Wasay Nabi, a senior at the University of Denver where he is studying hospitality management at the Fritz Knoebel School of Management, chats about his camping trip alongside his college buddies with Fatima Sheikh

Why Utah?

I was on Spring Break for a week and I love the outdoors. Instead of going somewhere on a beach in Mexico, like most of my other friends suggested, nine of us decided to go on a camping trip to Utah. I’ve never been camping before and it was something I wanted to experience fully before I graduated.

What is the best time to visit?

Utah is a desert state but it has really diverse landforms because of the Rocky Mountains. The best time to visit is spring, since it’s too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. While, I was there the days were hot and the nights were very cold.

Where did you stay?

The entire time we stayed at different campsites, sleeping in tents. The first day, we arrived in Moab. We had lunch in the city and then found a campground just outside of it. The next morning we drove three hours to Canyonlands National Park (the same place from the movie 127 hours). It was the only place we actually made a booking so we had a pretty nice campsite. The next morning we drove six hours to Zion National Park. We stayed there two nights. We arrived pretty late the first night so we found a secluded campsite an hour outside Zion. We got up early next morning to find a better campsite and go hiking in the actual park for our second night there. On our last day, we drove three hours to Bryce Canyon National Park and stayed at a campsite in the park.

Tell us about the flora and fauna that you saw?

A lot of the places we encountered didn’t have plants but in the warmer areas it was mostly shrubs and cacti. I learned the hard way that it’s not smart to walk around barefoot there, as a lot of splinters got stuck in my feet. There weren’t too many animals around but we did see mountain goats and wild horses while driving. We saw tons of squirrels and lizards at our campsites.

Five essentials you cannot live without when traveling?

  1. Camera
  2. Speakers
  3. Ray-Bans
  4. Good music
  5. Hats

What did you get up to during the day?

I would wake up at 6 am every day; light the campfire, make coffee, and watch the sun rise. Since, we were constantly moving, there was a different backdrop to the sunrise every morning. Cruising around was a delight.

Where to stay?

There are comfortable campsites with basic amenities all over Utah, especially in the parks. There are also furnished cabins you can rent in some of the parks. I think that camping is the best way to go if you want the full experience.

How to get around?

Everything is really spread out in Utah. Having a car is essential if you want to visit different parks and landmarks. We would set up camp and just hike around on foot every day.

What to see?

Zion, Canyonlands, and Bryce Canyon are must sees. Angel’s Landing at Zion was the hardest hike I’ve ever done, but the view at the end was just amazing. I saw some of the most beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views. Our goal everyday was to cover as much ground as we could, find a cool place to watch the sunset, and try to make it back to camp before it got late and colder.

What to eat?

We brought a lot of food with us that was easy to cook. We ate eggs and beans every morning, deli sandwiches for lunch, and steaks and burgers for dinner. Basically anything that’s easy to cook at a campsite is ideal.

Did you end up eating at any restaurants?

The only two restaurants we went to during the trip were Moab Brewery, oab’s biggest restaurant – and a Hardee’s in a gas station. We brought a propane stove and grill with us so we would cook at our campsite every night. We actually cooked some really good meals, better than most of the food I have had at college.

Good Times


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