welcome to a collection of day trips and hikes from a southern utah obsessive.
This guide is for those of you who wish to experience all the Utah desert has to offer – its stark beauty, its complex history – without the crowds. True, you’ll find a few very popular attractions here but they’re included because I consider them to be unique or so unmissable that it would be a shame to ignore them.
The contents are highly subjective and certainly not exhaustive; I’ll never see everything in my lifetime, but I’ll try.
How to use this site
This is a not a trail guide site, though I have included some general directions in my expanded trip reports. Other people have done this better than I ever could, but most of the trips here can be found on the web or in the many guidebooks of the area, or by asking others. That’s how I found them. So pick an area from the trips page, then just do some homework and hit the trail.
Most of the trips here have an obvious destination or ‘reward’. If you have with kids then you’ll know that it’s best if there’s a ‘reason’ for doing the hike. Most of these trips have been taken with children as young as seven.
There's also a hints and tips section which you may find useful, as well as ratings for all the trips: ease of access to the destination/trailhead, how 'quiet' the destination is likely to be, and the degree of of hiking difficulty - I’m assuming you’re of average fitness, and sensible. I started with small hikes and learned the ways of the desert before progressing to more challenging ones. You should do the same.
The accompanying photos are the best I could find from our collection but there are some gaps. That's because many are pre-digital age and also that I was predominantly shooting video. I'll be updating this site with video soon.
Disclaimer: this website has been created in good faith and I accept no liability for any of the information you find on this site. It’s your responsibility to check the accuracy of it.
Contact me: bob(at)hyptv.com
My name’s Bob Palmer and I live in a tiny 17th century cottage in a village in Hertfordshire, UK, a far cry in every way from the Utah desert. I've been a drummer and a graphic designer but for many years I've worked in advertising, creating TV commercials and video content mainly for UK and US book publishers, as well as a producing a feature film, 'Us and Them', that premiered at SXSW in 2018 and was a New York Times Critic's Pick.
I first came to the southwest in 1987 with my wife (and unbeknown to us) our unborn first child. It was a lightning-fast road trip that merely touched the surface of what was on offer, but we were bitten by the desert bug so seriously that we discovered that, for us, there is no cure. Once we considered that our son was old enough to cope with the heat we returned. From 1996 onwards we have missed only one year (2014, due to incapacity). And many of those vacations were made in the stifling heat of August due to school holidays. We’ve made lots of US friends over the years, people who share our love of southern Utah, and many a time we’ve bonded with them on the trail, around a campfire, or at their dinner tables. We’ve been lost and marooned by flash floods or undriveable roads. We’ve broken our bones, impaled ourselves on rocks, and suffered from heatstroke. Yet still we return for more.
When I’m not in Utah I spend my time thinking about it, planning the next trip, reading about its people, history, geology, archaeology. My office Mac screensaver rotates the thousands of images we’ve captured, and every year I’ve made the ubiquitous vacation video. No day goes past without a reminder of our true love of this remarkable and magical part of the world.
And that’s what I mean when I said I was a southern Utah obsessive.