Arches NP to Grand Canyon NP

Aug 16th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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Arches NP to Grand Canyon NP

One of the legs of my Southwest trip is from Arches to Grand Canyon. I was wondering if Natural Bridges, Goosenecks of San Juan, Natural Bridges, and then to the Grand Canyon is a good sightseeing circuit for one day. At first I wanted Arches, Mesa Verde, Four Corners, and then Grand Canyon but hat would be very, very long. I kind of only want to do 2 of these between arches and GC. Any suggestions would be good. BTW The trip will be in the end of March.
dshamritsky is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 05:51 PM
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It is quite possible that there will still be snow remaining at he south rim of the Grand Canyon in March. The elevation is above 6000'.
Where are you flying to/ renting the car?
tomfuller is online now  
Aug 16th, 2012, 10:48 PM
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Arches to the Grand Canyon south rim via Natural Bridges takes 7.5 hours according to Google maps. This does not take into account stops to look at Natural Bridges and other necessary stops.
Michael is online now  
Aug 17th, 2012, 02:43 AM
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My trip is from Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, and then Grand Canyon, and fly out of Flagstaff. I know that there might be snow but it was not a problem last June in Yellowstone where there was lots of snow. Is Monument Valley interesting at all?
dshamritsky is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:22 AM
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If you get up early and just stop to look at the Bridges in NB, and there is no snow you could do the trip in a long day. Don't try going down the Moki Dugway if there is snow, it's scary enough without snow, but the views are fantastic.

If you need to stop between Arches and GC, there are places to stay in Mexican Hat, just north of Monument Valley, in Monument Valley, Kayenta, just south of Monument Valley and at Cameron Trading Post, on 89 near the intersection with 64 that goes into GC. We've stayed at most of these places on various trips and found, reasonable, clean but not fancy lodging last minute in the early spring.

Have a fantastic trip.
emalloy is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 10:03 AM
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I decided that Monument Valley is probably to touristy. Is Natural Bridges better than Goosenecks? Is it similar to Arches or is it a bit different? One last question, do you only have to do short hikes to an overlook or is it one long hike where you see everything?
dshamritsky is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:34 PM
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> I decided that Monument Valley is probably to touristy

Monument Valley, once you get past the entrance, is about the LEAST touristy of any scenic wonder in the Southwest. Plain and simple, you drive on a dirt road that has NOTHING but places to pull off and get wonderful views. Nothing touristy whatsoever. All national parks have gift shops within their boundaries AND touristy shops as you approach those borders. I'd recommend Monument Valley over Goosenecks or Natural Bridges, without a moment hesitation.

> Is Natural Bridges better than Goosenecks?

Hard to say which one is "better," they're just different geologic wonders. This photo of Goosenecks
gives a good idea of what you'll see there.
Same with this photo of the largest natural bridge at NBNM

If you've been to Arches, then NB may be a bit of letdown. Geologically, arches and natural bridges are different; scenery-wise, they tend to look a lot alike. And what you see at Arches is a LOT better than what you see at NB.

> do you only have to do short hikes to an overlook
> or is it one long hike where you see everything?

According to this map

You can view all three bridges with barely getting out of your car OR you can hike to any of the three OR you can take a long hike that goes by all of them. The choice is yours.
PaulRabe is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 05:04 PM
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thanks so much paul for all the websites and input
dshamritsky is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 08:20 PM
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Natural Bridges will need about 2 hr to drive and walk to the overlooks. There are several different overlooks and each one is a little bit different length of a walk to see it. You can't see any from your car. Personally it is one of my least favorite parks.

Moki Dugway is worth mentioning. There is a very small spot right at the top (really before you even know you are on the dugway) where you can pull off and take a look at what you are about to drive down. Try not to miss it cause the view of the road isn't quite as good anywhere else.

Goosenecks may only take 1/2 at the most from where you turn off the highway and then when you get back to it. The view is all there is there and will only take your breath away for a short while, but oh what a view.

And again, even if you don't take the valley tour at Monument Valley the short drive into the park for the view from the top will be worth your time. It is the iconic Southwest photo and no more touristy than Moab and less so than the south rim of the Grand Canyon imo. Shouldn't take more than 1/2 hr there either unless you decide to take the tour or spend time in the gift shop.
InSandy is offline  
Aug 19th, 2012, 03:10 AM
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Thanks Sandy, will keep the pull off at Moki Dugway in mind.
dshamritsky is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 01:43 PM
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Will this route be manageable, leave Arches, Goosenecks, Monument Valley, arrive Grand Canyon South Rim. I decided that Natural Bridges takes too long and is not worth it if I can not take hikes to the arches.
dshamritsky is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 07:42 PM
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It is about 3 hrs from Moab to Monument Valley and about 3 hrs from there to Grand Canyon. If you leave early, spend less than an hour at Monument valley then you will have time to stop at some of the east rim viewpoints in the Grand Canyon on your way to the village. It will be an aggressive day, but possible.
InSandy is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 03:04 AM
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I've done your route in April with no problem at all and did stop at the viewpoints on the way into GC. Your daylight hours will be only a bit shorter, but no problem at all.
emalloy is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 12:33 PM
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After further thought, I think that the route should be leave Moab, Goosenecks SP, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon South Rim while stopping at the overlooks when driving to hotel.
dshamritsky is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Monument Valley is underwhelming when compared to Arches NP, in my opinion. Certainly see it though, if you are going that way.

Goosenecks is an easy drive up and get out of car look at type of place. Moki Dugway is just a cool 2 mile section of road.

I walked/hiked to all the bridges in Natural Bridges. I was only impressed with Sipapu(the others are good ones, just not as super as Sipapu or others in Arches). It is as spectacular as anything in Arches. It is one heck of a span. If you can't commit to the time or the one hour hike to the Bridge, then I wouldn't consider going to Natural Bridges.

Desert Viewpoint at GC is awesome. I like Deadhorse Point near Moab for a great/similar type view too. Both will nearly bring you to your knees.
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 03:26 PM
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Part of the fun of this part of the trip is driving through Navajo country. I would just enjoy the experience, take your time and stop when and where you feel like it. We almost always stop in Cameron Trading post for a rest stop, look around, and if the timing is right get something to eat. Spend a little time at Monument Valley. People may like other places more, but as someone mentioned it is an iconic image from the movies and I feel quite moving while driving through.
tonyr is offline  
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