Balabanova All Over

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[Capitol Reef National Park, Mar 27, 2022] I had saved a short little trail for the morning of my departure. Chimney Rock Trail is on the west edge of the park right off Hwy 24. It’s just over 3 miles and it has only about 600 ft of elevation gain. Another gorgeous sunrise greeted me as I was leaving the hotel. The trailhead was only 10 minutes from my hotel. Despite the… Read More

Big Bend National Park is in southwest Texas and includes the entire Chisos mountain range and a large swath of the Chihuahuan Desert. Due to the remote nature of Big Bend, two of the days are travel days and two of the days are fully spent in the park. Fear not, the two travel days allow you to explore plenty of things along the way! How to Get There The two closest… Read More

[El Paso & Lajitas, TX – Dec 24 & 25, 2021] To cap off 2021, we decided to sneak in another national park. Big Bend had been on my list ever since we went to Texas’ only other national park, Guadalupe Mountains, in early 2020. Both parks are in West Texas and only about 3.5 hours apart. However, we had already packed 3 national parks into that 3-day itinerary (the other two… Read More

[White Sands National Park, TX, Jan 19, 2020] By the time White Sands became a national park in December 2020, we had already made our plans for Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe. But once I realized White Sands is just 90 minutes away from El Paso, TX, which we were flying in and out of, I was sure I could squeeze it into our trip. To make room, we decided to visit Carlsbad… Read More

[Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Jan 18, 2020] Late last year, I was eyeballing my work holiday schedule and tried to figure out if there is a national park I can visit during the three-day weekend for Martin Lurther King’s birthday. Normally, I stay put during that weekend, trying to give both my bank account and vacation day balance a break from all the previous year’s travel. For 2020, though, I already had… Read More