)
Bryce is the canyon that blew my mind, a lot of other canyons are stunning and amazing but Bryce feels and looks like a fantasy world. I almost felt like I was in a movie (btw someone should make a movie here). The formations of all the rocks surrounded by beautiful trees makes this place special.
When looking at Bryce from above you will be amazed of all the beautiful colours and odd-shaped pillars, I would definitely recommend seeing this place during both sunrise and sunset. When hiking down into the canyon you feel like a kid exploring a maze in another world.
0-11 mi / 0-17.7 km round trip
Navajo Trail (combine with Queens Garden)
1.3 mi / 2.2 km round trip
3. Monument Valley (Navajo land)
Monument Valley is owned by the Native Indians and is not part of the National Parks but it´s a stunning view of the desert that’s worth seeing. There are no hikes or trails here but you can take your car closer to the large rock formations to get great photos and views.
4. Lake Powell
Lake Powell is my husband’s favourite lake. It’s basically a flooded canyon where you can explore the hundreds of flooded canyon fingers. One special aspect of Lake Powell, is how you can take a boat right up to the edge of these massive cliff faces and look up in awww. The amount of exploration this lake offers is unparalleled; with as much coast line as the state of California, you can spend weeks here and not see everything.
To see the most out of this lake, I would recommend boating but you can also get a lot out of these beautiful view and lookouts:
Zion is my second favorite National Park, compared to Bryce that felt like a fantasy world, Zion feels like a Paradise. I would really recommend coming here during the fall because of all the beautiful colours. You can choose between several hikes; Advanced, Intermediate and Easy.
The most known hike, Angels Landing, is also one of the most difficult. We were about to take our son on it until someone showed us a picture of how narrow it was and how one wrong step and it’s 300 meters straight down on either side. Maybe next time 🙂
Round trip distances are 1.2 miles to lower, 2 miles to middle and 3 miles to upper
5 miles (round trip), 4-5 hours
Variable, up to 16 miles
Yosemite is a great park for everyone, you can choose to drive through the park during summer and spring, camp in the local campground, hike, rock climb or go fishing. We were lucky enough to be able to drive through Tioga Pass on the last day before they closed to road for the year. The drive is truly spectacular, since you get to see Yosemite from above. I loved the wildlife and sceneries.
Since this was our last stop before heading home on our road trip we decided to only do one hike; Yosemite falls. Unfortunately we only got halfway since it started to snow, so we decided to turn around. Another trail that is famous is the Half Dome (you see it in the second picture), that is something we will definitely plan to do when our kids are a bit older, since the last part includes climbing up the dome with only a rope!
2 miles (3.2 km) round trip
14- to 16-mile round-trip hike
Map of all the Parks: