Moab area or Zion?

May 1st, 2010, 04:02 PM
  #1  
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Moab area or Zion?

I am driving across country (from Idaho to Illinois). I have a little flexibility and am trying to decide what to do with the 2-3 extra days I have. I am not from the West, so any type of nature is pretty amazing to me. I will also be traveling with a friend and her small dog (who we have talked about potentially boarding while in the park, although we have heard people do take there dogs in). Any suggestions as to if we should drive straight down to Moab or if we should spend the few more hours to drive over to Zion (or try and get both in)? We are both fairly fit and like the outdoors. We were thinking of camping too. Any suggestions or information that will help us make the decision would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Amanda
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May 2nd, 2010, 03:51 AM
  #2  
 
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Doing both in 2 or 3 days would be impossible.You could easily spend 3 days in either park so if I were you I choose Moab.You"ll be in the immediate vicinity of canyonlands and Arches N.Park which both are amazing.We stayed there in 2002 at the Apache motel.This is the place where John Wayne stayed when they were making the J.Ford westerns in the neighbourhood.Paul
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May 2nd, 2010, 06:25 AM
  #3  
 
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I can't say I have a favorite. They are both Fantastic!! Do just one area. If you are adventurous checkout www.deserthighlights.com I have been with them twice and it is amazing. Don't take the dog in as you will not be able to hike any of the trails. You might have time for a Deadhorse Point or Goblin Valley if you are going that way through Utah. If going Zion is a little out of your way, then stick with Moab as this will allow you more time. Although, the drive to Zion would be on HWY 12 which is pretty hard to beat in itself. What month would this be in?
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May 2nd, 2010, 07:44 AM
  #4  
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thanks to you both for the suggestions. I am actually going this month (in a few weeks). I have a friend who is going to be camping in Zion at the same time, which is what prompted the potential two-park-crazy-mini-trip (We had been planning on just Moab). I have heard that drive on Hwy 12 is amazing too, which was giving me more pause to actually consider hitting both areas.
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May 2nd, 2010, 07:58 AM
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Well if you are going to be that close to Zion, you might want to spend a day in Bryce. There is a ton to do along hwy 12, just have to pick and choose. Since it is this month the weather would be better for Moab. Still good at both places. Later in the summer Bryce and Zion are nicer because Moab is HOT. You can't go wrong with either of them. You will drive through Cap Reef, it is my least favorite. However, you might want to stop at the Fruit Orchard and have a picnic with the deer. I wouldn't do any hiking there, other places are more spectacular. Goblin Valley is a really neat place to stop at for an hour. Are you up for Hiking Angels Landing or The Narrows in Zion. Those are two of the best hikes!!!! One if unique and the other is challenging physically and mentally.
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May 2nd, 2010, 07:59 AM
  #6  
 
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Board the dog in Springdale near Zion or in Moab.
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May 2nd, 2010, 09:00 AM
  #7  
 
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To add to spirobulldog's suggestion, there is a Doggie Dude Ranch just outside of Springdale (I'm not sure of the actual name) where you can board your dog while you visit Zion.
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May 2nd, 2010, 12:16 PM
  #8  
 
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Your friends may have "brought the dog in" but since dogs aren't allowed on trails in these parks, it has to stay in the car or in the parking lot. Which means that you won't be able to leave the parking lot, either, since it'll be hot and your dog won't be able to hang out in the car.
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May 6th, 2010, 03:17 PM
  #9  
dcd
 
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If you use google directions or something similar, you'll see that you'd burn a day going from one place to the other. Having just returned from 12 nites out there hitting all the Utah NP's, I'd suggest picking either Moab or Zion as a base.

Moab of course lets you see Arches and the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands. (In case you don't know, Canyonlands should probably be 3 separate parks because it's huge and has different entrances for it's 3 well defined areas, Island in the Sky, Needles, and the Maze.)

From Zion, you could day trip to Bryce, which is about a 1.5 hour drive each way. With the long summer days, you could easily do the highlights there: hike one of the trails thru the hoodoos and stop at the 4 main overlooks. That would give you a good feel for the place.

If it were me, I'd probably pick Zion/Bryce for 3 days just because there's not a lot of casual hiking in Canyonlands' Island in the Sky district where there are several scenic drives with lots of overlooks, many of which have several short trails to the rim. Just so you know, the entrance to the Needles district is about 2 hours south of Moab by car. Told you it was huge. From Moab to the Island in the Sky entrance is about 45 minutes by car. But I don't know your itinerary so I don't know whether Zion is out of your way. If it is, stick with Moab.
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May 9th, 2010, 06:51 PM
  #10  
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Thanks everyone! Your input has been really helpful in planning.

Amanda
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