Keeping Fit, With a View
Sometimes staying motivated, feels nearly impossible when it comes keeping on track with your fitness regime. Something that motivates me to get out and be active is an amazing view.
Recently my partner and I made a trip to the U.S.A which included many amazing locations including 3 national parks: Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Yosemite!
Keeping fit with a hike
I looked at different places I wanted to see while in these national parks, distances from where we were staying and best times to go etc.
The first park we visited was the grand canyon. It was so vast, and incredibly beautiful. We stayed on the South Rim at Yavapai Lodge. Arriving at dusk we decided to get a good sleep that night before a day of exploring.
We woke up early the next morning and the weather was perfect! We started at the visitors centre and made our way along the South Rim heading back towards the village, finding dfferent points where we could climb down the rock right to the edge.
That night we watched sunset, at Dessert View which was a 30 minute drive from Yavapai Lodge. You have to plan out your timing for sunsets and sunrises otherwise you'll miss it, so make sure you get there about half an hour before hand.
The next morning we got up early, and by early, I mean 4.30 am, to catch the sunrise from a spot near Mather point. The weather was super overcast so it wasn't as good as it could have been on a clearer day.
The next park we visited was Death Valley, and it's called that for a reason. When we arrived around lunch and it was about 38 degrees celsius. We only spent one night here at Furnace Creek Ranch. If you are vegan like me, I recommend you bring your own food here. I made the mistake of assuming the restaurants would cater for me as the rest of California had. I was wrong, and spent an arm and a leg on a pizza with about 3 toppings!
The first stop was Zabriske Point, a 5 minute walk (if that, to the view). Secondly Mesquite Flat sand dunes. These dunes are in the middle of mountains, like someone had just dumped all of the sand there. If you are hiking out in the dunes like we did, TAKE HEAPS OF WATER! Even though we had heaps, I started getting super faint on the way back from the heat. Next we drove to Natural bridge, which was again a short walk, I think roughly 10-15 minutes. Lastly we stopped at Artists Palette, no walking required, the view is right by the parking lot.
Yosemite National Park
The national park we visited last was by far, the best. If I had to recommend one place to visit in all of California, it would have to be Yosemite National Park. We stayed at Tenaya Lodge, which was beautiful.
Our first day out exploring, we drove into the park and the first stop was Tunnel View, a breathtaking first glimpse at Yosemite Valley. The earlier you get here, the better, in terms of finding a park. We parked near Lower Yosemite Falls, and walked the 10 minute walk to the bottom of the falls, and decided we would save the hike to Upper Yosemite for the following day. We headed over to the start of Mist Trail, to hike to the top of Nevada Falls which it says is about 5-6 hours to complete the loop. We completed it within 4.5 hours, and stopped for alot of photos too. This hike was amazing, every step of the way. First stop was Vernal Falls, where if you go in spring like we did, you get completely drenched. Then heading up to the top of Nevada falls. The views are incredible up there, I would recomend this day hike for anyone visiting the park.
The following day, we didnt go into the valley, but drove up to Glacier Point. A 2 minute walk from the parking lot leads you to views of the valley from up high. After this we went to Sentinel Dome, which was about a 20-30 minute walk from the parking lot. There are 360 dgree views of the entire park from up here, so another spot I highly recomend seeing. Sadly we weren't able to hike to upper Yosemite falls this day as Perrie's knee wasn't up to it.
Although this whole blog post is all about the amazing places we hiked in America, it doesn't stop you from finding good walks near you! We like to get out atleast once a month to go for a walk in nature, just to change our routine up a bit.
Exercise doesnt have to be always staring at a gym wall, or counting the minutes slowly pass on the treadmill screen, get outdoors and experience the beautiful scenery around you.