Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page > Hiking Arches or Canyonlands National Park in fall?
Notices

Hiking Arches or Canyonlands National Park in fall?

Reply

Jul 24th, 2014, 07:54 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 43
Hiking Arches or Canyonlands National Park in fall?

I am a 20 year old Australian exchange student studying for a semester at the University of Utah. The university offers Parks, Recreational and Tourism subjects which consist of 3 days of hiking whilst examining the natural history of the park, contemporary resource management challenges and environmental ethics.

I have a choice of 2 subjects which involve hiking either Arches or Canyonlands National Park. Arches hike starts on 7th November and Canyonlands on 24th October. I realise by then that the nights could be starting to get cold (we will be camping.)

I will be visiting the parks late next week, but by then I need to have enrolled in my courses. Which park do others consider to be the best for such a course of study? All views appreciated.
DownUnderDrifter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 24th, 2014, 08:53 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,188
Without any other information I would choose Arches.

That said, do you know which hikes they will be taking you on at these parks? Do you know if you will be hiking in Canyonlands Island in the Sky District, Needles District, Maze District or Horseshoe Canyon?

Utahtea
utahtea is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 03:11 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,161
I would want to hike in both parks. The weather. In October is more likely to be good for hiking, but both parks have plenty to see.
emalloy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 05:42 AM
  #4
cd
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,981
I would choose Arches. Have been thru both but have not hiked either. I liked Arches way more than Canyonlands.
cd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 07:01 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 862
My only experience with Canyonlands was a three-day mountain biking trip in the Island in the Sky District, but from what I could gather Canyonlands as a whole is much, much less frequented than Arches. You really feel like you're in the middle of nowhere at times in Canyonlands (because you are). You have to drive some distance from Moab to get to any of the districts. Arches, in contrast, felt pretty crowded on most of the trails. Arches is located within Moab, is a much smaller park and gets more visitors (or at least it felt that way given it's relative size). I prefererd Canyonlands--mostly because of the crowds at Arches. I was there in April; a relatively busy time. So, which you choose may depend on what type of experience you want to have. In terms of what you're studying, I tend to think that Arches prevents more issues in terms of tourism, management challenges, etc., because of the of visitors to the park and its size relative to Canyonlands.
indyhiker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 09:46 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,072
I am confused.

You are visiting the parks next week. But the actual classes start either October 24 or November 7.

What exactly are you asking then? Which of the 2 parks you should visit next week? or which of the 2 parks you should visit for your class?

If you are making two separate visits to the area (one next week and one for your class this fall), why not visit one next week and the other in fall?

Having said all that, if you are indeed able to visit both parks (one on your own and one as part of a class) I would visit Arches on my own and Canyonlands as part of the class. Arches has a lot of shorter hikes and it seems like it would be relatively easy to do alone. Canyonlands is huge and much more remote so I would prefer to explore that with an instructor and a group.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 12:22 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 43
Sorry for any confusion. Visiting both parks with my family in a car next week (3 days at Moab). Have the option of doing one of the two courses later in the year. I unfortunately have no further information as to where the hikes will be taking place and what will be covered.
DownUnderDrifter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 01:02 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,072
Strictly from a hiking standpoint and scenery, I would choose Canyonlands since it is so large. If you visit Arches for a day with your family, you will be able to see quite a bit of it. If you visit Canyonlands with the family, you'll see just a small part of it so the class you are taking would give you the chance to go back and hopefully visit some different areas.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 05:22 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,239
The good news is you can't go wrong with either park. There is no bad news.

I'd slightly lean towards Canyonlands from a hiking standpoint. The Park is huge and has many different areas, but given your limited time I'd focus on the Needles/ Chessler Park region. Even then there are so many options it will make your head spin:
http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisi...slonghikes.htm

Have fun with your studies.
Nelson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 09:57 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 547
With only 3 days, Canyonlands Needles is not practical while Maze is impossible.

Therefore, Arches or Island In the Sky
Of those, look at White Crack trail (all the way to the river) from White Crack campground which may be difficult to reserve.

Vaga
PS. If you are a serious hiker - research the maze district
RVvagabond is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2014, 06:20 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,239
Vaga, your advice regarding this region is always valuable, but I'm wondering why you think Needles area is not practical.

From some loop backpacks I've done, it seems like there are many excellent day hike options leaving from Squaw Flat / Elephant Hill area.

Thanks.
Nelson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2014, 08:08 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 547
Thanks - my concern was his statement: "Recreational and Tourism subjects which consist of 3 days of hiking " University of Utah is in SLC. Sooo, when you add driving to/from Needles there is not much time for hiking unless that three days are inclusive.

Needles hiking, at the verrrry minimum is overnight. Next, his statement: "I will be visiting the parks late next week,.."
Obtaining permits with that short notice is not practical.

That was my rationale
EH road to Beef basin is an outstanding tour especially the ruins in/near Beef Basin. One is a complete Anasazi Ruin perfectly protected in an alcove.

One of my favorite thrills is running my motorcycle UP EH.
Wow!

Vaga
RVvagabond is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2014, 02:57 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,239
Thanks for the clarification Vaga. It makes sense.

Beef Basin ruins look very cool indeed. Thanks for that info. Will make note of it for a future trip.

Take care.
Nelson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2014, 06:54 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 16,087
I am by no means an expert but Arches being far more developed I'd be inclined to do that with the family and Canyonlands with the University group.
mlgb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 28th, 2014, 07:30 PM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 43
I ended up choosing Arches National Park. The Canyonlands trip did end up down in the Needles District hiking, though I was speaking to a girl who did both trips and she preferred Arches.

We hiked through Devil's Garden, visiting some more secluded areas of the park, Fiery Furnace and to Delicate Arch. A very enjoyable class and fantastic weather in Arches!
DownUnderDrifter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2014, 03:21 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,229
DownUnder,

So glad you got to visit Arches. It's really hard to pick a favorite Natl Park, but it's definitely one of my favorites. Fiery Furnace is so fun!
I hope you get to go back and explore further. Needles is pretty cool too.

Have you had a chance to go to one of the Ute games? (I live in Park City).
Dayle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2014, 03:54 PM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 43
I have been fortunate enough to go to a Ute game! Definitely an experience! The number of people turning up to watch a college game is a similar number who turn up to watch professional sport match in Sydney (and I thought Australian's were sport mad!)
DownUnderDrifter is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:13 PM.