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Old 11-09-2019, 10:06 AM
 
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We'll be in Salt Lake City the week before Thanksgiving. We will have 2 days, (spending 1 night in southern Utah) to drive down to see 1 and hopefully 2 of the National Parks. I've spent a good amount of time on-line trying to map something out, but it is quite overwhelming.

I know that there is an abundance of knowledge from City-Data readers that can help be navigate. So, all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Just a few mentionables. We don't have budget restrictions for lodging and dining that first night. We'll have an AWD SUV. We do have the Senior Lifetime Pass. We plan on spending more time over the next few years visiting the parks, but want to use this trip as an introduction and to give us the first time experience so that future trips will be more productive.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Idaho
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Don't say how you want to visit the park(s). Do you want to just drive through, get out take short walks and get some photos, or do you want to spend time do some short hikes? Also don't say where in SLC you will be starting from.

Cause if you want to see and really enjoy, one day minimum for a NP is really needed.

SLC airport to Moab by vehicle to see Arches. Another half hour drive from Arches to Canyonlands Island in the Sky District (Canyonlands consists of three districts; closest to Moab it Island in the Sky.)

SLC airport to Springdale to see Zion is about an hour longer. Zion NP to Bryce NP is about another 1.5 hour drive.

However, Arches, Zion and Bryce can get quite busy during thanksgiving.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:32 PM
 
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Stay in the SLC area, and visit Timpanogos Cave and Golden Spike. When you visit Golden Spike, also visit the Rocket Garden.


It would be helpful to let us know where in southern UT you will be staying as there are different national parks on each side of the state.
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f5fstop View Post

SLC airport to Moab by vehicle to see Arches. Another half hour drive from Arches to Canyonlands Island in the Sky District (Canyonlands consists of three districts; closest to Moab it Island in the Sky.)

SLC airport to Springdale to see Zion is about an hour longer. Zion NP to Bryce NP is about another 1.5 hour drive.
Good information--going to keep this for my trip next Spring!
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:07 AM
Status: "It's not what they call you; it's what you answer to." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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A drive from Salt Lake City to any of the five national parks in Utah is roughly 4 1/2 hours. You could see both Bryce and Zion, on the west side of the state or Arches and Canyonlands on the east side. My personal choice would be Bryce and Zion, but you couldn't go wrong with Arches and Canyonlands. Keep in mind that you're going to be doing a LOT of driving and aren't going to be able to do much hiking at all if you're going to see two parks with just one night in southern Utah. Honestly, if it were me, I'd just do Bryce. It will be cold, though, so if you hate the cold, that might be a deal-breaker for you. The thing is, Bryce is a series of viewpoints above a giant amphitheater of brightly colored "hoodoos." You can get to each of them easily by car and a a quick walk to the rim of the "canyon." Most of the other parks would require a little more hiking to actually be able to appreciate their beauty, and you're not going to have a ton of time to do much hiking.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
It will be cold, though, so if you hate the cold, that might be a deal-breaker for you.
Not to hijack, but can you elaborate on this? How cold will Arches and Canyonlands be at Thanksgiving? More importantly, what is the chance of snow, and how does it affect the hiking in terms of footing etc (we'll have kids with us). We'll be in Moab for the 5th time in as many years, but we have always gone in the Spring and had amazing weather (and once in July, which was a big mistake, LOL). We lived in Colorado for several years, so I know about the importance of layering, always being prepared for weather changes etc, but if people with experience being in Southern Utah can comment on typical weather in late Nov, it would be helpful to me, and probably to OP as well.

TIA!
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:35 PM
Status: "It's not what they call you; it's what you answer to." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Ag 93 View Post
Not to hijack, but can you elaborate on this? How cold will Arches and Canyonlands be at Thanksgiving? More importantly, what is the chance of snow, and how does it affect the hiking in terms of footing etc (we'll have kids with us). We'll be in Moab for the 5th time in as many years, but we have always gone in the Spring and had amazing weather (and once in July, which was a big mistake, LOL). We lived in Colorado for several years, so I know about the importance of layering, always being prepared for weather changes etc, but if people with experience being in Southern Utah can comment on typical weather in late Nov, it would be helpful to me, and probably to OP as well.

TIA!
The rim around Bryce Canyon ranges from 8000 to 9000 feet in elevation. All of the other national parks in Utah (including Zion, which is just about an hour and a half drive from Bryce) are considerably lower in elevation, so they are typically a bit warmer. The area around Moab (i.e. Arches and Canyonlands) would typically be in the low to mid-40s in late November. Snow probably isn't likely, but it is possible. Bryce doesn't typically get bone-chillingly cold until late in December. If this turns out to be an average year, temperatures should be between the mid-30s to low 40s in November -- i.e. in the daytime. When you first get up in the morning there, it may be in the low teens, though! Nights in the Moab area would not be as cold as at Bryce. Again, it's hard to forecast snow this far in advance, but a lot of people say Bryce is amazing in the winter. Personally, I hate the cold so bad that I've never visited Bryce in the winter.
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Old 11-11-2019, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
The rim around Bryce Canyon ranges from 8000 to 9000 feet in elevation. All of the other national parks in Utah (including Zion, which is just about an hour and a half drive from Bryce) are considerably lower in elevation, so they are typically a bit warmer. The area around Moab (i.e. Arches and Canyonlands) would typically be in the low to mid-40s in late November. Snow probably isn't likely, but it is possible. Bryce doesn't typically get bone-chillingly cold until late in December. If this turns out to be an average year, temperatures should be between the mid-30s to low 40s in November -- i.e. in the daytime. When you first get up in the morning there, it may be in the low teens, though! Nights in the Moab area would not be as cold as at Bryce. Again, it's hard to forecast snow this far in advance, but a lot of people say Bryce is amazing in the winter. Personally, I hate the cold so bad that I've never visited Bryce in the winter.
Thanks, this is helpful. Temps in the 40's don't worry me, but we'll probably modify our arrival times to avoid the really low temps in the am, which is unfortunate, because we hate crowds and always like to get an early start on our hikes.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:31 AM
Status: "It's not what they call you; it's what you answer to." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,968 posts, read 25,648,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Ag 93 View Post
Thanks, this is helpful. Temps in the 40's don't worry me, but we'll probably modify our arrival times to avoid the really low temps in the am, which is unfortunate, because we hate crowds and always like to get an early start on our hikes.

Thanks for the feedback.
One other thought, though, to consider. Bryce, while gorgeous at any time of the day, with or without sun, is the most striking at sunrise and sunset and less impressive right when the sun is highest in the sky. If you end up going there, be sure to check at the take advantage of the resources you'll find at the park visitors' center, to make the best use of your limited time there.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:47 AM
 
313 posts, read 868,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f5fstop View Post
Don't say how you want to visit the park(s). Do you want to just drive through, get out take short walks and get some photos, or do you want to spend time do some short hikes? Also don't say where in SLC you will be starting from.

Cause if you want to see and really enjoy, one day minimum for a NP is really needed.

SLC airport to Moab by vehicle to see Arches. Another half hour drive from Arches to Canyonlands Island in the Sky District (Canyonlands consists of three districts; closest to Moab it Island in the Sky.)

SLC airport to Springdale to see Zion is about an hour longer. Zion NP to Bryce NP is about another 1.5 hour drive.

However, Arches, Zion and Bryce can get quite busy during thanksgiving.
To answer your question, for this trip, we just want to just drive through, get out take short walks and get some photos.
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