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(Last Updated On: January 14, 2021)

I left Michigan at the beginning of September with my friend, so this itinerary and advice is based off of the weather and tourist season during that time. Because I could write an entire Novel on the details, I will keep it to an overview and follow up with posts on the highlights of the parks and cities. View my Instagram for many of the picture highlights. Melissa’s Instagram.

Day 1: Drove 14 hours to get as close to Colorado as possible.

Day 2-5: Denver – I am fortunate to have friends spread out and was able to stay at a friend’s house during my time in Denver.

Day 6: Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs and Iron Mountain Hot Springs $20 a day. Ended at Sand Flats Recreation Area for cheap camping close to Arches National Park.

Day 7: Arches National Park. Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch. Breathtaking.

Day 8: Canyon Lands (Optional). We chose to relax and paint at our campsite with boxed wine.

Day 9: Bryce Canyon. Sunrise and Sunset Point and Navajo Loop. Try to snag camping at the park.

Day 10: Bryce Canyon. Fairyland Loop – 8 miles of gorgeous, challenging trail. *Wake up early for this one*

Day 11: Zion National Park. Narrows hike – Rent neoprene socks/boots/walking stick from park store and make sure to ask about flash flood risk. Very refreshing, but challenging hike through the river running in the canyon. Camp at Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Site in Rockville (Free, no amenities)

Day 12: Horseback riding in Zion (Visitors Center has info. We called the day before to reserve). Hike Emerald Pools trail. Easy Hike.

Day 13: Angel’s Landing. Not for the weak. Listed as one of the most 25 dangerous hikes in the World. http://www.placesyoullsee.com/25-most-dangerous-hiking-trails-in-the-world/

If you survived – Head to Page, Arizona and either crash there or schedule a tour to see Antelope Canyon that day or the next. Call the day before. Horseshoe bend is right around the river bend *Haha*. Antelope Canyon is top 5 favorites of my trip.

Day 14: Head to Grand Canyon. I unfortunately was unable to see the Grand Canyon as I had to backtrack to complete fingerprinting for a job I had secured in WA after leaving MI.

So we went to Las Vegas instead. Airbnb for $45 total, not each.

Day 15: Joshua Tree. Head to the park visitors center for info on the BLMs in the area (Free, Free, Free)

Day 16: Brunch in Palm Springs (Cheeky’s) —> Santa Monica. Stayed with my cousin for the next few days.

Day 17: Venice, Malibu, Santa Monica, LA arts district.

Day 18: Venice, Malibu, Santa Monica, LA arts district

Day 19: Venice, Malibu, Santa Monica, LA arts district

Day 20: HWY 1 –> Paso Robles: Wineries (Adelaida and Lone Madrone are excellent and right next to each other). Airbnb: $50

Day 21: Hearst Castle – Grand Rooms Tour (Book reservations online the night before), Big Sur, Julia Pfeiffer Beach (Wildfires prevented us from going) —> Santa Cruz: Hotel Solares $80 (wouldn’t say I recommend, but it was close to everything and cheap)

Day 22: Big Basin Redwoods State Park $10. —> San Francisco (Stayed with my uncle for a week)

Day 22-30: San Francisco

Day 31: Muir Woods, Bolinas, Bass Lake Trail up HWY 1  OR  Napa/Sonoma Valley.

We went the Muir woods route to Yreka, CA (Old mining town) and then up to Talent Oregon where we stayed at a “Glamping” Site on a local rescue farm (Through Airbnb $75)

Day 32: Portland, Oregon (Airbnb $65)

Day 33-60: SEATTLE, Washington.

I will try my best to elaborate on each section in separate posts, but feel free to contact me about any what is on this post, or comment if you’ve been to any of these places before!


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