Some of the most daring females on earth have walked the wilderness of this planet alone. Badasses like Jeanne Baret, Nellie Bly, and Lady Hestor Stanhope inspire even the most unlikely travelers. Never did I think I would join in on the perils of those who experienced solo female travel before me—until my trip to Zion National Park.
It all started in Nevada with what was supposed to be a trip with a friend. After our first night linking up in Vegas, our weekend plan fell apart to the likes of gambling, strangers, and other debauchery. It was clear at this point that I could either go home or show up at Zion alone. While it seemed daring, the latter option was more my style.
A double shot latte and a rental car were the life-saving forces I needed to drive after a sleepless night in Vegas. I was still in disbelief that I was about to camp alone. I laughed aloud at the absurdity of the whole idea. But before I made it to Zion for the night, there was a detour calling my name: Valley of Fire State Park.
Valley of Fire State Park 🔥
Driving through this park in September was a dream. Fiery-colored rocks and tan mountains filled the entire landscape around me. The weather was as crisp and cool as a summer day in Los Angeles. I drove my car around the park for as long as I could, exploring every twist and turn that caught my attention.
Still sleep-deprived, I knew it was time to journey onward to my final destination for the day: Zion. My campsite was an hour away from the park itself where you could really feel isolated and connect with nature. To my advantage, I had picked the hidden gem of all the campsites: Zion Luxury Camping. With a few hours left to drive—I hauled ass.
I stopped by the safest-looking gas station along the way to pick up some essentials: goober grape, rainbow color flames, and booze. It was time to get primitive. I rolled into the campsite right at dusk *whew* 😅 where I frantically panned the scenery for campsite #11. BINGO. The luxury yurt came equipped with a bed and a fire pit outside.
As quickly as I passed out, morning came. The first look outside of my tent was a scene right out of National Geographic. I couldn’t believe how seamless the mountain looked standing right there, only several hundred yards away. To the right of the mountain was a vast stretch of the open road that led to Zion.
Zion Luxury Camping ⛺
Time to hit the road! I blasted my music, speeding into the valleys and mountains that gave way to Zion. I couldn’t believe I was finally here, standing on 229 miles of pure sandstone towering over 8,000 feet high. While waiting in line for the shuttle, I met this adventurous young couple from Germany and other nomadic families.
The ride on the shuttle was a rollercoaster. We dipped through shallow valleys, then rose up to meet the mountain tops in the distance. Everything felt so alive on this hot and sunny day. Most people on the bus were silent from the look of wonder in their eyes. I couldn’t contain my excitement from the scenery that was revealing itself.
Zion National Park 📍
The moment of all moments happened when I made it to one of the world’s most famous hikes, the Narrows. You could barely see the sky with striking sandstone walls over 2,000 feet tall. This was the narrowest part of Zion’s canyon altogether. If you continued hiking through the Narrows for the rest of the day, you could make it to the overnight campsite.
Did I hike the entire thing? I wish. I hiked for about six hours and absolutely didn’t want to leave. If an overnight camping adventure in Zion is your thing, I’d recommend getting one of the park’s overnight passes. It was time to exit this beast they called Zion National Park. I didn’t leave until sunset, experiencing every last minute that I could.
Looking back at the park, there was something I couldn’t put into words. I knew because I was experiencing Zion alone, I was more in the moment than I could have ever been. It was captivating. While there were points of this trip where it would have been fun to have someone join me, I wouldn’t have traded this solo experience for anything else.
Based on my travel experience, here are tips for solo female travelers out there:
Tips for Solo Female Travelers:
- #1: Double-check the ratings and safety of your campsite or Airbnb
- #2: Be mindful when chatting with strangers
- #3: Let people know where you are; share your location and details with loved ones
- #4: Stock up on necessities before finding your campsite or Airbnb
- #5: Be choosy about which gas stations you visit
- #6 Goober Grape and rainbow color flames are essential for survival
- #7 Enjoy the scenery!
I proved to Mother Nature and the world that I was primitive material. Ok, luxury primitive material maybe 🤔 but dammit, I survived the wilderness! While I realize there’s no badge for this, I want to share my experience as a way to inspire yours. This doesn’t only apply to female travelers, this goes for anyone looking to experience solo travel.
Let’s be honest, now your inner nomad is ready to be released into the wild. Maybe a solo trip was never in the cards for you…until this moment. Even if it’s a weekend camping trip outside of your city limits, THIS could be your time. So why not embrace the solo adventure?