Please help with Utah itineraries for May

Jan 9th, 2011, 06:45 PM
  #1  
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Please help with Utah itineraries for May

We are flying to Vegas a week before Memorial Day, and flying back home from Salt Lake City 10 days later. We will stay 3 days in Vegas, and then have 7 full days to see the National Parks, and drive to SLC.
We have been to Grand Canyon before, so this time we would like to see Zion, Bryce, and Arches.
I am not sure if we have time to see anything else. If we had time, I would love to stay in Page, and see the Antelope point Canyon
What are your suggestions on how to split my time between the parks?
I was thinking:
1 night - Night around Zion
1 - around Bryce
2 - around Page
2 - around Moab
Drive to SLC via Price.
I am not positive, it is a very good plan, so I am looking for your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you in advance!
helen63 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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Well, it seems like trying to go to both Bryce and Page will involve a lot of extra driving. Going all the way to Page just to go on a relatively short guided tour doesn't seem worth it to me.

Plus I think you are short changing Zion, which is just spectacular. But if you have your heart set on Antelope Canyon then skip Bryce and spend the extra night in Zion. My $0.02.

Have fun, that part of Utah is one of my favorite places.
Nelson is online now  
Jan 9th, 2011, 07:52 PM
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Two thoughts. 1) We loved Zion, stayed at Desert Pearl. I would recommend two days to get in a good hike. 2) Don't drive to Bryce at night. We made that mistake (once), the deer graze on the side of the road and jump out at unsuspecting passers by.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 02:27 AM
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You have enough time. I note that you mentioned 10 days but only account for about 6 or 7 in your plan.

I would spend most of 2 days in Zion. Then drive to Bryce late in the afternoon well before dark. That drive is about 90 minutes.

Get up early in the morning and go to Bryce Point for sunrise. After grabbing some breakfast do a hike that takes you down into the hoodoos. Leave Bryce for Page by about 4PM.

Antelope Canyon isn't the only sight around Page. You have "The Best Dam View" (15 minutes) and Horseshoe Bend (well under 2 hours) as well. These three sights do not take very long as they're all within 20 minutes of each other. Unless you want to do other things in the area there's no need to spend more than 1 night there. And that's assuming you left Bryce at about 4PM. Just make sure you visit the Page sights between 11AM and 2PM when sun is high in the sky.

I might even add another day to Moab as not only is there Arches NP but Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point State Park as well. Also, you may want to spend a half day rafting on the Colorado.

It's a 4-5 hour drive from Moab to Salt Lake City. If you leave in the morning, you may want a slight detour to Goblin Valley.

You can see photos of some trips to the area at:

www.travelwalks.com
Myer is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 03:49 AM
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I agree with Myer, you have plenty of time to do your trip. One thing that I wonder is why 3 days in Vegas? If you have never been there, staying the night you arrive to get acclimated and walk the strip and perhaps the night before you fly back out should be plenty.

In the Page area there is a neat half day smooth water raft trip on the Colorado river from Glen Canyon Dam to Lee's Ferry that we did in the morning before we went to Antelope Canyon. We had hiked out to the Horseshoe bend overlook the afternoon before on the way into Page.

Are you going to Price to hit Nine Mile Canyon?

I also have some photos at www.flickr.com/photos/emalloy2009/sets in the 2008 and 2010 sets.

Have a great trip!
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Jan 10th, 2011, 09:15 AM
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Do you know what you want to do in Zion, Arches, Bryce? that will determine how long to stay at each. Do you like adventurous hikes? Strenuous?, easy? what?

I haven't been to Antelope Canyon, so I can't compare the two. And as others have said, there are other things in that area too. But, another great slot canyon(on your route, and is doesn't require a guide) is Little Wildhorse Canyon. It is near Goblin Valley. Goblin Valley is a "must see" in my opinion, since you are driving within 10 miles of it anyway. If you look at Todd's Hiking Guide on the wegoogle it), it is one of the few hikes that he rates 5 stars.

Myer, I think the first 3 days are in Vegas. I don't know that I would stay there that long unless I wanted to gamble a lot or see a lot of shows.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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don't know how i got that smiley i meant look on the web
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 10:28 AM
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Guys, thank you SO much for your responses and ideas so far!

