Friday, April 10, 2015

Take Your Exercise Outdoors!

Recently on a trip to visit vendors in Utah, couldn't resist stopping at the trio of National Parks -  Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion and Grand Canyon. 

The websites for these parks offered excellent information so we were prepared for our visit, had knowledge to what roads would be open, and had a preplan of what we wanted to see. 
Bryce Canyon - Navajo Loop

A couple of tips: 
  1. Pay attention to water. Between the elevation and physical exercise, water is critical. When traveling in the off season, not all water stations were open.
  2. Look ahead on the map! There were certainly trails that were properly rated - easy, moderate, advanced - just not make sure to read the fine print. There were portions of trails that were closed during certain seasons or in certain conditions. 
  3. Take extra food and water. 
  4. Have an emergency kit for first aide, flashlight, etc. Not always just for you. Sharing on the trail is a time honored tradition. 
  5. Ask when shuttle bus service starts and stops. 
  6. There are not lights in most of the parking lots and streets. Makes sense for wildlife but if you want to watch a sunrise or sunset, be prepared.
  7. Its like any outdoor activity - 
    • Hydrate before setting out to the park. 
    • Take extra supplements. 
    • Be ready for weather changes. 
    • Take extra breaks if you aren't used to the elevation or elevation changes.
And, a couple observations. 

Zion: on Kayenta Trail overlooking The Grotto Trail
Fascinating people watching. There were as many world travelers, especially at The Grand Canyon. This is a place where early (year or two) in advance is important. 

Where were the baby boomers? At least at the short window of time we had the pleasure to be at the parks, there weren't many baby boomers on the trails. Especially women! So many of the trails were paved - especially the Rim trails in both Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon - just like a stroll in the park. 

Want a travelers' recommendation? Take the Red Shuttle line in the Grand Canyon to the top of the line at Hermit's Rest, and walk the Rim trail down. There are shuttle stops along the way!