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Ideas for alternatives to national parks - Utah, Arizona, Colorado

Ideas for alternatives to national parks - Utah, Arizona, Colorado

Jul 23rd, 2011, 11:29 AM
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Ideas for alternatives to national parks - Utah, Arizona, Colorado

Might as well be prepared in case the national parks are closed. We have a week planned with three nights at Ruby's outside Bryce, 2 at Grand Canyon North Rim and 2 in Sprindale near Zion between Aug 12 and 19th. Plus another few days at Mesa Verde the following week.

First question - when parks are 'closed' I assume they barricade the entrances so you can't drive into them. Is that true? Can you walk in?

So I'm looking for alternative things to do in those areas?
isabel is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Are you planning that the Tea Party is going to force the government our parks?
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 11:38 AM
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Are you planning that the Tea Party is going to force the government to close the parks?
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 12:48 PM
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At Bryce, you could still walk to Mossy cave from the road to Tropic. I don't believe there is a fence there. Also visit Kodachrome State Park
bigtyke is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 02:50 PM
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Goblin Valley State Park, Deadhorse Point in Moab

At Zion or Moab try Canyoneering. I would do it even if the parks are open. Maybe checkout the Sedona area. maybe a hot air balloon ride somewhere. Moab Adventure Center offers a lot of things to do. They do Canyoneerings, but I would recommend www.deserthighlights.com Maybe take a scenic flight over Canyonlands. You could still do Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley as those are operated on Indian Reservations, so I don't think that would effect them closing.

Ride the Durango train and do the zipling. www.soaringcolorado.com

go fishing somewhere in Colorado
Rafting is done outside the parks in Moab. Like the Green River.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 03:14 PM
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Just a few miles north of St. George, Utah is Snow Canyon State Park.

Scenic Highway 12 between Bryce and Torrey, Utah. Calf Creek State Park, the Burr Trail is awesome and you only have to do the paved part and return to Boulder, Utah.

Monument Valley was already mentioned.

Moab Area: Hwy 128 to Fisher Towers. Do a 1/2 rafting trip on the Colorado River out of Moab. Drive the Potash Road Hwy 279 and Kane Creek Road and look for Petroglyphs. Corona Arch is not in Arches but not a hike for anyone with a fear of heights! http://climb-utah.com/Moab/corona.htm Rent a 4 x 4 Jeep in Moab and go exploring the Shafer Trail and Long trail.

Durango to Ouray drive the Million Dollar Highway 550 and stop in Silverton and Ouray.
utahtea is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 04:34 PM
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We don't live in the US - what's going on with the closures? Is it because of bushfires or something more sinister?

We're planning a trip to see the national parks in Colorado and a bit of Utah and New Mexico next year, is this a normal occurrence?

KayF is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 04:55 PM
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It all has to do with the tremendous deficit we (the U. S.) have gotten ourselves into.

I really doubt that the U.S. congress will fail to raise our country's debt ceiling, thereby forcing the shut down of many non-essential government jobs. National Parks would most likely be considered non-essential. Or another scenerio, that they raised the debt ceiling, but still shut down some things as a cost saving device. The National Parks being one of those.

I'm not saying it couldn't happen. But even if it did, it would all be over before next year. If, perish the thought, it hadn't all righted itself by then, you would probably be re-thinking a trip over here, anyway.
Floridafran is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 06:54 PM
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In Arizona near the Grand Canyon you've got Page - Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon. Not far south is Sedona with a lot of hiking and scenery.

Near Bryce & Zion is Cedar Breaks National Monument that is similar to Bryce.

Off Rte 12 is Kodachrome Park, Grosvenor Arch and Willis Creek slot canyon.

Further east off Rte 12 is Hole-in-the-Rock Road with many canyons and Devil's Garden.

A bit further east of Rte 12 is Lower Calf Creek Falls.

Near Moab you've got Dead Horse Point, Rte 279 southwest and Rte 128 to Fishe Towers, etc to the east. Both are just above Moab.

So, many worthwhile sights though not National Parks.

