I visited the last two years and really enjoyed both trips. My husband and I brought our adult children with us this year. This summer was a lot less hectic to visit with the Covid-19 Pandemic going on. As we traveled through the park up to many of the overlooks throughout the park there was little to no traffic. The previous year you had to strategically find parking. As we pulled into the Sunset Point parking lot I almost laughed at the abundance of parking. I recalled sitting the previous year and waiting for someone to leave to take their parking spot. The lot had no empty spots. We got lucky the previous year that we timed it just right. It was a small relief to not have any worry about parking this trip. Since we had just driven up to the top overlook and been in the truck for some time, many in our party needed to relieve themselves. The previous year, I stood in line at the women's restroom for twenty minutes and was completely grossed out with the lack of cleanliness and respect visitors had for our parks. The restrooms lacked supplies, trash and feminine products were laying on the floor, torn toilet paper laid everywhere, and some toilets were unusable as they were backed up. The problem is the amount of people who normally visit our national parks and the inability of the park staff to keep up with the maintenance needed for that amount of visitors. The park staff is under funded and under staffed. Then you add in the lack of respect some visitors show or maybe they are just uneducated on how to behalf in our parks and it leads to the mess I saw last summer. This year there was no line to use the restrooms and many had recently been cleaned. They were stocked, cleaned, and in great working order.
We wanted a shorter hike for the day since the following day we had an extremely strenuous day planned. We settled for the Navajo Trail. The trail may only be 1.3 miles but it should not be taken lightly. Whether you descend down into the amphitheater by Wall Street or the Twin Bridges side, you will love and hate the trail all in the same huffing and puffing breathe you make.
I personally like to descend by way of Wall Street. Standing at the top of the switchbacks looking down at the other hikers getting smaller and smaller is mesmerizing. I love the view via Wall Street.
We walked along the bottom of the trail for a short distance then began our climb back out.
The climb out offers breathe taking views but for a price. We took the Two Bridges path out. It immediately starts with an incline and continues until you reach the switchbacks. After you climb the switchbacks and round the corner you quickly realize there is still climbing left. The view at the top of the switchbacks via the Two Bridges path offers the Thor's hammer viewpoint. This is one of my favorite pictures from our travels. So much natural beauty in one small area. There is an added feeling of accomplishment and self reflection standing on top of those ridiculous switchbacks one just climbed. It's a free feeling you get only after you test your limits and stand back and look upon your defeated obstacle with victory. After taking in the view, you will continue to climb a short distance to the end of trail. In hind sight it really wasn't that bad but at the time I was extremely ready to be done hiking for the day.
Now, this trail is not the most difficult trail compared to many others but again it does offer some difficultly to the average hiker. I highly recommend this trail to anyone wanting a challenge for a few hours during their travels. The views are worth a visit and offer amazing photos. We spent only a day each trip to the park and felt fulfilled both times.
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