eNZees Blog

Top 3 Desert Trips for Fall

by Jill Schuman | September 07, 2016 | 0 Comments

While the coming cold temps might but the kabash on hiking and camping in your neck of the woods, Fall weather means it’s Desert Season. Many of the best places in the Desert Southwest are just plain too hot to handle during the Summer, but with cool weather on the way, now is the perfect time to explore some incredible country. Put these desert destinations on your to-do list!

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico

Tent Rocks National Monument

Tent Rocks, NM by Karen and Brad Emerson

South of Bandelier National Monument and the Valles Caldera National Preserve, Tent Rocks is a long way from anywhere. Its desolation only lends to its eerie and at times otherworldly beautiful. Tent Rocks is a land of volcanic ruin, hoodoos and spikey cones. It’s relatively small and is great for a short day trip. It features two hiking trails, bird watching, and some incredible geology.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Canyonlands by John Fowler

Canyonlands by John Fowler

You could spend a lifetime exploring the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, UT. From petroglyphs to secret arches to camping to slickrock scrambling, Canyonlands offers something for every adventurer. The national park is split into three districts: Needles, Island in the Sky, and The Maze. While The Maze requires four-wheel drive to access, the other two districts are easily accessible for all vehicles. Book a backcountry permit, and spend several days winding through canyons and over slickrock in Needles or check out the great day-hikes in Island in the Sky.

Zion National Park, Utah

Observation Point Trail Zion

Me hiking the Observation Point Trail in Zion. Photo by Larry Gross. 

I recently spent several days exploring one of America’s greatest treasures, Zion National Park. You’ve probably heard of some of the hikes: Angel’s Landing or Observation Point. Zion isn’t a bucket list destination for no reason. It’s one of the most incredible landscapes I’ve ever seen. But it does get busy, so if you can, visit mid-week.

Be sure to bring along plenty of eNZees when you head into the desert. Sometimes hiking in new environments, temperatures, and humidity levels can cause blisters. Have fun and happy trails! 


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Trip Report: The Syncline Loop in Canyonlands National Park

by Margaret Hedderman | May 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Hiking the Syncline Loop in Canyonlands National Park Utah

View of the Upheaval Valley from the top of the Syncline Loop Trail

“Desert Season” will soon be winding down – at least until Fall – in Southeastern Utah. If you’re looking for a good way to pack in the miles and views, check out the 8-mile Syncline Loop in Canyonlands National Park. My boyfriend Rory and I recently spent 5-hours hiking this strenuous circuit around the Upheaval Dome.

It’s best to walk the trail in a clockwise direction, descending into Upheaval Canyon. We plunged downward, nearly 2,000 ft., in the first two miles. Sandstone spires and sheer red walls towered overhead as we continued into the deep canyon.

wildflowers in canyonlands national park

There is little to no shade on the trail and, depending on the weather, little to no water. Be sure to wear a lot of sunscreen, wear a hat, pack your eNZees to prevent blisters, and carry at least 2-3 litres of water.

After three-something miles, the trail splits. If your legs have the energy, you can tack on an additional 3-miles to your hike and explore the inside of the Upheaval Crater. We were in a rush to drive back to Durango, so Rory and I followed the main trail up a steep slope and continued a gradual ascent to the rim. This last half of the trail required frequent scrambling and brief exposure over the canyon below.

Hiking on the Syncline Loop in Canyonlands

As I mentioned earlier, the Syncline Loop is strenuous and definitely not for beginning hikers. In the brochure the ranger gave us there is a brief notation warning hikers that the majority of all search and rescues in the Island in the Sky district occur on the Syncline Loop.

Ravens croaked and cackled overhead as we stomped back to our truck, hot, dusty and sweaty. We found a picnic table at the trailhead, cracked open a couple of microbrews, and cooked up a can of chili on our stove as we watched the myriad of travellers explore this National Park.

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