Spring Break Countdown: two more weeks.
Whether or not it’s exclusive to Harding students, it is a very trademark Spring Break thing to pack as many people as you can fit into a van and drive west to the national parks. It’s not a bad thing, though. The national parks are beautiful, and I think everyone should go and try to see them and you should probably do it before the next government shutdown.
If you are willing to sleep in tents and eat gas station food all week, you could easily go to a lot of National Parks on a tight budget.
The first step is possibly the most daunting: drive 20 hours on Interstate 40 West to get to Moab, Utah. Theoretically, you could do this in one day, but if extended hours in the car is not your favorite thing, you could stop halfway in Amarillo, Texas.
Arches National Park is most known for Delicate Arch, which is featured on the new Utah license plate. Arches has trails for hiking, biking, backpacking and rock climbing. The hikes are more strenuous than other national parks and it is hotter than what the South is used to this time of year, but as far as scenery goes, it is one of the best. A campsite in this area is usually around $25. It’s a four-hour drive on I-70 W. between Arches and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Bryce Canyon is home to “hoodoos” or “fairy chimneys,” which are thin, colorful rocks that look like spears coming out of the ground.
Campsites cost around $20 for tents. The scenic drive has 13 stops that overlook their iconic amphitheaters, and they have eight maintained hiking trails that will take you anywhere from one to six hours to complete. Zion National Park is an hour and a half from Bryce Canyon on the toll road U.S. 89 S. Home to the famous Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park has emerald pools and seven different hiking trails. Campsites are anywhere from $30 to $50 depending on how many people are stay on the site.
How can you write about the national parks without the big one? The Grand Canyon is a five- hour drive from Zion on U.S. 89 S. The most popular entrance to the Grand Canyon is through the Grand Canyon Village with gift shops and restaurants. Once you get there, you can choose from about a million different hiking trails and tours that could take you weeks to finish if you tried them all.
Then a 22-hour drive will bring you right back to Searcy just in time for classes on Monday.