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In the beginning stages of planning our first trip to Southern Utah. We would appreciate your comments and suggestions on itinerary. What would be your "dream" trip to this area?

In the beginning stages of planning our first trip to Southern Utah. We would appreciate your comments and suggestions on itinerary. What would be your "dream" trip to this area?

Old Mar 19th, 2003, 07:14 PM
  #1  
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In the beginning stages of planning our first trip to Southern Utah. We would appreciate your comments and suggestions on itinerary. What would be your "dream" trip to this area?

Hello!
We are going to be flying from CA to Las Vegas on September 21, renting a car and then heading out for a 9-11 day trip. (Flexible)

Not knowing the area at all, it's difficult to judge how long we might need to stay in each place to get a feel for the area, do a few awesome hikes, relax and just take in the scenery.
I don't want this to be a forced march~!

We would like to see:
Hoover Dam
Zion
Bryce
Canyonlands
North Rim of GC
NO desire to spend any time in LV

We love antiquing, charming towns and enjoying the sights and people.

Can you help me with what might be a reasonable itinerary for this trip.

We'd like to stay in the lodges inside the parks too as I've read many postings that this is really worthwhile for the location.

Thanks so much for any and all suggestions/comments.

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Old Mar 19th, 2003, 08:00 PM
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Hi Jasper,

I live in Utah & have been to your picks multiple times. This would be my plan,

Zion 2 nts
Bryce 2 nts
Hwy 12 to Capitol Reef
Torrey 1 nt
Moab 5 nts
North Rim 2 nts
see Hoover on the way back to LV

This will barely give you time to see all these places and do a couple great hikes. If you want to spend more time hiking & relaxing, I would limit your trip and choose between the North Rim and Moab.

In my book Moab would win hands down.

Utahtea will have lots of great advice for you. She's the map & mileage expert. I just go there on autopilot because I know the way and I usually just go to one destination on long weekends/short vacations.

Have fun!
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Old Mar 19th, 2003, 09:21 PM
  #3  
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Dale,
Thanks so much! This was just the kind of help I was looking for.

Again, I don't want to make this trip "all go and no see" so your suggestion about choosing either the North Rim OR Moab is a good one and something to think about!

We've been to the Grand Canyon but only for a too short few hour visit to the south rim...I thought it was beyond beautiful but we can always come back!

I guess my next project will be to see about travel times. I've used Mapquest in the past but have read on this website that it's not 100% accurate.
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Old Mar 19th, 2003, 10:12 PM
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jasperti,

Dayle's itinerary is right on the money but unfortunately his nights added up to 12. If you can squeeze a 12 or 13th night it would really help!

For mileages I use Micrsoft Streets and Trips. If you get it at Costco it runs about $14.00. It is a excellent program. I've found it to be really close on mileage and time.

Here is what I would do if it were me.

Day 1 Las Vegas to Zion and maybe get in the Riverside walk. (160 miles)

Day 2 Zion ride the shuttle and get in a hike like Emeral Pools.

Day 3 Spend the morning in Zion and then drive to Bryce. (85 miles)

Day 4 Bryce

Day 5 Drive the Scenic Hwy 12 to Torrey. Check out Captiol Reef if you have time.(85 miles)

Day 6 Drive the scenic drive in Capitol Reef and squeese in the Grand Wash hike. Drive to Moab. (185 miles includes 25 mile round trip scenic drive in Capitol Reef)

Day 7 From Moab visit Arches. Do the Delicate Arch trail and visit some of the other arches near the road way.

Day 8 From Moab visit Canyonlands Island in the Sky distric. Do the easy Grandview hike and make sure you stop at the Green River overlook. Also stop at Dead Horse State Park on the way back if you have time.

Day 9 From Moab drive scenic Hwy 128 to Fisher Towers and then drive the Potash Road. Go back into Arches do another hike and watch the sunset.

Day 10 Pass Monument Valley on your way to the north rim of the Grand Canyon (400 miles) that would be a long day.

Day 11 Visit the N. Rim before heading back to Las Vegas. (263 miles)

Day 10 & 11 alternate:

Day 10 Pass Monument Valley on your way to Page, AZ and Glen Canyon National Recreational Area, Lake Powell using Hwy 98 shortcut between Hwy 160 and Page. (275 miles)

Day 11 Visit Glen Canyon Dam or take a boat trip on Lake Powell before driving back to Las Vegas (280 miles)



Make sure you buy the $50 National Park Pass. You will get your money's worth out of it!

Utahtea


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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 12:03 AM
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The previous posters got it right on as far as the itinerary. Don't miss hwy 12 through Escalante (1/2 day) then Capitol Reef (1 - 2 days) and Arches(1-2 days) . Canyonlands in my opinion, is hard to absorb, if you don't have a lot of time. Hoover Dam, I don't think it's on the way but if you go, don't park in the first parking lot you see. They charge $5 when you can park further on for free. And the columns that hold up the garage and are too easy to hit into. One can see by all the colors of car paint left behind on them, including my own. See the Glen Canyon Dam instead, near Lake Powell and the North Rim of the GC. Enjoy , Utah is the best.

I don't recall seeing many charming towns on this trip (I've done parts of it 2x), but the scenery is awesome. If you pass the Luna Mesa stop in and say hi. Watch for hummingbirds and anasazai petroglyphs.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 08:50 AM
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I haven't spent as much time in southern Utah as I would like to have. However, when we lived in Texas we used to pass through on our way to the Pacific Northwest and I've always been awestruck with the red rock country.

