Today we’re wrapping up our series on our incredible trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon, and it’s safe to say that Zion will forever be one of our favorite parks!
We headed out of Utah bright and early, hitting the road by about 6am.
I am still blown away by the landscape here. We drove through some serious fog this morning and the views as the fog burned off were glorious.
Our first break of our 20+ hour drive was at Four Corners National Monument, a place Jordan and I had visited on our first ever road trip! This time was a little different as we had a few stage 5 clingers with us.
After the quick stretch we got back on the road and made our way into Colorado.
Our next stop was Mesa Verde National Park, another place we accidentally visited on our first road trip! We decided to do it the proper way this time.
The Mesa Verde visitor center is a beautiful building, and we completely missed out on it last time we were here.
Most of the park was closed for the winter, but we were able to drive the main park road and get out to see the Cliff Palace cliff dwelling. Unfortunately we weren’t able to go down to the actual city due to seasonal closures, but it’s an impressive sight even from a distance.
After our quick trip to Mesa Verde, we headed off to our next stop, Alamosa, CO, just outside Great Sand Dunes National Park. We settled in with the kids at a hotel for the night before heading out for our final day of travel.
We were up early for our 45 minute drive to the dunes, and arrived just as the visitor center opened.
The views of the mountains were well worth the trip.
It was pretty chilly at the park, and between the cold and the kids struggling with getting sand in their shoes we didn’t hike very far.
After the Sand Dunes, we packed back in the car, shook out all the sand from our clothes, and headed for home. We had about an 11 hour drive remaining, and we weren’t sure where our stopping point would be overnight. The previous night in the hotel was pretty rough for the kiddos so we weren’t sure if we should stop or just push through to get home.
A few hours into our drive we came across another National Monument – the Capulin Volcano. This wasn’t something we would have planned into our trip, but if you’re driving through northern New Mexico and need a break it was a nice place to stop.
We hiked all the way down into the volcano, which was surprisingly chilly as it seemed to act as a funnel for the wind.
They also had a very nice visitor center where we were able to get the kids their National Park passport stamps.
After our break we got back on the road and headed for home. We were very happy to see a welcome sign as we entered our state (although we still had over 7 hours of driving from there!).
We pushed on through and finally arrived home just after midnight. Everyone was so happy to sleep in their own beds!
Thanks for joining us on our journey! This was definitely one of the most memorable vacations we’ve had in a long time, and we were excited to share it with you!