= = = =
I have a Senior Park Pass that cost me $10. for a lifetime. I would gladly pay a very nominal fee in addition such as $1. a day. That would really add up.

I just came back from Banff National Park in Canada. I believe they have a senior rate of a little over $8 per person per day. And that's per person and not per car.
Maybe that tells us something.
Myer is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 08:01 PM
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Thanks Floridafran.

I can see that the government would save on salaries for national park workers but surely they'd also then not have any income generated from visitors paying to visit the parks? And what are the people who would normally work at the national parks supposed to live on? If those people then are forced to go on welfare that's another cost for the government.

Or have I got it wrong?

KayF is offline  
Jul 24th, 2011, 03:41 AM
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I listed a National Monument that I probably shouldn't have.

Just like anybody who loses their job, they would have to fend for themselves until (if) a resolution is found.
Myer is offline  
Jul 24th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Kay - You are completely correct. It's too bad you are not a member of the US congress.

Meyer - thanks for all the suggestions. However, most of them appear to be in National Monuments. Willis Creek was already someplace I wanted to go (I think you have posted about it several times and it was your posting that made me look into it in the first place). But that and Grosvenor Arch and Hole in the Rock Road are in Grand Staircase National Monument. Cedar Breaks is National . So that's what I am trying to figure out (I have another post going also with slightly different question in the title) - if the govt shuts the National Parks, will these places be open or will I drive to them only to find those roads also barricaded.

I certainly hope all this research won't be necessary, but it is a possibility and I would like to have some idea of the best places to go if it does happen. If it's just the national parks that are closed, and the national monuments are 'open' I think it would still be a very nice trip. But if every place that is under US govt management in any way is 'closed' - well that's pretty limiting.

It looks like Kodachrome is State owned so I guess that would be a good bet.

Antelope Canyon (another of your suggestions) is also already on my list so we would definitely go there.

Of course if the parks are shut then we have no place to sleep the two nights we have booked in GC (north rim) so we, (and everyone else who can't be there) will be looking for last minute lodging. How big is Page? Any other suggestions of where to stay those two nights?
isabel is offline  
Jul 24th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Page, AZ is a tourist town with plenty of motels and you could do the Upper and Lower Antelope Slots canyon and the short hike to Horseshoe Bend, but I would think if they close the National Parks then access to Lake Powell would be closed because Glen Canyon is a National Recreational Area.

I have seen the road to Grosvenor Arch closed because of flooding and that year we had rented a 4 x 4 just to see this place. They might close a lot of dirt roads as a precaution because they do get a lot of thunderstorms in August.

DO NOT drive on any dirt road in Utah if it's raining, looks like rain or has recently rained. It turns to a slippery mess and you will get stuck!!!!!

I know that a lot of people like to take horse back rides into Bryce. If you want to ride in Bryce you book though the National Park, BUT they do have horseback rides that you book outside of the park and while they don't go into the park, I would imagine they see the park from the ride. You might check that out.

utahtea is offline  
Jul 24th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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Other than Cedar Breaks none of the places I mentioned can be barricaded. They are dirt roads.

I don't see somebody starting to build barricades to stop epople from going on them.

Capitol Reef NP, other than the scenic drive deep into the south side of the road cannot be closed.

Directly off the highway are parking lots for Chimney Rock and Hickman Bridge. If they were to somehow close the parking lot you could just park on the side of the road and do the hikes.

When I was there I asked a ranger about them not charging for that park. She said it would be too expensive since many of the sights are directly off the main road thru the park.

Unlike Zion where you pay ust to go on Rte 9 thru the park, Capitol Reef is not like that.

And talking about Zion. I can't see them barricading Rte 9 past the entrance booth.

I imaging Canyon Overlook hike would be available. Maybe a few things in that area.

What about Kolob Canyon are of Zion. That might have a barrier on the road. I don't remember.
Myer is offline  
Jul 24th, 2011, 07:06 PM
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Here is some more reading on the topic. http://www.trailspace.com/articles/2...n-averted.html

utahtea is offline  

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