Colorado/Utah/Arizona National Parks

Old Feb 7th, 2003, 04:35 AM
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Colorado/Utah/Arizona National Parks

My wife and I would like to travel from Denver to Grand Junction and then into Utah and Arizona. From GJ we have 4 more nights before reaching Las Vegas. I'm thinking Bryce, Lake Powell, Monument Valley and Grand Canyon south rim. Am I being realistic - and if not which one do I leave out? Calling Utahtea!
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 06:32 AM
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I love Monument Valley, but it is a real doozey of a drive to get there and then to anywhere else. Unless you love to drive, I would go from Grand Junction to Arches, Dead Horse Point, then Canyonlands, then to Capital Reef, then Bryce, Zions, etc. Have fun.
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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If you mean you ONLY have 4 nights to see all these places before being back in Las Vegas, I agree --

leave out Monument Valley.

The southern Utah parks are spectacular. ZION and BRYCE are two of my favourites.

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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 08:29 AM
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Doing the South Rim and parks in Utah in the same trip is very hard, because you have to drive around the entire Grand Canyon to get from one to the other. And Arches and Canyonlands are across the state from Zion and Bryce; probably a full day's drive. If you try to do too much, you'll end up not spending enough time in each place to appreciate it. From GJ, I'd do Arches/Canyonlands and then either the Grand Canyon or Zion/Bryce. Or I'd skip Arches/Canyonlands and do the second part (I've never been to Arches or Canyonlands, but I've been to the other places.) If you want to get out and hike a bit (really the only way to appreciate a park) then you can't breeze in and out of another park each day.
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 12:30 PM
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Grand Junction to Monument Valley (via scenic Hwy 128) is 255 miles. Monument Valley is another 180 miles, Lake Powell is 135 miles, Bryce 155 miles, Las Vegas is 250 miles. For a total of 975 miles.

That's way to much to squeeze into 4 days and see any of the sights.

I agree with the other posters. If I only had 4 nights I would go to Moab, Utah via scenic Hwy 128. It's only 110 miles from Grand Junction and that will give you time to see Arches National Park. Spend nite 1 in Moab, Ut.

Next day go out to Canyonlands National Park and then head for Captiol Reef National Park and spend nite 2 in Torrey, UT. (160 miles)

If you didn't have time to drive into Capitol Reef do that in the morning before drivng Scenic Hwy 12 to Bryce Canyon. Spend night 3 at Bryce. (85 miles)

Explore Bryce the next day before heading to Zion. Spend night 4 at Zion or Springdale, Ut. (85 miles)

Spend some time in Zion before heading to Las Vegas. (165 miles)

If you really have your heart set on the Grand Canyon then leave out Bryce and Lake Powell.

Utahtea




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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 12:20 PM
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Thanks very much for your replies - but now I have more questions! 1 Why should we go to Torrey/Capitol Reef? 2 If we're in this part of the world, is Monument Valley really missable when you read about it so often? 3 What about the north rim of the Grand Canyon, if the south is too far? And 4 (Utahtea) where does Lake Powell fit in to your suggested itinerary? Sorry to keep you busy!
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 05:36 PM
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Torrey and Capital Reef are just a bonus of getting to Bryce/Zions from the east. The highway cuts right through Capital Reef. Torrey is the town the sits right outside the park in some pretty surroundings (I wouldn't spend two nights there). There's an orchard park in Fruita (inside Capital Reef) that is a great place to get out and stretch the legs. If the fruit's on, then your welcome to pick some (for a small fee). The North Rim (might be closed in early Spring) is still a long drive away and not worth the length for a short stay.

Monument Valley would be about 7 hours away from Grand Junction. Because of its remote location, it really would be tough to fit that into a trip going to Las Vegas in four nights and still trying to see everything else.

Lake Powell is great with a boat, but doesn't offer a lot but a big detour for motorists.

Spend a night in Moab - you won't regret it.
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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jaguar,

I love Utah and helping where I can. Lake Powell didn't fit into my first trip.

My first route was to get you to some of the most scenic & beautiful areas in Utah in the amount of time you had to work with.

Monument Valley should not be missed if you can help it, but you just have so little time. We, who have responded, know that there is so many other beautiful places that you could see and have more time to enjoy.

Day 1 Grand Junction to Monument Valley is 255 miles. Still take Hwy 128 in Cisco to Moab, Ut. You will probably have a time to hire a Navajo tour guide when you arrived and see Monument Valley or you can drive in to the park yourself.

Day 2 Monument Valley to North Rim of the Grand Canyon with a side trip to Lake Powell is 245 miles. You won't have much time except to view the Lake from the shore and arrive at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Please be aware that the N. Rim does NOT open until Mid-May. You might have time for a visit to the rim before dark.

Day 3 North Rim to Byrce Canyon is 160 miles. You should have time to visit a few N. Rim overlooks before heading to Bryce and still have some time to see some of the overlooks in Bryce.

Day 4 Bryce to Las Vegas through Zion National Park is 246 miles. Please take the time to ride the Zion Shuttle buses into the canyon. You won't be sorry.

It's do-able, it just wouldn't be my first choice unless I had a couple more days to enjoy the area.

Utahtea





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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 07:00 PM
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I forgot to give you one of my favorite web sites on Southern Utah.

http://www.so-utah.com/

Check out Capitol Reef and some of the other places we've been talking about.

Utahtea
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 12:52 PM
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Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I forgot to mention we won't be travelling until october (from England). I can see that it makes sense to cut down on the travelling time so we get to see things at a more leisurely pace. I think I'll take a look at the website Utahtea suggested and maybe give Monument Valley a miss this time
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 01:35 PM
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By October - you'll be in SNOW in some of these areas. Order the free brochures & map from the Utah tourism website.

You will be a seeing a wonderful part of the country! Have a great trip! Happy planning.


p.s. - have a devonshire cream tea for me (I think that's what they were called .... mmmm-mmmm good!)
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 02:01 PM
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jaguar - I have to politely disagree with the last poster. There's a slight chance you'll see snow in Bryce in October - but only slight. If it did snow then there's not much chance of it sticking to the roads and causing much trouble.

October is a great time to travel Southern Utah - the weather is great and the tourists are few.
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 10:39 PM
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Bird,

jaguar is coming from Denver and there is always a change of snow in October in Colorado. I agree that October shouldn't be a problem in S. Utah.

jaguar,

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon closes around mid-October. Something to keep in mind if you decide to go.

http://www.nps.gov/grca/grandcanyon/trip_planner/index.htm

You are coming a long way. I don't think you will be disappointed in any of the places you decide to go.

Utahtea
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Old Feb 13th, 2003, 01:17 PM
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Thanks for helping me out everyone. Yes syv, devonshire cream tea is the right name!

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