I can’t contain my excitement any longer! In less than 48 hours, Life With Mutts heads out on cross country road trip to the desert! My husband Robert and I and the two littles (Ringo and Roxie) head out first thing Thursday morning. We’ll be hiking and camping our way through Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico! Unfortunately, Boomer and Helo don’t travel long distances very well, so they will be staying at my friend’s house while we’re gone. But don’t worry, they’re good friends with her dogs and will be having a blast!
Dog-Crazy Instagram Camping Meetup – Phoenix
Our plan is to drive straight out to Phoenix with only quick stops on the way to allow us as much time as possible out West. Our first concrete plan is a huge camping meet-up with lots of friends we’ve met through Instagram. Most are from AZ, then some from Utah, New Mexico, California and even Washington State. At last head count, I think we’re up to about 23 people and 29 dogs? Something like that. Our Arizona friends found a nice open area where we can all set up our tents and hang out for 2 days of dog-crazy desert bliss! We’re excited for lots of hiking and exploring some of our local friends’ favorite insider spots.
Grand Canyon/Horseshoe Bend
After our dog-crazy camping trip, we’ll make our way north towards Utah, where we’re renting a small cabin for a few days. We figured we’d want a proper kitchen to cook our road trip Thanksgiving dinner! We have about 24 hours before we check into our cabin, so on the way up, we’ll stop and check out the Grand Canyon! I’m stoked to finally check that off my bucket list. We’ll pick up a National Parks at the Grand Canyon to get us into all the awesome parks on our list for this trip. After the Grand Canyon, we’ll venture out to Horseshoe Bend and a local slot canyon and finally find a cool place to camp for the night. Not sure where yet… gotta leave a little room for spontaneity and adventure!
4 Days in Utah
We’ll then use our cabin in Monticello, Utah as a jumping off spot for all kinds of outdoor adventure for the next 4 days! A few of the places at the top of our list are:
Arches National Park
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Bryce Canyon National Park
Canyonlands National Park
As many of our fellow dog owners may already know, not all of these parks are super dog friendly. But, most of them also have state parks just outside their borders that ARE dog friendly. So, our plan is to do the trails and see the sights that we can with Ringo and Roxie in the National Parks first and then do some real hiking in the adjoining state parks. Then if we want, Robert and I can head back into the National Parks later on without the dogs, while they rest at the cabin and rest their tired little legs.
After Utah, we have a day or so with nothing planned. We will be meandering our way down towards Flagstaff and seeing where the wind takes us. Once we get to Flagstaff, we’ll be camping in a dog friendly yurt! Seriously can’t tell you how excited I am. I’ve wanted to camp/glamp in a yurt for SO long and there are NO dog friendly ones within a 10 hour drive of where we live. Another bucket list item.. CHECK!!
Yurt Camping – Flagstaff
We’re renting a backcountry yurt that’s about a mile hike/snowshoe/cross county ski in. I’m REALLY hoping for snow, though I know it’s unlikely. I’ve always wanted to try snowshoeing and there are lots of great snowshoe trails from just outside our yurt. Squeee.. Fingers and paws crossed.
While we’re here, we’ll check out the town of Flagstaff and do some hiking (of course). Then, we’ll make our way to Sedona to meet up with a friend, who will be showing us one of her favorite places to camp. We won’t say anything more right now because we want part of this trip to be a surprise for our followers.
Heading Back East
From there, we slowly start making our way back east. We’re tentatively thinking about stopping off in White Sands in New Mexico and then, well, we’ll have to see. Since no cross-country road trip would be complete without a drive down Route 66, we plan to drive a large chunk of this historic route on our way back as well. We’re excited to explore the roadside attractions and mom and pop stores and see what kinds of hidden gems we can find along the way.
Whew… I’m tired just writing about all of our adventures! I know we’ll come back home tired, wide eyed, and probably a little stinky (showers are somewhere on this list too, where we can find them… and laundry, we hope!), BUT.. it is bound to be the trip of a lifetime and we cannot wait to get started! I promise to take LOTS of pics and tell you all about it when we get back. Wish us luck and good weather! 🙂
Thanks for reading,
Debbie & The Mutts
Have you taken a cross country trip? Or do you live in one of the areas we’ll be visiting? We’d love to hear about your experience, or maybe some suggestions of places not to miss along the way. Leave us a comment below!