Is it too late to go?

Reply

Apr 21st, 2005, 01:47 PM
  #1
JIW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 95
Is it too late to go?

Help please...we want to do Southern Utah... (end April - first part of May) Bryce, Zion, etc but I don't have reservations yet. Our time is open...no set dates since we're retired. Do I NEED reservations or would we be OK by just 'winging' it? Plan on driving from San Jose, CA towards LV and into parks from there.
I've seen 'Spring break' mentioned...is that over or are we just getting into it?
We want to go soon to avoid the hotter weather. Any advice will be appreciated.
JIW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2005, 04:20 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,353
Hi J,

No spring break is over, thank goodness! The weather is just warming up.

Depending on exactly where you are going, Bryce will be your lodging challenge. Although - they have had a huge snow year. Check with the Park rangers to see what it's like. If there is still lots of snow, you'll have an easy time, but you will have to decide if you want to see it with snow (beautiful) and have limited hiking.

Zion (meaning Springdale) should have something available, although you may not get first pick. If you are planning on Moab, there are plenty of motels to choose from. For Capitol Reef, Torrey has probably enough choices too.

However, I would make reservations. As you know, this is peak season for southern Utah. I'll be in Zion myself in about 3 weeks.

Have fun!
Dayle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2005, 04:30 PM
  #3
JIW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 95
Thanks!...I guess I'll try Ruby's for Bryce?
We wanted to do a circuit in/out thru LV that includes at least Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Escalante, Monument Valley and whatever else we can find.
If there's snow at Bryce maybe we should circle south first, then up and back over?? Maybe by then it'll be gone?
What do you think?
JIW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2005, 07:37 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,189
I don't think it's to late to go. Infact, I'd say early May might be a good time to go...just as long as you are heading home by Memorial Day Weekend.

Going in reverse order will work too. How long do you have for this trip? You say you are retired...can you spend as much time as you want?

If you can, then I would suggest adding Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona then up to Monument Valley.


Utahtea
utahtea is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 22nd, 2005, 09:29 AM
  #5
JIW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 95
Hi, yes we can spend as much time as we want. But probably not more than 3 weeks. I'm thinking of trying to 'save the best for last' and stay at Desert Pearl on the way out for maybe 3 nights. I've been trying to research others routes from this forum...not sure where to start as we leave LV...head to Page? I guess go in a counterclockwise route?
Thanks
JIW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 22nd, 2005, 02:46 PM
  #6
JIW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 95
Now I need help with this itinerary I have roughed out.
LV to Kanab or Page - stay 1-2 nights
Page to Monument Valley - stay where?
Is it too far to get to Moab from Page in one day?
then to Moab -stay 2-3 nights
then to Escalante or Torrey - 1-2 nts
then to Bryce-stay 1-2 nts
then to Zion stay 2-3 nts
We don't want to drive more than 5-6 hrs a day once we're in UT.
Does this look doable to you? Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated.
JIW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 22nd, 2005, 05:58 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,353
Hi again J,

Sounds like a great start. You will definitely want 2 nights rather than one in all the Utah park locations. Except for Moab, make it 4 for sure!

Have fun!
Dayle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 23rd, 2005, 11:18 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,189
I would pick Page over Kanab if you plan on spending more than one night. If you spend two nights in Page you can do either a float trip on the Colorado River or a Boat trip on Lake Powell. Depending on how long of a boat trip, you could also squeeze in a tour of Upper Antelope Canyon. If you spend 3 nights you could fit them all in.

This link is to my pictures of the float trip.

http://www.utahtea.lithium.com/pages...2003/float.htm

Las Vegas to Page, AZ via hwy 59 and 389 to Kanab and then Hwy 89 to Page is 275 miles and less than 6 hours driving time and a very scenic drive. Pipe Springs National Monument has a lot of history about the Morman settlers.

Page to Monument Valley is 125 miles and a little over 2 hours of driving time. Page to Moab is about 275 miles and over 6 hours of driving time.

Monument Valley to Moab, Utah is 150 miles and about 3 hours drive. I love this area.

If you decide to spend the night in Monument Valley then the day you drive to Moab you might be interested in a side trip of 50 miles round trip to Hoovenweep National Monument. Great ruins and the short hike doesn't take that long.

I would highly recommend at least 3 nights in Moab. This give you one full day for Arches and another full day for Canyonlands Island in the Sky District & Dead Horse State Park. There is a lot more to do in the area so 4 nights would be best.

Moab to Torrey is 175 miles and about 3 1/2 hour drive. Two nights in Torrey would give you one full day to explore Capitol Reef. Walk the easy hike in Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge, see the petroglyps and just enjoy the scenery.

Torrey to Bryce via hwy 12 is only 115 miles and should only take 3 1/2 hours to drive, but give yourself more time to make stops along the way. This is a beautiful drive.

