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Old 02-21-2011, 12:40 AM
 
5,787 posts, read 9,229,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp2007 View Post
If you don't mind keeping this thread going, I have some questions. We have been dreaming of doing our vacation in southern Utah for awhile.

Can you do the Moabish sites (Arches/Canyonland) and St Georgish sites (Bryce/Zions) in a 1 week trip? A all-camping trip? Can you see all the sites?

Thanks!
Make that two dream vacations! You can do the driving in about a week, but you'll spend most of the time on the road, and that would be a shame. I'm imagining this itinerary, based on the idea of flying in and out of Vegas and doing a loop: Arriving in Vegas, you could go straight to Bryce by way of Cedar City (and Route 14 to 89), and do Bryce on day 2. 3rd day, drive all the way up 89 to 70 going east, and across through Green River to 191 south to Moab. (There are local, remote, scenic roads that will wiggle you through from Bryce to Green River, but I wouldn't risk it if you don't know the area.) That will take you about 5 hours without stopping, but you'll be stopping for photos along the way. Then Arches on day 4, and Canyonlands on day 5, because you really don't want to squeeze them into the same day. And you should leave time to go to Dead Horse State Park and Professor Valley, too. Then on day 6 you'd have to drive all the way down 191 to 163 (and you can't pass up Monument Valley!), to 160, then north on 98 to Page (that's another 5 hours, with photo stops), and from there to Kanab, and do Zion on day 7/8. Then on to St. George, and back to Vegas. You're looking at at least 8-9 days unless you skip major sights along the way. It would be a fabulous trip, but perhaps you'd OD on red rocks that way. I'd recommend two trips, or two weeks! That way you could also reach the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, out of Kanab.
But whatever you choose to do, you'll see some amazing sights!
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:55 PM
 
Location: PA/FL/UT
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Actually Clark Fork Fantast, I live in the greater SLC metro now, so I will be driving down I-15 for this trip. I was just wondering if its possible to drive down to say, east of Cedar City, see Bryces and Zions stay 3 days or so and then travel over to Moab-like areas and see Arches/Canyonlands over another 2-3 days.

Seems like it might be too much and too much driving for one trip for all in 1 week. Would you recommend camping or hotel/lodge for this trip? I mean is it good camping in those areas? Seems kinda lame to camp in a desert, but maybe thats the East coaster in me talking.

Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,851 posts, read 21,937,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp2007 View Post
Actually Clark Fork Fantast, I live in the greater SLC metro now, so I will be driving down I-15 for this trip. I was just wondering if its possible to drive down to say, east of Cedar City, see Bryces and Zions stay 3 days or so and then travel over to Moab-like areas and see Arches/Canyonlands over another 2-3 days.

Seems like it might be too much and too much driving for one trip for all in 1 week. Would you recommend camping or hotel/lodge for this trip? I mean is it good camping in those areas? Seems kinda lame to camp in a desert, but maybe thats the East coaster in me talking.

Thanks.
If you are in a position to do it in two separate trips, that's what I would suggest. If not, then it certainly is doable in just a single trip. Whether you camp out or stay in motels is entirely a matter of personal preference. I personally would prefer to stay in motels, but there are excellent camping facilities in all of those areas. If you decide to stay in motels, I could suggest some.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:23 AM
 
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I wouldn't recommend trying to do all the parks in one week. You might try looking at Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor for some suggested itineraries of various lengths. If you are into camping then the Moab area would be good. If you'd rather not camp then the Zion NP area would be better.

Camping in Zion isn't much fun in summer. The best campground is in Arches NP. Arches doesn't have a lodge, but Zion does, and it's a nice one - not rustic like Yellowstone, but still a nice lodge. Bryce also has a lodge and cabins.

If it were me, I'd do Arches because it's my favorite of all the national parks in Utah. But it is not as easy to explore as Zion. The drive into/out of Arches is long and not convenient for quick drives back into town for lunches or a quick swim in the pool. You really just need to plan to be in Arches all day once you get there. There's no shuttle system. In Zion, if you want to do a morning hike, come back out for lunch, and go back in for an afternoon/evening hike it's easy to do that and the shuttle system at Zion is easy and convenient. It's really a matter of style and how you like to visit a national park.

Having said all of that, a one week trip is still possible. It just involves a full day driving to get there from SLC, a full day driving back to SLC, and a full day driving between the parks leaving four days for three major national parks (and a fourth park if you visited Capitol Reef).
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:29 AM
 
226 posts, read 493,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp2007 View Post
Seems kinda lame to camp in a desert, but maybe thats the East coaster in me talking.

Thanks.
Sorry for adding to my post, but I just noticed your reflection on camping in the desert...

