Itinerary: Wildest Southwest Road Trip

Grab your best buddy, rent a vehicle, and hop on the road!

Bryce Canyon, UtahThe idea was to live out of our car for ten days while exploring the Southwest. Prior to leaving Seattle, I gathered a list of locations I wanted to explore. It wasn’t until we were on the road that I began to map those locations, hoping that they would all be within a short distance of each other.

Some places mapped out perfectly while others did not.

Find a compilation of photos from this road trip on Instagram by searching the hashtag, #WildestSWRoadtrip.

Where Did Our Wildest SW Road Trip Take Us?

From Seattle in this order:

Roadside Stop #1Cathedral Gorge State Park:

Cathedral Gorge, Moon Caves, Nevada

1.  Grand Canyon National Park:

Grand Canyon, North Rim

2.  Antelope Canyon:

Lower Antelope Canyon, Page Arizona

3.  Horseshoe Bend:

Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona

4.  Lake Powell

Lake Mead, Arizona

Roadside Stop #2Toadstools at Grand Staircase-Escalante:

Toadstools Grand Staircase Escalante

Roadside Stop #3 – Moqui Cave

5.  Bryce Canyon National Park:

Bryce Canyon, Utah

6.  Zion National Park:

Zion National Park, Angels Landing, Utah

Roadside Stop #4Bonneville Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

And back to Seattle!

By Day 9, we were back in Washington. We thought about taking a detour to spend Day 10 exploring Palouse Falls, but decided that a day of rest sounded so much better before having to go back to work. But mostly we were eager to come home to our kitties, Paqs and Gio.

The Logistics

The SUV – We rented an SUV that was originally quoted at over $800 (for ten days). After trying to find a better deal, we finally accepted that there was no better deal. Oh well, money comes and goes, right? Just when we had given up, a family friend mentioned she could get us a discount. We paid about one-third of that quote. Deals!

The Gear – We packed our multi-day backpacks in case we backpacked, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, Jebtoil, two 2-gal water packs (because desert heat!), a tent, travel blankets, and one small duffle bag of clothes each. We haven’t yet backpacked. Hahaha. But our Jetboil was the best decision ever!

The Food – We discovered how great freeze-dried food is. Really! Our fave? Mexican Rice & Chicken from Mountain House. Our dinners on the road were that much more amazing. Of course we also packed college students’ favorite go-to gourmet food, Cup Noodle! In case we got desperate, hahaha. And lots of snacks. We made some stops at fast food joints. By the way, those Minute Rice boxes are great on the road when paired with a Jetboil! Who know? Ha!

Our Sleep – Basically we pulled over for the night wherever allowable place possible, put our back seats down, and made our beds in the back of the SUV. Sometimes nights were hot, sometimes nights were cold.
And by the end of our trip, we were thankful for Rest Areas. On Day 6, we couldn’t pass up staying in tipi heaven, Ruby’s Inn. And at Zion Nat’l Park we were forced to pay an overpriced motel room because there were no available campsites or rest areas nearby. And everything was ‘No Parking Zone’.

The Hygiene – I know you’re curious. Most of the national parks (and everything in between) were mostly traveler-friendly. Meaning, there were showers and even washer/dryer facilities available pay-per-use, just for travelers! We used both. But facial cleansing wipes also exist, and they come in handy on the road :)

The beauty of opting for a road trip is that you can expect to see the unexpected treasures of the road. Like this cave in Kanab, UT…


Moqui Cave

Probably the most unique museum we have come across. And they had a great collection of really cool bioluminescent rocks :)


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Stay curious, wild hearts!



3 responses to “Itinerary: Wildest Southwest Road Trip

  1. When you guys slept in the car, did you guys crack a window? If so, did you do anything to keep the bugs out? I was thinking about this recently for sleeping in the car as an alternative option if we didn’t want to sleep in the tents for the night.

    • Oh yes, some nights were so hot, we def. needed to crack the windows. We only cracked it enough for air to ventilate and never had any issues with insects (thank goodness! Some of those insects are way giant haha).

      I suppose it wouldn’t be a bad idea to spray some (natural) insect repellent on the inside of the vehicle somehow. But we didn’t do anything special and had no trouble with insects at all — you can prob get by without it, too :)

  2. Pingback: Itinerary: Wildest California Road Trip | ☽ Of Wildest Heart·

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