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Old 05-21-2010, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
850 posts, read 3,369,747 times
Reputation: 920

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My brother and I live in Washington State, and we've never been down to the Southwest before, so we're planning a loop. We're headed over to Pagosa Springs, Colorado to visit some family for several days, and then we want to head west into Utah.

We'll come in on HWY 491, and we were thinking of heading south on 191. Then we want to head west on HWY 95. Someone said this was a fantastic highway to drive on. From there west on 24 through Capital Reef, then South on 12.

We're trying to decide whether to stop in Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, or both. We'll only have about three or four days to get from Pagosa Springs, CO to Anaheim, Ca to visit more family, so we want to pick the best places to stop. We want to devote one whole day to either Zion or Bryce. Which is better? We really like hiking and swimming, so is one better than the other for that? You could probably spend a month in each park, but this is basically just a road trip for us, and hopefully we can come back later and spend more time.

Are there other places to stop along the way you know of? Like I said, we're really new to this whole area and don't know much about it. If you have any other travel suggestions, please let us know!
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,157 posts, read 24,615,719 times
Reputation: 11711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobefobik View Post
My brother and I live in Washington State, and we've never been down to the Southwest before, so we're planning a loop. We're headed over to Pagosa Springs, Colorado to visit some family for several days, and then we want to head west into Utah.

We'll come in on HWY 491, and we were thinking of heading south on 191. Then we want to head west on HWY 95. Someone said this was a fantastic highway to drive on. From there west on 24 through Capital Reef, then South on 12.

We're trying to decide whether to stop in Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, or both. We'll only have about three or four days to get from Pagosa Springs, CO to Anaheim, Ca to visit more family, so we want to pick the best places to stop. We want to devote one whole day to either Zion or Bryce. Which is better? We really like hiking and swimming, so is one better than the other for that? You could probably spend a month in each park, but this is basically just a road trip for us, and hopefully we can come back later and spend more time.

Are there other places to stop along the way you know of? Like I said, we're really new to this whole area and don't know much about it. If you have any other travel suggestions, please let us know!
Check out this thread for comments about Bryce and Zion. Both are fantastic. You couldn't go wrong either way. Zion is generally quite a bit hotter than Bryce, due to the altitude. If you're into hiking and swimming, I'd suggest Zion (even though Bryce is my personal favorite).
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:50 AM
 
224 posts, read 570,357 times
Reputation: 232
I can't seem to follow which roads you'll be taking, but if you are taking hwy 24 to hwy 12 (which is fantastic), then you'll want to stop in Bryce. It is right on the way.
There will be construction through Zions this summer on hwy 9 that will cause some major delays, so you might want to avoid it and go west on hwy 14 through Cedar.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:53 AM
 
8,823 posts, read 10,575,474 times
Reputation: 11439
Good choice going through Capitol Reef. It is one of the most scenic areas of the state imo. After that, make a run through Zion. The drive alone is awesome, but there's a bunch of easy hiking opportunities that you could cram into a day. I'd recommend Angel's Landing and Emerald Pools. Both are awesome and unforgettable.

BTW when are you doing this? In the summer Zion gets busy...
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
850 posts, read 3,369,747 times
Reputation: 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thHour View Post
Good choice going through Capitol Reef. It is one of the most scenic areas of the state imo. After that, make a run through Zion. The drive alone is awesome, but there's a bunch of easy hiking opportunities that you could cram into a day. I'd recommend Angel's Landing and Emerald Pools. Both are awesome and unforgettable.

BTW when are you doing this? In the summer Zion gets busy...
Thanks! I definitely wanted to do Emerald Pools if we went to Zion. We're thinking of going in Mid-August. Is that a good time to go? Is it hard to get camping around there? We don't plan on staying in hotels to save on money, and it's more fun to camp anyway.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,157 posts, read 24,615,719 times
Reputation: 11711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobefobik View Post
Thanks! I definitely wanted to do Emerald Pools if we went to Zion. We're thinking of going in Mid-August. Is that a good time to go?
Emerald Pools is a great hike. It'll get your heart pumping but it's not too strenuous. It's going to be beastly hot in mid-August, though -- probably over 100 degrees.
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