That makes me really want to encourage you to make Arches your first southern Utah trip. When you have camped at the Devil's Garden campground inside Arches you'll change your mind completely. I'd love to have a conversation with you about your "born again" camper status after you've done that - you'll never be the same again after camping there. I'd suggest late May or as early as possible in June. After that it's pretty uncomfortably hot IMHO.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:50 PM
 
5,787 posts, read 9,229,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp2007 View Post
Actually Clark Fork Fantast, I live in the greater SLC metro now, so I will be driving down I-15 for this trip. I was just wondering if its possible to drive down to say, east of Cedar City, see Bryces and Zions stay 3 days or so and then travel over to Moab-like areas and see Arches/Canyonlands over another 2-3 days.

Seems like it might be too much and too much driving for one trip for all in 1 week. Would you recommend camping or hotel/lodge for this trip? I mean is it good camping in those areas? Seems kinda lame to camp in a desert, but maybe thats the East coaster in me talking.

Thanks.
In that case I'd twist your arm until you promise to make two trips, not one! If you're that close to Red Rock Country, then by all means do one trip one year, and the other trip the following year. There's so much to see in both areas that it's actually a wonderful feeling to look forward to trip #2, and not try to do it all in one week.

Others are giving you great advice about camping. If you camp in Arches, just remember the high elevation. It bothers some people. But waking up in the clean morning air of the high desert is very special. I haven't camped out there, but some lodges have cabins with decks--that's enough for me!

A favorite snap-shot memory: We visited Canyonlands and Arches in October a few years ago, and drove out of Canyonlands right after sunset. Last car out. There was still a bit of light in the sky. And out there in the middle of nowhere somebody was camping out, and had a campfire going. That little campfire was the only light source we could see in any direction, the only sign there were other humans anywhere near us. It was an amazing feeling...to be in a popular vacation spot, and yet it felt so remote. Loved it!
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:01 AM
 
Location: PA/FL/UT
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Sorry guys, I missed some of your responses and just now read them. Thank you for the advice.

Nothing is set in stone yet for us, but looking at various reservation sites, it looks like August is the only dates still available in Zions to camp (looking at the Watchman right now).

Is August terrible for Zions? Sounds like UtahRoots is telling me to do Moab not Zions/Bryces for camping. Is that really the case?

Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,851 posts, read 21,937,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp2007 View Post
Is August terrible for Zions? Sounds like UtahRoots is telling me to do Moab not Zions/Bryces for camping. Is that really the case?
UtahRoots is just a real "wuss" when it comes to the heat (I can say that; she's my little sis.) Put her outdoors in anything over 85 degrees, and it's "too hot." Daytime temperatures in both July and August will frequently exceed 100 degrees in Zion and also in Arches. Bryce will be a little cooler (still probably high 80s or low 90s) since it's just a high altitude. Over 100 degrees is hot, no matter how you look at it, but if you restrict your actual hiking to early morning and early evening, you could still enjoy either Zion or Arches mid-summer, and there actually are other activities you can engage in in the heat of the day when you don't want to be hiking. All three areas have good camping.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:22 PM
 
Location: PA/FL/UT
1,294 posts, read 2,791,466 times
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Our new plans (as of today) is to do Arches and Canyonlands in June. Camp in Arches for a few days, hike around, then spend a day or so in Island of the Sky (Canyonlands), then last night in a hotel in Moab. We also want to check out the pageant in Manti on the way down.

We'll plan on Zions/Bryces next year.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:45 AM
 
Location: West Jordan, UT
973 posts, read 1,850,663 times
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Sounds great. =) Since moving here to Utah, we've been in Vegas numerous times, since it's not that far of a drive (plus, hubby drives a 'bit' fast lol) .

Indy, you so sound like my husband & I before kids. We lived in Ohio & traveled alot to the SW, Utah, Colo, Ariz, Vegas/Nev, & Cali. We have seen some insanely gorgeous sites, &, eventually, we moved here to Utah.

Sorry, haven't read all the posts, when we went out west, we loved driving in solitude, & visiting NP's & ghost towns. =) & historical sites. We have been on some pretty darn perfect west vacations before kiddos. =) Feel free to ask any questions about any of our trips. =) We've done the 'million $$$ highway' in Colorado, river 'slides' in Sedona, Ariz, took the Emerald NP's tour in Utah, highway 1 in Cali from San Diego to San Fran. Took backroads, rarely visited gems. For example, if you love animals, there is a place near Kanab called the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary that is fabulous!

We're more 'sleepy' now & 'boring' w/ 2 school aged kids. Before kids, we traveled in Sept all the time. Cheaper rates, & the weather was still good. Except we got 112 in Phoenix, & a ton of snow in Estes Park, CO, near Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park on the same trip. I'm a driving hound.
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