Just to clarify. Yes, first three days are in Vegas. I agree, it is completely unjustifiable , but this is my DH big b-day, and he happened to LOVE Vegas. I do not know why. Last time we were there about 12 years ago. So, these 3 days are for him. On the other hand, I plan to see 4 Cirque De Soleil shows to justify my time there. Maybe, I can cut down to two days in Vegas.
As far, as what we are looking for – pretty sceneries, medium complexity hikes, and just nice time outdoors surrounded by beauty. Most definitely, we would like to explore the parks on foot, rather than by car.
I wanted to stop in Price for the Prehistoric museum (dinosaurs remains).
So, I have 7 full days (so far, without cutting down Vegas). So, the last day, will be spent driving from Moab, Goblin Valley, possibly Price to SLC.
With this I have 6 days for parks.
With this I can do the following:
Zion, Bryce, and Moab or Zion, Bryce, Page and Moab? With 6 days, it seems like it is better to leave Page out of the plan. However, if I cut down Vegas, then I can add Page.
helen63 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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In November DW and I had our anniversary trip to S. Utah. We took Amtrak into SLC, rented a car and drove to Green River.
There are no 3.5 star rooms in Green River but where we stayed was adequate. The rooms in Moab are nicer but pricey. We hiked in several places in Arches, a short hike in the "Island in the Sky" section of Canyonlands, a short hike in Goblin Valley SP and a short hike in Capitol Reef NP.
I was unhappy that the prehistoric museum was closed at the time we went back through on the way to SLC. We did manage to see some dinosaur tracks about 25 miles N of Moab (virtual geocache). You should drive highway 12 to get from Bryce over to Capitol Reef and Goblin Valley.
I would avoid the rental car dropoff charge and drive back to Las Vegas from Price and enjoy 1 last night in Vegas before your flight home.
tomfuller is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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Also, in Arches you should try to book the Fiery Furnace ranger-led hike.

You are going when the days are long. You should be able to fit it in.

Two full days in Zion leaving for Bryce about 5-5:30.

Wake up early on the 3rd day for sunrise at Bryce Point, have a bite and hike Navajo Loop down and Queen's Garden back up. View one or two viewpoint (Natural Bridge).

If you leave Bryce by 4:30 you can get to Page by 7:30PM.

Visit the sight between 11 and 2PM and continue on to Moab. This is a bit of a drive. 5 hours but doable leaving Page 3-4 PM.

That's 4 days so far.

Then spend a couple of days in Arches (or try for Canyonland & Dead horse point - they're right near each other) if you have more time.

That's 6 days.

Then on the next day Goblin Valey, Price and on to SLC.
Myer is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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Also, in Arches you should try to book the Fiery Furnace ranger-led hike.

You are going when the days are long. You should be able to fit it in.

Two full days in Zion leaving for Bryce about 5-5:30.

Wake up early on the 3rd day for sunrise at Bryce Point, have a bite and hike Navajo Loop down and Queen's Garden back up. View one or two viewpoint (Natural Bridge).

If you leave Bryce by 4:30 you can get to Page by 7:30PM.

Visit the sight between 11 and 2PM and continue on to Moab. This is a bit of a drive. 5 hours but doable leaving Page 3-4 PM.

That's 4 days so far.

Then spend a couple of days in Arches (or try for Canyonland & Dead horse point - they're right near each other) if you have more time.

That's 6 days.

Then on the next day Goblin Valey, Price and on to SLC.
Myer is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 02:15 PM
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Myer, perfect! Sounds like a plan! Thank you so much!

Tomfuller, I already booked open jaw flight (fly into Vegas, and Fly out from SLC). I wanted to see a little bit of SLC. On the departure date, we fly out of SLC in the late afternoon, so I have some time to see the city.

Thank you for other tips!
helen63 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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helen63,

I don't do difficult things. No canyoneering or scrambling.
However, I'm non-stop as you can see by the itinerary I made up.

That's not for everybody. But if it is for you then what I wrote will work.

A few years ago we left from SLC. We stayed at Little America. It's really very inexpensive for a nice hotel.

The hotel has motel rooms in the back. That way you just drive the car up to the building door and load luggage. We toured the sights in the morning and then just got in the car and drove off to the airport which is 10 minutes from downtown.

The free downtown trolly stops right outside the hotel. All of the sights were within walking distance.
Myer is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 04:51 PM
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We might see you somewhere along the way as we are going to be there beginning Thursday thru the Memorial Day weekend.

