SELVALLAFOSS

Selvallafoss, also known as Sheep’s Waterfall, is located off of Road #56. It’s a lesser known waterfall you can walk behind. Surprisingly when we got there only one other car was in the lot. There are picnic tables to help you spot the area and trailhead. I’m using the word trailhead loosely here because it took us less than five minutes to find it and the loop we did isn’t the most difficult.

The GPS coordinates for the parking lot are: 64°56’29.9″N 22°54’15.7″W. In the picture below you can see the worn trail to the left just above the left-most pillar.

Stay on the path from the picnic area for a couple of minutes. Enjoy the views, there are mountains in every direction. If you’re lucky enough to be traveling with family, you’ll spot some crazies too!

As you approach the waterfall, the sound of rushing water will get louder. Follow the sound and find the waterfall to your left.

Don’t be afraid to explore the different paths in the area. There are some great photo opportunities within short walking distances. Just remember to be careful as the rocks, mud and moss make the area very slippery. You can walk to the foreground to capture the tiers as my cousin did below.

You can also walk behind the waterfall all the way to the other side. Standing next to this waterfall gets really loud. Even standing where I was in the picture below I was getting wet from the mist of the falls. A waterproof jacket is perfect here if you’re crossing to the other side behind the falls.

Fair warning though, there is VERY low clearance on the other side of the falls. And it is extremely muddy. Do not wear shoes you do not wish to have covered in mud. My cousin can be seen crossing at the beginning of the video below.

Once all six of us made it to the other safely, we continued following the trail for a couple of minutes.

We made a hard left off the trail and climbed to the top of the hill. Essentially climbing to the top of the waterfall. This portion of the hike didn’t seem like it, but was very steep.

We followed the water up stream to the road and crossed back over. Below you can see Jessica in her beige jacket leading the group to the road. I prefer to do loops than in and out hikes. So this was a perfect way to get back to our rental car.

Here’s an amazing panoramic image of the area while we were trying to figure out which way to get back to the car.

Overall I would say that if you’re in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula this is a great spot to add to your itinerary. In the small amount of time we were there, we didn’t encounter many other tourists. We freely enjoyed the waterfall and didn’t have to break out into a hardcore hike sweat session to get back to the car. All in all, a wonderful waterfall option!

I have fantasies of going to Iceland, never to return.

Edward Gorey

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VALLEY OF THE GODS

GPS: 37.236771, -109.815529

LENGTH: 17 MILES ONE WAY

DATE: APRIL 28, 2019

While researching for my trip to the southwest I read all about the limitations monument valley has regarding hiking. How there’s only one hike you can do unaccompanied and everything else must be hiked with a Navajo guide. I think guides are important to meet the locals and learn things not otherwise noted. However, I’m an advocate for also being able to explore at my own pace. So I came across Valley of the Gods and was pleasantly surprised to see you could walk right up to buttes and not need a guide. Just make sure when traveling to Valley of the Gods that you’re prepared. There are no facilities and no source of drinking water. And remember to carry out your trash.

We turned onto the 17 mile-long dirt road just north of Mexican hat. It’s a bumpy ride and we were in an SUV. I saw sedans on the road as well so I don’t think an SUV is necessary. But online it states that when wet the area is impassable, even in an SUV. So check the weather and enter at your own risk!

There were tents at the base of some of the buttes. I’m sure people who had stayed the night had an awesome experience there. It’s so peaceful and quiet.

The buttes have names and it’s fun guessing which ones are on the list. We found a very informative map Here. The one that struck me as the easiest to see was the lady in the tub. I couldn’t unsee her in that tub! It totally personified the butte for me.

After we drove the 17 miles we headed over to Moki (Mokee) Dugway. It’s also a dirt road and there are warning signs at the base before entering. Impassable during rain and 10% grades made for an interesting ride in the passenger seat.

But so worth it. The views were a bit hazy and the pictures don’t do it justice. Atop the dugway you can see the Valley of the Gods below. Can you spot the lady in the bath tub? On clearer days you can even see monument valley from there.

Overall Valley of the Gods and Moki Dugway are areas for people to explore with less crowds. You can have a real personal experience here in solitude if you wish. And that’s hard to come by in the ever growingly popular south west.

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

Jennifer Lee

CASSIDY ARCH & PETROGLYPHS

GPS: 38.263715, -111.215994

TIME: 2H 30M

LENGTH: 3.5 MILES RT

ELEVATION CHANGE:  950 ft (Peak: 6,350 ft)

DATE: APRIL 26, 2019

We woke up super early and were on our way to Capitol Reef! We stayed in Loa and were only 25 minutes away from the park. State Route 24 is a beautiful road to drive on and we were going to use it to traverse the park that day. Gifted with many beautiful sunrises that trip, I was grateful to be traveling with people who understand the importance of seizing the day. I would hate to miss morning views like the one we got that morning.

