On most of my lodging tours I try to include an evening getting away from restaurants, and have a real American BBQ somewhere beautiful. There is a perfect opportunity at Dead Horse Point State Park to do just that.
At 35km long and 19km wide, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the United States. It is also our second deepest lake at right around 500 meters deep. It contains enough water to provide every man, woman and child in the country with 200 liters of water a day, every day, for 5 years! That’s a lot of water.
Originally inhabited by the Washoe people, it was rediscovered by legendary western scout and mountain man Kit Carson in 1844. When the Comstock Lode of silver was discovered in nearby Virginia City, people came in droves to the area. Thankfully some of these early settlers saw the beauty of the lake and its tourism potential and set out to preserve it. Today, the environmental group Keep Tahoe Blue keeps up this vigilant watch.
Yosemite National Park is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is home to mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes, waterfalls, a huge array of wildlife and my favourite mountain in the world, Half Dome. I can honestly say that no matter how many times I come here, it never ceases to amaze me. This trip was no exception.
The Narrows hike in Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful and different hikes in the desert southwest of the United States. On most hikes, you are trying to keep your feet dry, but in The Narrows, dry feet are not an option as you are actually hiking in the Virgin River. The towering walls stretching up 1000' on either side of you makes the hike well worth it though, and as the day heats up, the cool water and shadows of the canyon can be very pleasant indeed.
I always viewed the US as a safe place, perhaps too safe in comparison to the wilds of trekking in Patagonia, cycling in China, hiking the Inca Trail or sailing down the Nile. However, I have always been intrigued by Route 66, Black Bear sightings, and the beautiful extremes of the US national parks. The lure of the national parks is what first brought me to experience the National Parks Walk tour, and I wasn't disappointed, with the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and 3 of Utah's big-hitters (Zion, Bryce and Arches) on the cards.