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Least crowded national parks during Memorial Day weekend?

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Least crowded national parks during Memorial Day weekend?

Old May 20th, 2007, 02:48 PM
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Least crowded national parks during Memorial Day weekend?

Because of our uncertain itinerary, we haven't booked any lodging for our southern Utah trip. It's from May 26 to June 3.

Starting from Vegas, which national park should we go to first that would give us a good chance of getting some sort of lodging in or close to the national park? Motels and campgrounds (preferably not too primitive) are ok.

Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Escalante, Canyonland, Glen Canyon (others I've missed)?

Zion and Bryce are well known. How about the rest? We could go to some less popular place first and in the middle of the week go to the more popular places.

Thanks for your suggestions!

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Old May 20th, 2007, 06:22 PM
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If they are national parks, virtually all of them will be very crowded.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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I think you are in trouble for Memorial Day Weekend. I thought about doing Arches and/or Canyonlands about two months ago for Memorial Day Weekend and most of the lodging was already booked. I would get on the phone and hope for a cancellation. I consider all the areas you mentioned well known. Good luck!
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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:05 PM
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when I saw your title I thought you were asking which nat'l parks nationwide would be least crowded. And some more remote one aren't too crowded. But you are going to a really heavily traveled area.

I'd NEVER try to plan a trip like that less than a week out from a major holiday weekend. Your best bet is probably camping - but good luck!
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Old May 20th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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wow JC,

All of your proposed stops will be booked solid. If you like to primitive camp on BLM land, you will be OK. This means no running water, no toilets - of any kind. Must have your own portapotty or dig your own. Carry out all your own trash, etc. Certainly no restaurants very nearby.

Otherwise, call ahead and see if you luck into a cancellation. If not, and you are unprepared to camp, don't go.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 08:43 PM
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I agree with the others and think you're in a bit of trouble. I'm at Bryce as we speak, and while it isn't as crowded as Zion, there aren't as many lodging options close to Bryce. I overheard a ranger in Zion today remark that Memorial Day is the busiest weekend of the entire year.

Cedar Breaks wasn't listed, but it would almost certainly be the least busy of all those parks, and I believe the road into the park will be open by the weekend. The problem will be lodging.

You can try the reservation system for camping and see if you find anything, or you can try to get to the non-reservable campground early each day to get a spot.

You mentioned 7 different parks/monuments in 9 days, and realistically you won't have much time to see things if you stick with that idea unless you're just driving through, hitting the major scenic overlooks and maybe doing a short hike. I'd cut back on the itinerary and at this point, the availability of lodging/camping will probably help dictate what needs to be cut.
 
Old May 21st, 2007, 10:24 AM
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Thanks, all, for your replies. You guys do scare me about lodging availability.

We'd had to Sequoia NP one July 4th weekend w/o reservation and managed to get a campsite there. But maybe we were lucky. I didn't realize the NP's in southern Utah are so popular.

For Zion, we only want to hike the narrows and then move on, as we've been there before. I'll call around to see if I could book anything.

Thanks!
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Old May 25th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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Hmmm, this does not bode well for our extremely vague plans...

Lee Ann
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Old May 25th, 2007, 03:38 PM
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Check out Kings Canyon park in California (on the map - next to Sequoia NP). The park is as beautiful as Yosemite, only without the crowds.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 11:19 PM
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If you are camping, then you might be able to luck into some spots. Some people move from place to place on almost every day. Zion and Bryce both have first come first serve campgrounds, but be there first thing in the morning to get a site.

Glen Canyon will probably be the worst spot and Capitol Reef will fill up fast, but the least crowded.

Good Luck!

Utahtea

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Old May 23rd, 2016, 06:02 AM
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emalloy: This is a nine year old thread topped by a spammer . . . .
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