Once we were in the park we drove on Scenic Drive for 3.5 miles and turned onto Grand Wash road. This dirt road took us to the trailhead 1.2 miles away. There are flash flood warnings and a gate that was open when we arrived. I did a great deal of research for all the areas that had potential flash floods and had discovered this video. So please make sure you check for storms (especially upstream from the wash). That family was lucky to get out but I could see being seriously stuck if the water was any higher.

Once we got out of the car I noticed there were facilities at the trailhead. It’s a pit toilet, but for us small bladder owners, that’s all you really need lol.

The moon stayed out long enough to capture this picture. You can see the sun touching the peak turning it yellow just north of where we stood. Soon enough it would light up the whole park.

We walked on the trail and simply followed the signs. It is very easy to follow.

Some of the rock formations you see on the trail are like that of another world. I would go as far as saying it could even trigger someone’s trypophobia.

As we made our way we could see the sun forming shadows and illuminating rock faces. We were still wearing sweaters at this point because it hadn’t warmed up yet.

At this junction we joined the frying pan trail. It’s a sharp left and up. There’s a portion of this hike that gains 600 ft. very quickly and in a short distance.

Naturally the slick rock (with some human assistance) forms “stairs” to help you climb the trail.

And during that steep climb stopping for pictures is a great excuse to catch your breath. It was also nice to take a moment to notice the sun spreading it’s yellow light as it touches the rock formations ahead.

And then as though someone had flipped a switch the sun was on! There is less than a 20 minute time difference between the picture above and below. Awesome stuff and we hadn’t even gotten to the arch yet.

There was a moment where I couldn’t see where the arch could possibly be. And then this trusty little sign let us know we were heading the right way.

When we turned the corner, there it was! The arch! Still had a ways to go, but so excited to see the destination in sight.

Did you know the arch is named for the infamous outlaw Butch Cassidy? I wonder if there is any unfound loot in the thousands of hidden corners of the canyon. For the history buffs who want clarification between fact and fiction: I found a great article in the LA Times.

There comes a moment where the trail becomes harder to follow on the slick rock and these small cairns start appearing.

They appear in rows to guide us hikers.

And sometimes a bit more scarcely. But they guided us just the same. Thank you to whomever left these here for the thousands of people who hike this trail.

Finally, we were at the arch. What a beautiful sight! Of course being my very adventurous self I walked right up to the arch. It’s not as scary as I thought it would be but it’s enough to get my adrenaline going. I still can’t believe I was there even now as I look at that picture. You know what’s even crazier to think about? There was no one else. Not a single soul but us. We had the entire place to ourselves.

And since it was my best friend Nicole’s birthday we had a photoshoot up there. We weren’t being rushed by other hikers so we took our time and got all the angles. I love scrapbooking and like when I can make sure I have the perfect pictures for my books!

Just past the arch there’s a great vantage point overlooking the entrance to the Grand Wash. Great place to see the different layers of the Earth.

Even above from where I was sitting there was all this area to explore.

The views went on for what felt like forever.

On the way down we were told by other hikers that they could see the rose gold balloons from their cars driving into the Grand Wash. Watching Nicole head down with the balloons attached to her has to be one of the funniest things that happened that trip. 😂

We retraced our steps and headed back down to our car. When we drove out of the wash we were treated to some contrasting rock colors and super blue sky. It didn’t look this alive when we drove in that morning prior to the sun illuminating the canyon. And just like that we were done with the arch and onto the next adventure…

Having an affinity to any and everything old and indigenous I could not leave the park without visiting the petroglyphs. I walked up to the boardwalk fixture they have just below the rock face and immediately spotted the markings. I have so many thoughts that whirl around my head when seeing this in person, even now my brain tries to put them into coherent words to share with you all.

When I travel I make connections with the spaces around me. Physical connections by touching a staircase handrail, visual connections by watching a beautiful sunset over the ocean, audio connections by hearing the birds, etc. The types of connections can be one or multi-sensory and impact me in different ways. I carry these connections I make with the world home with me. I think it’s the reason why I prioritize travel in my life. It makes me feel connected to the world as a whole. But at the petroglyphs it was more of a spiritual connection. The inhabitants of this area may not be our direct ancestors. But we are all human and come from the humans that have existed hundreds or thousands of years before us. It’s beautiful to stand in a space that they too stood in however long ago…

The etchings that have survived over time are at the base of the rock face. Try spotting them in the picture below. I’ll post a close up if you have a hard time spotting them from this distance.