Two nights in Bryce if you plan to do any hiking.

DH and I like saving Zion for last too. The setting of Zion and even in Springdale is so peaceful to me. Well worth spending 3 nights here.

Utahtea
utahtea is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 24th, 2005, 11:55 AM
  #9
JIW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 95
Utahtea...Thanks soooo much!
Looks like if I stay the max # nights each place I'll be just a little over 14 or 15 nights...just right!
I'm going to start making reservations this week. I think we'll start out on May 8...maybe it will be a little warmer then. How's the water level in Lake Powell? OK for a float trip?...we don't do white water...just lazy float trips and easy hikes.
Thanks again for all your info...really appreciated!!!!!!
JIW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 24th, 2005, 03:31 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,353
Hi again J,

Call ahead and see what current conditions are before you plan on spending extra time for Antelope Canyon. The southern Utah mountains that drain into the Virgin (Zion Park) and Escalante areas have over 250% of normal snowpack. This means high, fast, very cold water in the rivers and slot canyons at this time of the year.

Float trips on the Colorado River are a different story. As long as you go with a reputable company, you will be fine.

Two of my favorite places to stay if you like B&B's. The Novel House in Springdale, and The Dreamkeeper Inn in Moab.

Have fun! But go prepared for variable weather. We're having a rainy spring.
Dayle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 24th, 2005, 09:38 PM
  #11
JIW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 95
Thanks for the info!
BTW, I'm having a terrible time finding a place to stay for 4 nts in Moab for May 11-15. Every place I check...they don't have anything for those dates.Right now I'm waiting to hear back from a condo rental place.
JIW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 25th, 2005, 03:14 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 861
Have you tried the River Canyon Inn (Microtel)? We stayed there in the fall in Moab and it was just fine. Brand new place right in the center of town and reasonably priced.
sharondi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 25th, 2005, 03:17 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 861
Also, be sure to have a meal at Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah. It is a fantastic restaurant; memorable. Also, Cafe Diablo in Torrey is great.
sharondi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 25th, 2005, 08:39 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,189
May is peak season for Moab because the weather temps are so mild. We always camp, but there are plenty of places to stay:

http://moab-utah.com/

The float trip will will be on calm waters. Wilderness River Adventures is the only tour company that is allowed by the park service to do the float trips. The flow of the Colorado River is regulated by the Glen Canyon Dam and there won't be any rapids. Lake Powell is low, but the scenery is still incredible!

Not sure what Dayle was talking about, but the only time you have to worry about the Upper Antelope Slots Canyon tour is if there is a flash flood from rain and that is why they now have made it a guided tour. They won't take you if there is a danger of flooding in the slots canyon.

Utahtea
utahtea is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 25th, 2005, 09:22 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 670
Try the Sleep Inn in Moab -- part of Choice Hotels chain (choicehotels.com). It is new with an outdoor pool, indoor jacuzzi, good continental breakfast. It is at the end of the main street but Moab is not that big.

Page has a nice Best Western (actually 2 right next door to one another.
laurieb_nyny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 25th, 2005, 09:57 AM
  #16
JIW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 95
Thanks everyone! I had to change my dates around to accommodate getting into Bryce...I actually got a reservation this morning IN the park! I'm so excited I can't see straight. As a result I got into Aarches in Moab for 4 nts. on my adjusted dates. Now I need to find a decent place in Page for 2 nts. Mixed reviews on Lake Powell Resort Marina...any comments from Fodorites? Thanks again for all of your help...makes planning fun and a lot easier!
JIW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 25th, 2005, 05:42 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,353
Just cautioning people about slot canyons. Southern Utah has most of its thunderstorms in mid-July and August, through September. However, some slot canyons have some water year-round. After all, they are made by streams that turn into rivers during flash floods. Those canyons might have deep, cold water.

I have personally learned the meaning of hypothermia near Zion in April. If I had had to swim more than 4 stokes, I would not have made it! It's amazing how fast your body shuts down.

The group mentioned below was with a guide. You should always check the weather with local authorities before you go.

http://climb-utah.com/Powell/flash_antelope.htm

If I remember correctly, in the PBS documentary about this man's survival, they said the depth of Antelope Canyon was increased by over 13 feet by this single flood.
Dayle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 25th, 2005, 06:41 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,189
Dayle,

I remember that story. From what I was told, they knew of the danger and remained anyways. This was a tour group with a leader, but they were not a local tour that you know have to have to go though the Upper Antelope Canyon. The local tour groups will not take you if there is an impending danger.

I also believe this happened in lower Antelope Canyon because ladders were mentioned. There are no ladders at Upper Antelope Canyon.

Utahtea
utahtea 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


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:03 AM.