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Southern Utah Trip

Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 08:11 AM
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I got a free road map from dept of trans, UT. I emailed them.

I don't think you're doing anything off known roads.

Just enter it all in google maps and you'll see it.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 09:23 AM
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Couple things to add: Bryce will still be in winter mode in late March. Average low is 17, average number of days in March that the temp drops below freezing (32F) is 31. So you are guaranteed to have winter temps there. If there is recent snow I don't know that the main park road will be fully open all the way to the end of the park, but that shouldn't matter as all the best viewpoints are in the first half.

Also, late March will have a full moon and some of the parks may have ranger-led full moon hikes. Bryce has a full moon snowshoe hike.....their website also mentions that trails are likely to be snow packed and icy so crampons are highly recommended.

Personally I think I would try to find lodging in Springdale, I think Cable Mountain is outside the east entrance, right? That means you have to do extra driving to get to the main canyon vs. staying in Springdale. Depends on what you can find in Springdale, but to me it seems like you are already doing a lot of driving so I'd try to minimize it whenever possible.

Expect winter conditions at Grand Canyon and Flagstaff as well.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:13 AM
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Thanks wearewe for the idea of a snowshoe hike in Bryce. Cable Mountain is one mile outside of the entrance to the park and is in between Springdale and the park entrance. What you are thinking of is Zion Mountain Ranch. I realized that Bryce would be cold but since I am staying there for only one day and I am from Boston so I think that one day will be fine. Is the Delorme map better than the dept of trans Utah one? I guess I will not be doing off roading but in case the GPS dies, I never rely on technology too much. Wearewe, I posted a new itinerary around August 20, that changed Flagstaff to Las Vegas. Thanks again for all the interesting facts that I would never find anywhere else.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 01:46 PM
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ds,

Wildlife is plentiful. Zion has wild turkeys (which I just love) and ringtail cats (nocturnal), deer, and all kinds of lizards, hawks, ravens and other birds. Bryce has deer and graceful little pronghorn antelope, again all the birds and reptiles, including rattlers so wear the proper footwear and watch where you step. Driving down hwy. 191 between I-70 and Moab, you should see lots of pronghorn if you keep your eyes peeled. They are in the park too.

Of course, all these places have coyotes and skunks. in the Henry Mountains south of Moab, there are bison. Mountain lions and bear are around, but you probably won't see them. Elk too in the mountains.

Hope this helps!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 02:11 PM
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I wasn't trying to discourage you about the cold, just make sure you're prepared. Do look into buying a cheap pair of crampons for Bryce (and probably Grand Canyon) if you want to hike below the rim.

I don't know about the maps, but my gut feeling is you won't need them since you are travelling on highways from park to park. I think if you simply stick to your itinerary and have a simple map which shows the route you'll take then you will be fine. If you are someone who might want to deviate and go exploring off your planned route, then a more detailed map would be necessary. I would feel safer with a Delorme over a DOT map because Delorme is more detailed. But again, I don't think you'll need one, just print out your route and go with that. I'm sure you could pick up area maps in various tourist info places as well.

I've seen desert bighorn sheep in Zion and Arches, pronghorn in Bryce and elk and deer at the Grand Canyon.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 02:10 PM
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Hello everybody, I think that I just had a small aha moment in the planning of my itinerary. I just realized(actually an hour ago) that I was flying out of Las Vegas on Saturday. I thought why should I leave a day early instead of seeing something else with an extra day. I started looking at suggestions in my forum and other topics and I found the suggestion of Canyon de Chelley and Page. I am not sure if driving from Moab to Natural Bridges to Goosenecks and Kayenta and the next day going to Monument Valley and Page would be good or if I should just simply add another day to Bryce or Capitol Reef. At first I planned flying out on Saturday because it was a little bit cheaper but if it is worth it to stay longer than I definetely would. BTW My parents decided that they are coming with me, isn't that just great!!! They are fine with hiking so luckily I won't have to adjust my hiking plans. I guess that they did not want to have to plan their own trip when they could come along with me. Thanks in advance to any and all suggestions.
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 03:19 AM
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Never mind, my mind was playing tricks on me, it turns out that I was leaving Las Vegas on Sunday either way. Sorry, wish I could have another day off.
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Do you guys know what I just realized, that on this trip I can be near 70 in Zion and go cross-country skiing in Bryce. That seems so weird for someone from New England who goes cross-country skiing in the winter and has 70's in late spring or summer.
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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A couple of years ago I hiked to Lower Calf Creek Falls in sunny, 95 degree weather.

