Please help with National Park/hiking trip

Old Feb 19th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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Please help with National Park/hiking trip

We would greatly appreciate your assistance with planning a one week trip in May to a National Park(s) or State Park(s) in Utah, or Colorado or Arizona. We have been to Colorado once on a ski trip, so this will be our first experience really seeing this part of the country.

We would prefer not to travel all over and just see a little bit of everything, but to linger, and really see and experience things. We will rent a car. No children.

We are open to whatever you think would be the most memorable trip, we hike, photograph and love to be out in nature. We also do not like crowded touristy places.

We were considering: Bryce or Zion or Grand Teton or Yelowstone, or whatever you suggest.

We will be leaving from NYC so if you could recommend the best arrival point that would work I would appreciate that as well.

Also, any tips on accommodations. We like quiet, peaceful places with beautiful scenery.

Thanks to the Fodor's travel experts we were able to plan our last trip to Italy and that turned out just wonderful.

Thank you for any information you may be able to provide,

happy trails,
Aranda
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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May can be a little iffy in the high country. for example as i just noted a second ago trail ridge road in rocky mountain national park is closed until late may.

It has snowed on me in yellowstone the first week of june....

But southern utah, although there will be snow at higher eleveations, you should be able to see alot.

I am always a moab fan, but you may want to stick to springdale and visiting zion and bryce. these parks along with capital reef, monument valley and escalante area should be accessible.

there is debate on where to fly into. one suggestion is Las vegas. you might also want to try salt lake city.

May may be good for zion, but you won't be able to hike the narrows at that time, i am sure spring run off will be high. and one of the best hikes, angel's landing may not be doable due to ice on the trail but there is a chance you will be able to hike....

If you want to stick in one place maybe moab utah is for you. you can see many different venues from there, but everything is a drive except arches np.

Arizona, the north rim may not be accessible.
but the desert parks will be good. (suaguaro)

colorado will still have snow in most places. not sure if mesa verde will be completely open that early. When i was in telluride in april we had major snow which i am sure was still around a month later!

My favorite place to hike in the US is utah. (glacier national park is right up there too tho!!)
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 07:17 PM
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Zion and Bryce are truly memorable places - worth some time, especially if you enjoy hiking, but also just walking, strolling. Geologically interesting.
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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For a May trip, I recommend basing yourself at Moab. As much as I adore Yellowstone / Teton, May is way too early for those parks. Zion / Bryce is another great combo, but Moab has the widest variety of activities. Driving around to beautiful scenery? Yes. Hiking? Yes. Mountain biking? Yes. 4w drive exploring? Yes. Boat rides? Yes. For a one-week trip, that would be the place to go.

I recommend flying into Salt Lake, driving the half-day to Moab, staying the whole time there, and then doing any of the activities I mentioned. You may find a week isn't enough.
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 03:18 AM
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Fly to L.Vegas.Car to Springdale(Best western hotel is great)along the road visit the Valley of Fire loop.Zion visit then on to Bruce canyon(unique)-then on to Page(lake Powell)-then to South rim G.Can.-eventually you could go first to Kayenta and visit Monument valley and then return to the G.C.You'll have the time of your life.Dont know about weather in May ,we always go after Labor day.Paul
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 03:35 AM
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You say "a week".

Is that 7 nights or 8?
Many here could suggest
an itinerary if we knew more
about your time frame.
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 05:52 AM
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We've visited Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Rocky Mtn. Natl. Park in Colorado twice. Tetons were beautiful, but May is early for any mountainous place. We got snowed on in June at all three in the higher areas. Trailridge Rd. as someone said won't open until June. We were there two years ago and the road was completely closed due to an avalanche.

Very beautiful. We live in Ks. and drove to all three, so I can't advise on flying in. I would love to visit the others mentioned by other posters here. But out of the three we visited, Yellowstone and Rocky Mtn. are my favs. Lots to see and do. Many hiking trails. Tetons have just the one range, which is as I say, beautiful, but just don't remember there being as much hiking to do.
Good luck and have fun!
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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Peteyboy: 7 nights is all we have. I greatly you help. I'm reading everything.
I still don't know what to do, I didn't realize the weather was a issue still in May. We can go any time in May.

Looking forward everyone's help!

deep peace,
Aranda
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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I'm afraid late May would bring more tourists wherever you go, although the mountainous/northern parks would be more accessible then.

<We also do not like crowded touristy places.>

Given this statement, I would agree with PaulRabe's recommendation to go to Moab. If you go early May you shouldn't have big crowds and the weather might be a bit cooler. Look at some photos of that area and make sure that's the type of nature you want to surround yourself with for a week. It's beautiful to look at, but it's a harsh environment.
 
Old Feb 20th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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Hi Aranda,

Either Zion and Bryce, or Moab will be wonderful in May. Icy trails won't be a problem in Zion at all. Even Bryce should be OK. We are having an abnormally low snowfall year, so by May liking in Bryce will probably be fine.

May is too early for Yellowstone and the Tetons. Mid-June is the earliest I would recommend for that area. That time is great for wildflowers and wildlife! Lots of babies.

Have fun
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 08:31 PM
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If you decide to spend some time in Zion, we stayed in our favorite accomodation ever there. It's a 2 bedroom rental house called "Grant Gulch" (search for Zion +Grant Gulch). The house is built into the side of a hill and is surrounded by the most gorgeous mountains. It's down a dirt road and remote, but only a 10 minute drive to Zion's main entrance. Hike down the dirt road 1/2 mile and you get to the ghost town where Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid was filmed. I believe the rent was about $200 per night. We still talk about this amazing house!!
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 08:43 PM
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I just checked and the website for the house I mentioned above is www.grantgulch.com. There are photos on the website and you can see the amazing views you get INSIDE the house too. It's a little less than I remembered - $175 a night.
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Old Mar 4th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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As usual I receive the BEST information from my Fodor travel friends. With everything you have shared on National Parks I'm sure our next trip will be just as memorable as our previous trip that was guided by your comments.

deep peace,
Aranda
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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I second what tovarich has suggested. I love that whole area. Grant Gulch sure looks incredible! I will have to check that one out further. We loved Flanigan's in Springdale. They have a great city bus system that will take you right to the park entrance from the front or your hotel, or close by. The park also has a great bus system, so it is so quiet in the park. Zion should be quite warm and Bryce should be good by then, too. We went over Easter one year and it was great. A bit icy at the beginning or our hike into Bryce but it quickly warmed up and it wasn't dangerous, just in the shades areas toward the top. You could try something different that I love and that is a trip to Red Mountain Spa. It is a hiking spa with lots of other great activities and a gorgeous setting. Great food, all-inclusive. It is heaven! This is a wonderful area to explore with endless options!
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 08:36 AM
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Bryce may still have snow in May. We had snow flurries in late June. Moab might be the best bet.
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Old Mar 24th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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I agree with the group--Moab is amazing country and Arches is my favorite national park. Lots to see if you want to travel a bit from there--Canyonlands, some great hiking (and a slot canyon or two) in the San Rafael Swell. You could even take in the amazing Anasazi ruins at Hovenweep or Mesa Verde.

As a side note, I visited both Bryce and Zion last year right before Memorial Day and the weather was amazing but the crowds were not!
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Old Mar 24th, 2007, 05:25 PM
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Traveller - We will at Bryce and Zion the week before Memorial Day. Glad to hear the crowds are not bad at that time. Can't wait!
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