Such a special place.

Here is the close up of the petroglyphs. I’m glad I was able to see them in person all these years after their creation. Hopefully you can see them one day too.

If you have already visited these or other petroglyphs, or if you’d like to one day, I would love to start a dialogue to share thoughts about what they mean to you. Leave a comment below!

“We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.”

Liam Callanan

RIVERSIDE WALK

GPS: 37.285134, -112.947601

TIME: 1h

LENGTH: 2 MILES RT

DATE: APRIL 24, 2019

After hiking Angels Landing Wednesday morning, I wanted to continue exploring without completely exhausting my last bit of energy. I had a list on my phone of easy hikes that had been posted to Zion’s website HERE. So we opted for a stroll in Riverside walk. We took the shuttle to the last stop called Temple of Sinawava.

I’m a huge fan of trails that form loops vs in and out trails. Riverside Walk is supposed to be in and out, but you can walk the path in and then walk along the Virgin River in the sand for the most part coming out (or in reverse). I was curious to see what it looked like as this trail leads into the narrows. One day I would love to do that hike. It’s on my ever growing list of hikes I wish to complete.

This trail is wheel chair friendly for a pretty decent portion. Once the paved path starts to have too many inclines there’s a sign that identifies the end of the wheelchair friendly portion. The changes in elevation are minimal, but enough to make it difficult for a wheel chair to continue on the path.

There is a warning about the flash floods at the entrance of the trail. When I was there in April the Virgin River was impassable and the Narrows were closed. I had seen many videos prior to visiting Zion of what flash floods are and how quickly they can occur. So when you visit, make sure to do your due diligence and check on the potential of a flash flood during your visit.

Not far from the entrance we were greeted by a waterfall.

Being the ever so curious person I am, I had to check how deep the water was here.

Sometimes I can get caught up in the destination portion of the hike. But knowing this was more about the hike itself, I put my electronics away until I got to the end. As you walk through remember to look up and enjoy the hanging gardens. We even stopped at some point on a large rock to watch the river go by. It was probably the most relaxing thing I did that whole trip.

Nicole took a picture of where we watched the water go by for a bit.

Once we reached the entrance of The Narrows, I was determined to dip my feet into the water. I may have been wearing a tank top and sweating from the heat, but the water was unaware of the warm weather. I stood in the water for about 10 seconds before I had to remove my feet. The water was so cold that I felt pain shoot up into my knees.

I know that doesn’t sound appealing but I took a seat and waited for the feeling to return to my toes. Clearly, I was going to do it again, but this time I knew what to expect.

When I did it again I committed to staying in for at least 30 seconds. I’m not a masochist I promise! I just know my feet had been through many miles already that day. And according to Google:

“Immersing tired joints and muscles in ice water stimulates blood flow and reduces inflammation. It causes the veins to constrict, removes toxins from the blood, and alleviates the delayed on-set of muscles soreness.”

I still had so much hiking to do that trip. Reducing soreness and inflammation was worth 30 second stings of ice cold water. I use ice on my knees and achilles when I’m home, so this was no different for me. Not to mention, the rebel in me wanted to know I stood in the water at the entrance of The Narrows.

Thanks for reading about this very easy, leisurely stroll on Riverside Walk! If you’d like to read about my hike to Angels Landing from earlier that morning, click HERE. Or if you’d like to see what other hikes I’ve completed click HERE.

“Stillness as a technique is still really captivating to me.”

Adam Baldwin

WATCHMAN TRAIL

GPS: 37.200281, -112.986103

TIME: 1H 45M

LENGTH: 3.0 MILES

ELEVATION CHANGE:  356ft

DATE: APRIL 23, 2019

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For our first day and first hike at Zion National Park we decided to do a warm up. We searched online for the easier hikes with views and found the watchman trail. The National Park Service website has a super informative PDF here if you’d like to learn more.

We liked that we didn’t have to take the shuttle and could park at the lot and walk to this trail head. It’s super easy to spot as there are many signs pointing you in the right direction. We followed these brown signs across the lot, along the Virgin River, and across this neat little road. If you know me, then you know I couldn’t help myself and stopped for some pictures lol.

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Like I said, across the street you’ll see the sign for the trailhead. Once you’re on the trail it’s very easy to follow out and back. So everything from this point forward are just pictures and ramblings of a hiker who couldn’t believe she was finally in Utah.

