Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Wander Hour - Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Coral Pink Sand Dunes

After a night spent in Utah, Charles, his family, and I headed down South to Arizona to stop at Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. We had left later than expected but along the way, we saw signs for sand dunes. After a beautiful trip to the sand dunes back in April (sand dune post found here), how could I not want to stop by the sand dunes? I impatiently waited for my iPhone to receive service and when I found that the sand dunes were in fact pink, I had Charles make a right at the next road that lead to the sand dunes.

We drove a long a narrow road until we hit the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. We had paid an admission fee of $8 per vehicle. You also have an option to rent ATVs or boards. Because we were pressed for time, we opted out of those amenities and only came to marvel at what is

Wander Hour - Coral Pink Sand Dunes

wearing H&M dress (on sale for $9.99 online, not sure about in stores), H&M parka (seasons ago), Barneys New York backpack, and Zara sunglasses

At first glance, the sand dunes didn’t look like the “coral pink” it’s named after. One thing is for certain, these sand dunes are much harder to photograph than the previous sand dunes. Pink and red in general is hard for me to photograph right off the bat. Take that with the sun high above giving off harsh lighting, I had a hard time getting these photos right in the short amount time I was there (probably 15 minutes). Don’t know if I’ll be back here but I guess I need to do some research in the event I end up somewhere similar!

Wander Hour - Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Right under a observation platform, the sand was cooler and because the platform obscured the sun, I was able to truly see the sand at it’s finest. The sand here came from Navajo sandstone with a combination of high winds. They were absolutely soft and fine, it actually made the detour just a little bit worth it.

In general, it’s a cool thing to see (maybe golden hour would be best) but if you’re pressed for time, I don’t think it’s necessary to stop here. But if you do stop here, don’t forget to bring a body board so you can slide down the sand dunes.

Happy Friday everyone! I’ll be heading out to Kauai tomorrow for a day since my mother is flying in for the weekend! Kind of excited to see and eat at places I didn’t get the chance to the last time I was there (post found here). Hope you guys have wonderful weekend.

 

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Bryce Canyon

Wander Hour - Bryce Canyon

Vintage dress, H&M jean jacket, Urban Outfitters leather slides (on sale for $29.99!), Zara sunglasses, and Topshop hat

When Charles’ mom expressed interest in a road trip to Utah, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, plan, or do. It’s not that I’ve never had the desire to go, I just wasn’t familiar with what’s out there. So, I spent time researching and planning out an itinerary for us. Many tourists flock to Zion National Park but having seen Bryce Canyon on a Conde Nast article, I made that the destination of our choice (I’m always trying to go where less people have gone).

We began by driving from Long Beach, California to Las Vegas, making a stop at Lotus of Siam to try their famous garlic prawns (more on that later). Afterwards, we drove to Utah arriving around 6:00PM at the canyons. Because the sun doesn’t set till close to 9, we had a substantial amount of lighting left to explore a little bit of Bryce Canyon.

Sunset Point

Wander Hour - Bryce Canyon

Wander Hour - Bryce Canyon

Wander Hour - Bryce Canyon

Wander Hour - Bryce Canyon

Wander Hour - Bryce Canyon

My goal for this trip was to find the hoodoos. Hoodoos were formed through a weathering process that erodes plateaus over time. As a result, these beautiful nature-made structures were scattered throughout the amphitheater mimicking what I thought was the Milan Cathedral. I’ve never been but it looks pretty close from the pictures I’ve seen. As we awed over the hoodoos from the overlook, Charles spotted people down below and had asked me if I would like to explore. At first, I was hesitant, not sure if the trail was sanctioned but sure enough, it was! We descended down the trail, weaving through the paths with the hoodoos towering over us. The trail that took us through the canyon started to narrow the more we walked. We finally decided to turn around and this is where things got a little sour. I hike and swim quite often in Hawaii so I was all game for a hike BUT due to the high elevation (about 8000ft), I had a hard time walking up the trail. The air thinner up there and it was definitely dry which it made it difficult for me to breathe normally. To make matters worse, I only had half a bottle of water left and rationing it throughout the walk up was difficult!

Tips

  • Move slowly through the trails. The air is thin and a lot harder than it would be at a lower elevation. Take breaks if needed. I’m the type that tries to push through when it comes to hiking. That was a big mistake of mine.
  • Bring lots and lots of water.

Overall, Bryce Canyon is stunning and unlike anything that I’ve seen before. I would certainly go back! Not necessarily in the near future as I plan to visit more places I have yet to seen, but surely I’ll be back.

Milky Way

Wander Hour - Bryce Canyon

Wander Hour - Bryce Canyon

After we had left the canyon, checked into our “cabin”, and ate dinner, we waited for the sky to get dark so I can marvel at the night sky. The sun didn’t set until close to 9PM so after driving approximately 8 hours, I was pretty lucky that Charles and his family were willing to stay up with me. Around 11PM when the sky was completely pitch black, we headed out back towards the canyon, finding a turnout spot to park the car. As soon as we stepped out, the night sky put on a show for us showcasing the most beautiful Milky Way I’ve ever seen. I get to see the Milky Way here in Hawaii but the same Milky Way is even more stunning in Bryce Canyon. The clearest skies I have ever seen to date. I have pretty bad night vision but you can not mistake the Milky Way in Bryce Canyon. It illuminated the otherwise dark sky.

Tips:

  • For Milky Way shots, use a tripod and a remote to take the shot. This long exposure was about 25 seconds using my iPhone which is connected to my Canon 6D.
  • Use the lowest f-stop. Mine can only go down to 4.0. The ISO was I believe set at 5000 (not entirely sure about that). The higher the ISO the better (but not necessarily too high, play around with the settings). (EDIT: Charles informed me that the ISO might have been 10000)
  • Be safe. If you can, take the shots in the National Park where you are out of harm’s way (i.e. drivers). It is completely pitch black out there and we were lucky to find a turnout/overlook that allowed us to park without being in the way.

Also, you won’t find 5-star accommodations here in Bryce Canyon. If you’re looking for a W Hotel or even Hilton Hotel at best, you’re out of luck. We stayed in a cabin not too far from the National Park. It was unusual but it was clean (in fact so clean because it was newly built). Happy Wednesday friends!

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