That evening a front came thru and the next day as we drove into Bryce Canyon our thermometer read 37 degrees and there were snow flurries.
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 02:38 PM
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I guess that that is Utah for you
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 03:31 PM
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I just read some of this again. There is lodging available in Zion Lodge and you are staying somewhere else? I love staying in park when I get the chance.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 02:14 AM
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I agree with spiro. Even though Springdale is very close to Zion, for me there's nothing like being inpark.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 02:24 AM
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OK so everybody is saying that staying inside the park is way better right? Just trying to make sure that I understand what everyone is saying, and I just want to make sure that the 100 dollars extra I spend will get me a much better location and scenery and convenience.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 02:38 AM
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Yes, if you are there for really experiencing the parks. If you think that vacation is all about the 5 * perks though, you will be disappointed.

The parks are so much less crowded before 10 am and after 5 pm and you can participate in the ranger programs in the evenings. You won't be driving on small curvy roads with wildlife popping out before sunrise or after dark.

Do be aware that you need to get out of your room to see the spectacular scenery in places like Grand Canyon, since the view is mostly down from the rim, you need to be very close to see it and very few rooms, even on the rim, can see much in that direction. But you can get up take a short walk, perhaps see elk or deer on the way to the most spectacular view anywhere.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 02:44 AM
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Okay, I think I am going there to really experience the parks so I will take your words for it because I am guessing that with all of this info you had to have been there a few times. Thanks again. In the Grand Canyon I am getting the cheapest room I can find in park so that I can be next to the rim so that I have the most time to see all of the overlooks and views in only one day.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 03:02 AM
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If you are having trouble finding in park lodging, call and keep calling as people make reservations a year in advance and than cancel when the time gets close. Sometimes the cancellations don't make it to the web. In my years of innocence I drove into Yellowstone in late June and asked for a room, they said none were available, I asked them to check for a cancellation and there was one, right there at Lake Hotel cabins.

While I wouldn't say it is the best way to do it, there are often rooms in March that you can get when you walk in and ask. I've even scored el Tovar that way in April.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 07:58 AM
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You definitely want to be in the park at Grand Canyon!

I don't think it matters quite as much at Zion and Bryce, though if this is your Park Trip you will get more from it if you stay in the parks there as well.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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Just west of Kayenta/Monument Valley (if you work that into your driving route) is the Navajo National Park and it has some good Cliff Dwellings (think a smaller Canyon de Chelly). http://www.nps.gov/nava/index.htm

And for the South Rim of the Grand Canyon - I would keep checking back and see if you can stay in say Bright Angel Lodge with a view overlooking the rim, v. Maswik which as I recall is about a half mile away from the rim?
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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tomsd, angel lodge only has double rooms without anything including a shower. I am not spending my money on something that has a good view but no SHOWER!!! Maswik Lodge looks great to me even if it is not on the edge.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 02:56 PM
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They all look so cool that I want to visit Goosenecks, Monument Valley and Navajo Monument on the same day. If I calculate right there are 12 and a half hours of daylight. The driving is 7 hours and 30 minutes at Goosenecks, hour and a half at Monument Valley, and an hour or two here gives me a grand total of 10 or 11 hours of sightseeing which gives me an extra hour of daylight. It will be really close but if I run out of time I can always cut out one place. Thanks for the place that you suggested.
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