Some experiences standout: Bryce Canyon at sunrise or sunset is awesome. Same with Dead Horse Point. I take the short hike to Delicate Arch every chance I get. I have a wonderful photo of Delicate Arch taken right at sunset. There is a restored pioneer stop, called Cove Fort, near the intersection of I-70 and I-15. It is worth a visit. Two white knuckle drives we have taken are Highway 12 from Escalante to Torrey and down the Old Schafer Trail from DHP down into Canyonlands and on into Moab.

One hint: the red rocks exhibit their most brilliant colors and texture at sunrise and sunset. They get washed out in the midday sun. Plan your schedule so you enjoy the scenery the couple hours before sunset and the couple hours after sunrise.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 01:53 PM
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My family loves Zion, and I have to plug the Desert Pearl hotel in Springdale. Huge rooms, fridge, microwave, pool, hot tub. You can get a room overlooking the river in the back - all you see from your deck is grass, trees, river, and the red canyon wall. Walking distance to the little town and good restaurants, the park shuttle stop is right there. While staying at the Zion lodge is a nice experience, the food is blah and pricey. Staying at the Bryce lodge is a necessity, the town outside the park is too ugly.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 06:44 PM
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Thanks so much everyone for your input.

I've printed out your responses and I'm going to go over the maps that I picked up at Auto club today.

I've not excited about the day of driving 400 miles.... sounds like something I don't want to do. I'd rather leave something out then be on the road all day.


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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 07:34 PM
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Hi again Jasper,

Yes,I know my itinerary was 12 nights, but that's what I think you would need - minimum - if you go to all your choices.

Hey, Utahtea, you should know by now I'm a "she". By the way, I love your detailed answers, I never have that much patience.
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 09:21 PM
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Dayle,

I'm sorry about that. I'll remember next time. Y is for girl With a handle of Utahtea I've been mistaken for a "he" too.

Utahtea
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 11:37 AM
  #11  
Syv
 
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Jaspertl,

Sounds like everyone has given you great advice. I used Utahtea (& others inputs) for my trip in southern Utah a couple years ago & am dying to go back! It will be one of the most amazing scenery places you'll ever go in the USA. Zion & Bryce are two of my favourites.

Have fun!

(I'm off to Colorado, Wyoming, & South Dakota this summer for the first time & can hardly wait...)
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 11:41 AM
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Reading Utahtea and Dayle's advice helped so much in planning our vaction to southern Utah last summer. I would be sure and not miss Monument Valley and I would agree with Dayle about sunrise and sunset being the bes times to view the scenery.

The newest edition of Sunset magazine that just came yesterday has and article and driving map of a "loop route" through the area that you may want to read.

Have a wonderful time. You really can't miss in Southern Utah.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 03:58 PM
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Hi again,
We've thought some more about our trip itinerary and this is what we have so far...
arrive in LV in the morning, rent a car and head out:
3 nights in Zion (visting Hoover on the way)
2 nights in Bryce
1 night in Torrey
drive highway 95 around to Moab
Moab 3 nights

and this is where I get stuck!

We have 2 more nights and don't want to drive all the way back to LV in 1 day.
Where should we stop on the way back that would be interesting?
We were thinking of Monument Valley but it really seems out of the way and I'm thinking I should save it for another trip.

Thanks again for all your help.
Fodorites are the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 04:57 PM
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Southern Utah was one of my favorite trips. Our trip was LV-Zion-Bryce-Cap Reef-Moab-Lk Powell-North Rim-LV.

Definately agree with the Capital Reef fans. Also, look into Goblin State Park. Its a fun visit right off the highway and very surreal. I believe it was between Capital Reef and Moab on our travels.

I don't want to offend any Moab lovers but its really a mountain biking place. There is just too much park to cover by foot! The town has a college (w/o the college) charm to it.

On our way back to LV we slept at a motel by lake Powell, visited the North Rim for a few hours and made it to LV by late afternoon. We could have spent more time at the N rim but after a week of sites and hiking we just looked at the big canyon and pretty much left.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 05:01 PM
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You only have a few choices.

Moab to Las Vegas via I-70 and I-15 is 457 miles. You will travel through the San Rafeal Swell on I-70 just east of Green River. This is a beautiful area. I would spend the night in Cedar City (287 miles). That only leaves 170 miles for the second day. You might try stopping at the Kolob section of of Zion National Park just off I-15 south of Cedar City.

You could always come back the way you came which was 505 miles.

The other option I mentioned is 555 miles. South to Monument Valley. Just driving by the area is spectacular. You will get an idea of what is is like. I would make it all the way to Lake Powell so the second day you wouldn't have to drive so far. Moab to Lake Powell 275 miles. Lake Powell to Las Vegas 280 miles.

Utahtea




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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 05:05 PM
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OK...let me go back to my maps and see about these new suggestions...thanks again.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 05:09 PM
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Oh, one other thing as I'm looking at the map.
What's the best way to get from Torrey to Moab?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 07:21 PM
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The shortest route and the one we usually take would be to drive east on Hwy 24 towards Hansville and up to I-70. Take I-70 east and then south on Hwy 191 to Moab. This route is 157 miles.

The only other way we've gone is down to Hites crossing but that's kind of out of your way at 253 miles.

We've never taken Hwy 72 up to I-70. That route is 175 miles.

Utahtea



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