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Trip Report Trip Report - Wonderful Return to Utah & Arizona after 10 Years

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My husband and I recently visited the area (end of Sept./beginning of Oct) and wanted to mention some highlights. Another big thanks to anyone on this forum who helped out with information. Flew into Salt Lake City and drove down to Torrey. My husband claims he was only 5 miles over the speed limit when we hit our first small town i.e. he got pulled over! The deputy was nice enough to just give a warning. We had taken a tiny shortcut near Salina/Aurora that someone on here recommended (thus I thot you'd get a chuckle!). Stayed that evening at Austin's. It was nothing fancy, but still a very nice room and bath. They seemed to need more help in the AM at the counter where you can order breakfast items or bakery goods. Such a thrill to once again drive around Capitol Reef - one of my favorite parks in UT. We did this an hr. or so before sunset.

Highway 12 is definitely another world that I could never tire of. We also drove about 10-20? miles on the Burr Trail (had a rental car). You don't think it's anything great until all of a sudden you are surrounded by all the gorgeous huge red canyon walls. Stayed in Escalante at the Rainbow Country B&B. Nice home with BRs on the lower floor which is run by Catherine and Clark. She fixed us delicious pumpkin pancakes. Also tried driving part of the Cottonwood Road but not a good experience in a rental car so we didn't get too far (then we find out it might have helped if we had driven faster over the gravel!). Can't recall at what point we approached it, but driving over the Aquarius Plateau? section of Hwy. 12 was also fantastic (with the Hogsback portion of the road with barely any land mass on each side of you). Stopped at Kodachrome State Park earlier in the day. It was pretty but not a must see in my book. There were some interesting rock formations in one area.

As we headed down a hill toward Cannonville, I was definitely blown away by THAT view! Highway 12 definitely has its share of killer panoramas coming down hills! Bryce Canyon is my husband's favorite; we hiked a couple hours and it was good to see all those hoodoos again. We had not been to Cedar Breaks our last trip so we stopped there. I thought it was very pretty. We hiked around the rim and the colors were fantastic, not to mention the birch trees with their yellow leaves, mixed in with the pine trees, looked absolutely luminous as we headed toward Bryce. Stayed at Canyon Ranch at Zion. Nothing too fancy but a good location. We did our share of short hikes and went as far as the start of the Narrows but neither one of us have feet that could last for that hike, unfortunately.

We took the northern portion of Hwy. 89 to Page, AZ. I was somewhat disappointed with that route. Wasn't sure how Alt. 89 would be in comparison but we were ready to save some time with the northern route. In Page we stayed at the Days Inn - thought it was quite nice. We did the Lower Antelope Canyon with no problem. Just showed up and only had to wait a short time for the next tour. The young Indian guide took my best digital photo by far! He also played a flute when we made stops in the canyon and he did some Indian chants that really added to the experience. The "Best Dam View" overlook, and Horseshoe Overlook were quite nice. The tour guide at the Glen Canyon Dam was quite informative. Also did the Toadstool hike right outside of Page. Very interesting landscape. But here I thought we were going to be hiking at the Wahweep Wash section. The ranger in Page only mentioned one section. I had seen a picture of that area and the toadstools looked even more fantastic but that hike might have been too long for us anyway. i.e. didn't realize there are more than one "toadstool" sections. Dinner was very good at Bonkers in Page. They offer a small selection of early bird specials and though nothing fancy, the salad bar was quite good. Unfortunately, the weather decided to take a turn for the worst as we approached Monument Valley. Though I sure enjoyed its surrealness once again. Made a stop at Gooseneck State Park which is phenomenal and we drove through Valley of the Gods. Some sun would have been nice!

We were going to stop at Monticello for the evening but my husband decided to head on to Moab. Moab was having an unusual coldsnap of about 50 something degrees! We stayed at Moab Valley Inn - nothing fancy, but it did the job. We liked the Moab Brewery so much (right across the st.) that we ate there 3 nites. Thoroughly enjoyed Arches, Canyonlands and Deadhorse Point. Luckily the sun and temp improved for the last two. When we got to the end of the scenic drive in Arches, we experienced pea-sized hail and the temp. was 37!

Heading back up to Salt Lake, we reached an elevation of 7500 feet which brought on flurries and a temp. of 33. Glad that was short-lived! We stayed a nite in a courtyard room at Little America. I thought it was a very nice place with a big cozy lobby. We wanted to eat elsewhere for breakfast but little did we know just about every place was closed on Sundays in downtown SLC. Ate at a very good brew pub in the SLC downtown area, can't recall the name. Wondering how soon I can talk my husband into returning to one of my favorite areas - it was very hard to leave!

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