I think I might skip Arches or Page. I just think I would enjoy it more seeing all the sights. For instance, I would surely want to see Rainbow Bridge if I were in Page/Lake Powell area.

I think it depend on just how many hikes you do @ Zion, Bryce, and in between. In Between Bryce and Arches would be Calf Creek Falls, a stop @ Capitol Reef, Goblin Valley, Little Wildhorse, Dead Horse Point. I really like all these places as much as the National Parks- they are great areas. I haven't been to Calf Creek, but going to work it in on this next trip. Of course, adding Page, Antelope Canyon, etc. takes more time. I don't really think you can go wrong with any of them, they are all unique and really great places to visit.

I am a little opposite of Myer, I love Canyoneering and the hikes like The Narrows and Angels Landing. These parks offer a variety of hikes and their is something there to please everyone.

I would try to get lodging "in the park" if at all possible.

Come up with hiking, tubing, horseback riding, 4 wheel drive tours, etc. that you might want to do at each place and then that will determine how long you need at each place.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 07:00 PM
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Myer, I am the same way. I like doing nothing super difficult, but a lot of things, so non-stop... So, your type of plan, works really well for me... And a special thanks for SLC suggestions!

Spirobulldog, my DH is more like you, loves all these difficult and long hikes, but, unfortunately, he has a wrong partner for it Thank you for pointing out all these different places. I will do more reading on this.
We will be happy to see you on a trail somewhere! We will be there the same week (starting parks on Monday, May 23).

I'll see what's available in terms of lodgings in the parks.

Thank you again everyone for suggestions! What a great help!
helen63 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 07:14 PM
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Emalloy, great pics! Thank you for sharing.
Dinosaur NM looks really cool, but I guess, this will be left for next time...
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Jan 11th, 2011, 02:43 AM
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helen63, spiro,

I might be interested in some of the adventurous activities if I was 15 or 20 years younger. But I know my limitations.

Some of the sights spiro mentions are definitely worth the effort but probably wouldn't fit in with seeing the Page area. Out of the travel path.

In the past few years I've been to Goblin Valley (and it's grown up cousin Devils Garden in Escalante), Lower Calf Creek Falls (I found the hike about a half hour too long for the middle of the day in the unshaded heat - but beautiful waterfall setting), was just in Zion with my daughter and we hiked Angel's Landing as far as Scouts Lookout (she wanted to go all the way but having parents, a husband and daughter I vetoed the idea) and spent a day in Capitol Reef (not one of my favorite parks although a couple of hikes such as Hickman Bridge were very good).

But no canyoneering and not the Narrows with a camera hanging from my neck.

A lot of good sights to see.
Myer is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 05:00 AM
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My DW and I both loved Arches NP. My DW carried a golf seat/cane out on the 1.7-2 mile hike out to Delicate Arch she had knee replacement last spring. She didn't carry it on the hike out to Landscape Arch. Nice fins/slots on that hike.
I hiked for about 45 minutes in Goblin Valley to find a geocache while she stayed in the parking lot. It was handy to have the handheld GPS to find my way back to the car.
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Jan 11th, 2011, 06:17 AM
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tomfuller,
I had hip replacement surgery a year and a half ago and now I'm pain free. Of course not supposed to do impact activities.

The Delicate Arch hike is interesting as it's not difficult but uphill all the way there and in altitude. That makes it easy on the way back. Do this an hour before sunset for an amazing sight.
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Jan 14th, 2011, 02:35 PM
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My bias is to maximize time in Zion as I love it so much, we have gone 1 -2 times per year for the last 10 or 11 years. Desert Pearl is a very nice hotel in the town of Springdale, which we've enjoyed, but our preference still is to stay at the Zion National Park Lodge inside the main canyon. By staying inside the park, you can walk outside your hotel and start to hike or stroll along the magnificent trails. It's a very civilized park; some trails are actually paved. Please make sure you take the shuttle to the Temple of Sinewava stop and walk along the Riverside Walk. My favorite times for this would be morning or just before dusk. There are other fabulous trails but this one sets the tone for the whole park. The Narrows hike (in the Virgin River itself) is a fantastic experience, so consider doing it after consulting with the rangers about water and weather conditions for safety.

To me, Page would seem out of the way and take a lot of time out of your other plans. Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands and other national monuments along the way offer more than you can imagine for explorations. However, my Australian cousins managed to do all this and more in 10 days, so I guess it can be done.
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