Hot air balloon ride over Moab, Utah

Let me start off by saying that this trip is one of my favorites to date! Being that I have a national park bucket list, and being that Utah has five national parks, exploring all five parks in one epic trip had been a dream of mine for several years. As the title of this blog series indicates, Utah’s five national parks − Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches − are often referred to as “The Mighty Five.” While some parks come more highly recommended than others, we agreed as a group that we wanted to experience all five because…go big or go home.

Speaking of the group, I absolutely loved the crew that I traveled with. There were three Laurens (myself, Miller, and Verost) and one Colleen, so for the sake of keeping things simple, I will refer to the Laurens by their last names. To be completely honest, it remains a mystery as to exactly how this trip came into fruition. However, I’d bet that it all began when we were shooting the shit one day, became stoked about the idea of a Mighty Five trip, and magically made it happen. Those trips always end up being my favorite. Because of this goofy, hilarious, go-with-the-flow crew, I really and truly feel like I laughed for a week straight and had the adventure of a lifetime while doing so. #prairiedawgsforever

While we initially planned on camping our way through Utah, we ultimately decided that by the time we invested in proper gear, lugged it across the country, and built-up/broke-down camp nearly every day, it just wasn’t worth it. In that moment, we joked that we should look for a glamping (read: glamorous camping) option instead. Well, after a quick Google search we realized that glamping was very much within the realm of possibility. We ended up booking with Under Canvas, which has glamping locations in both Zion and Moab. Of note, Moab is generally where people stay while visiting both Canyonlands and Arches, as both parks are both very accessible from this location.

In a nutshell, we flew into Vegas, rented an SUV to drive through Southern Utah (shoutout to the Linc), and flew out of Salt Lake City. Here’s a brief synopsis of what we did in between:

(Day 1)
Duration: 1 night
Shelter: hotel

2.5 hour drive

Zion National Park
(Days 2 & 3)
Duration: 2 days, 2 nights
Shelter: glamping

1.5 hour drive

Bryce Canyon National Park
(Day 4)
Duration: 1 day, 1 night
Shelter: cabin

2 hour drive

Capitol Reef National Park
(Day 5)
Duration: 1 day, 1 night
Shelter: hotel

2 hour drive

Moab, Utah
Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park
(Days 6 & 7)
Duration: 2 days, 2 nights
Shelter: glamping

4 hour drive

(Day 8)

….First stop, Zion National Park!