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I loved the small green signs they had scattered throughout the trail. It’s nice to not only enjoy your views, but to also now what you’re actually looking at.

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If you can spot my husband below, you can see this portion of the trail gains elevation rather quickly. He only took about 3 minutes to walk to that point from where I was.

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We were there in the late afternoon and it was pretty quiet. Sometimes I would look behind me and realize it was just us and the trail. It felt like every corner had a beautiful viewpoint and I couldn’t imagine what Angel’s Landing had in store for us the next day.

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It’s difficult to convey in images what the eye sees in person. These hills, canyons, valleys, mountains, or whatever you classify them as are so layered. There are so many different components joined together at different depths. It’s hard to perceive but if you look closely it feels like you could deconstruct the layers and each one would be its own beautiful scenery.

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The sun felt amazing even though it was on its way down. Coming from New York where winter seems to not want to leave it was truly welcomed.

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So we finally made it to the top. The next images are actually from further down the trail in the “loop” portion. The loop itself is fairly small and barely has any elevation changes. If you made it to the top, you’d be cheating yourself if you didn’t do the loop.

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The rest of these are just some pictures I’d like to share from the top of Watchman’s trail. I’m going to post about most of the trails I did in Utah and Arizona throughout the month of May. If you’d like to see some pretty cool pictures check back soon!

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Here’s Tony’s version of Blue Steel lol.

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Below from left to right is Carlos, Nicole, Tony, and myself. We were the #UtahPutah crew on a mission to complete a crazy roadtrip through Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Can you tell I’m so happy to be standing in Zion?

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I can serve some blue steel too!

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Even as I write this blog I cannot believe these pictures are real…

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“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” -John Muir

ANTHONY’S NOSE

GPS: 41.322549, -73.975861

TIME: 1H 48M

LENGTH: 2.7 MILES

ELEVATION: 899 ft

WHAT’S UP!

It’s been so long since I’ve done a local trail! So I was really happy to drive up to the Bear Mountain area and tackle this one. It took us 1H 48M but that includes time we used to take pictures and hang out on the money spot. I’m going to have to go back and do it start to finish without picture breaks to give you a real hike time. I’ll make sure to update this post when I do!

HIKE INFO

We parked right on the road on 9D and walked up to this trailhead.

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Here’s a close up of the Appalachian trail map from the Hudson River to Connecticut. HERE’s a great website for an interactive map for the whole thing. I have to admit I think it’s pretty cool we have the ability to hike a small portion of this hike. Maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll do one of these long trails start to end…

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So awesome to spot this trail marker 🙂

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So… up we go. The first section is a bunch of “stairs” that are essentially very well placed rocks. We climbed for a little more than half a mile following the white trail blazers.

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Afterwards you’ll come across this tree with three blue trail blazers. Make a right here and go up the now much easier portion of the trail. You can see Nicole and Kelly below stopping to wait for me to take my pictures 🙂

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It’s pretty easy strolling from here on out. In the picture below you can see the trail heading towards a small pond. More on that later!

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I totally forgot to take a picture of the junction where you need to make a right to get to the money spot. So here’s a picture from my favorite hiking blog Hike The Hudson to show you where to make the right. This junction will be where the blue trail makes a left but you’ll be making the right.

And then Boom! The money spot! Nicole took this awesome picture of me and Bear Mountain bridge. To the left of the bridge is the zoo and to the right of the bridge is the Rte 9W bridge that goes over Popolopen creek.

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Here’s what the view looks like facing south. Kelly was in perfect position for a very patriotic picture. I love how American flags are erected at most hikes around the Hudson River.

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Also, doggy! Really wish I would’ve been able to pet him. Doesn’t he look majestic posing for the picture?

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So on the way down we just retraced our steps. This time we stopped at the little pond we walked past on the way up and took some time for important stuff: being very silly .

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And then I spotted something.

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I could not believe I found frog eggs. I wasn’t even sure that’s what I was looking at. But then a bunch of tadpoles swam around and we were certain they were. HERE’s a quick link for reference with pictures. We even spotted salamanders today.

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Like I said, retrace your steps all the way down. Or up lol. The trail goes up and down until you hit those “stairs” again. Then it’s down to the trail head and your car. I had two bananas waiting in there for me. I hope if you go you have snacks waiting for you too.

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I follow this awesome blog for hike ideas called Hike the Hudson. If you’re interested in reading his version of this hike, click HERE. Otherwise, here are some awesome pictures we took while hanging on Anthony’s Nose. I’m looking forward to doing it again this summer.

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If you didn’t use all your limbs, was it even a good picture?

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“Let’s play hide and seek in the mountains”

-Unknown