Island Vibes Jan 2024

rom Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park to Sand Hollow State Park and Kanab, the Caldwells took a bucket list-worthy trip to southern Utah in 2023. They hiked extensively, rode horses and attended the local rodeo. Additionally, they visited sand caves, cliff jumped and enjoyed a climbing excursion in Via Ferrata, a fixed-anchor rock climbing experience. Before their three sons Davis (22), Ethan (20) and Zander (17), get any older, Sally and Ryan Caldwell wanted to take their party of five on a vacation to a part of the country they had never visited before. Sally spent countless hours planning the family’s daily itineraries. She even collected permits that would allow them access to protected areas where there wouldn't be large crowds. The quintet hiked The Subway, a slot canyon located within Zion National Park which required a wilderness permit. “We only saw one other family along the nine-mile trail,” said Sally. While there, they swam in emerald pools and took in multiple breathtaking waterfalls. Other noteworthy hikes included Angels Landing and The Narrows in Zion, Wall Street in Bryce Canyon and Kanarra Falls in Kanarraville. “I loved that some hikes were scenic from above and some were in slot canyons where you were hiking through the mountain,” she noted. Thankfully, the Caldwells had gorgeous weather their entire trip. “It was so dry,” recalled Sally. “You could put your soaking wet shoes outside and they would be bone dry 30 minutes later, which would never happen here!” She added, “We were not prepared for the cooler change in temperature when we went to Bryce (Canyon) National Park, which sits at a much higher elevation.” The Caldwells thoroughly enjoyed their Utah adventure. They highly recommend the destination and would return in a heartbeat. From the scenery to the climate and the overall vibe, the area is a marked departure from the South, which is what they’d hoped. Because they wanted to immerse themselves in southern Utah’s outdoor, active lifestyle, the family steered clear of chain restaurants, opting instead for local eateries throughout their journey. The city of Kanab, known as ‘The Greatest Earth on Show’ due to its proximity to unparalleled rock formations, was especially noteworthy in the food department. Their wood fired pizzas hit the spot after all the calories the Caldwells burned hiking and exploring. 24 TRAVEL Adventures in the Beehive State: IOP family treks across wild southern Utah By Isabel Alvarez Arata F Zion National Park Kanab, Utah Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Bryce Canyon National Park