This past weekend, Blake and I hopped in the car and road-tripped to Southern Utah for a wedding. Our friends Katelin and Tony got married. They both have a love of Southern Utah and it’s red rock mountains, and most of their family and friends are in Southern California and Salt Lake City, so it was the perfect spot for a destination wedding for them. They had the wedding in the little town of Springdale, which is right at the base of Zion National Park) at the Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens. The setting was seriously beautiful – the red rock and the Virgin River running behind them made an amazing backdrop for the day, followed by a full moon that lit up the sky that night.
The Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens
In the past when we’ve gone to Zion, we’ve always stayed in Saint George and driven back and forth. This time, we decided to stay right in Springdale where the wedding was taking place, at the Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens. Guys, we are so glad we did! First of all, it was so nice to be so close to everything happening – both the wedding events and the park (Zion National Park). But also because we loved the Cliffrose. It’s a really unique boutique resort right along the Virgin River. The rooms are nice and updated, with comfy beds (even the pullout couch bed was comfortable!) but even better are the grounds and the locations. The grounds are SO beautiful and peaceful, with different desert flowers all over, the river running right through with a sandy beach and then the beautiful red rock as a backdrop. There are even baby deer living on the property, and they’ll let you feed them the apples from the trees, right out of your hand! We loved the pool and the different hot tubs. The staff was SO nice and accommodating as well. As far as food goes, they offer free breakfast in the morning (with exceptionally good bacon!), and then they have a cute new Cafe and Bar that opens from 5-11 pm.
What We Did
We drove in late Friday night and made it to the tail end of their pre-wedding BBQ, then headed over the the Bit and Spur to keep the party going (and to get food!) . Saturday morning, Blake and I got up to see the sunrise, had some breakfast, explored Springdale a bit, and then lounged by the pool until it was time to get ready for the wedding. The wedding was SO much fun – I don’t have too many pictures from it because we were pretty busy catching up with old friends, making some new ones, and dancing a lot! As the dancing died down, we transferred over to a fire pit on the property where Tony’s sister made dutch oven peach and blueberry cobbler.
Sunday morning, we got up and had breakfast, and then everyone who was still in town from the wedding went on a group hike Katelin had planned to the Narrows. I had never been to the Narrows. It was fun walking through the river with everyone, and so beautiful.
On our way walking back, we got hit by a crazy rain/thunder storm. I don’t think I’ve ever heard thunder so loud and so close! The rain in Zion always makes it seem a little bit more magical, but this time I was worried because we had plans (and permits) to canyoneer our favorite route – Pine Creek – which is really dangerous in the rain because of the risk of flash floods. We decided to go back into Springdale and grab some food while we waited out the storm. Luckily, it cleared up and we headed back up to Pine Creek. There were five of us – our friends Caitlin and Hugh, and another friend Nelson that came for the wedding too. We had so much fun! Lots of big rappels, skipping rappels and jumping into cold water when it was deep enough, and swimming through the slot canyons. When we came out of the slots at the bottom of the route, there was an epic sunset! But then…it started getting dark and we still had a long ways to rock-hop/hike until we could get back to the road and hitchhike back to where we left our car. I have to admit, we got a little nervous at one point but we made it, with no turned ankles! Like true ninjas! And along the way we saw lots of deer, frogs, snakes, and spiders – including a few tarantulas! (I had to beg Blake not to stop and play with the tarantulas partly because of time and partly because I didn’t want him to bring one home with him!)
Where We Ate
- The Cliffrose Lodge just opened their new cafe and bar – it’s so good and such a cool place to eat! You sit out on the patio and just look out at the red rock towering above you!
- We LOVE Oscar’s! We actually ate there twice. If you love sweet potato fries, get them here!
- We ate at the Bit and Spur the night we pulled into town. We ordered three appetizers to share between the two of us, and loved all three!
What I Wore to the Wedding