Three full days in Arches or Zion?

Aug 17th, 2011, 02:57 AM
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Three full days in Arches or Zion?

I'm on the final stages for my Grand Circle trip next October, but still there area some decisions I have to make. Which National park needs more days: Arches or Zion? While in Arches plan to visit Island in the Sky, Dead Horse Point and, of course, Arches. We are not hikers. Just want to do some easy walks (we are travelling with two elderlys) and visit the most beautiful or dramatic places. Will appreciate your comments.

Gilawi02 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 05:44 AM
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Arches needs more time than Zion....both have many short easy walks however. In Moab (Arches) be sure to take an easy float trip through Canyonlands ... great scenery. Many fun jeep tours also! Both places are spectacular!
ladystack is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 05:57 AM
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Agree with ladystack Arches needs more time than Zion.
Between the two try Bryce Canyon and Route 12 over to Torrey.
From Torrey, make a short stop at Goblin Valley on the way to Green River-Crescent Jct. and Moab. Unless it is very hot, try to make the hike out to Delicate Arch.
We also liked the hike out to Landscape Arch with a walk through a slot canyon.
tomfuller is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 06:10 AM
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3rd vote for Arches.
baldrick is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 06:25 AM
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Thanks for your replies so far. Any suggestion on how to spend my three days in Moab? Is it better a float trip or the speedboat trip?
Gilawi02 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 08:40 AM
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I'm not sure why everyone is saying Arches needs more time than Zion?? I can see Arches and most of the hikes there, in a day
Now Moab needs more time than one day, but that is because there is more to do in Moab than visit Arches NP.

Zions on the other hand I have spent three or four days at a time there and still haven't done all I wanted to do. If you are into hiking you need at least three days just to do the basic hikes from the main canyon. I LOVE Zions!
InSandy is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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Float trip is waaaay better. More relaxing, more natural. If you have elderly people with you, you may not want to do some of the jeep tours--you can get really jostled around. You can do a self-guided driving tour of local rock art sites--really cool. And at a slower pace, then you wouldn't really need to do many more activities other than see the parks by driving, looking at view points etc.
StantonHyde is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 08:44 AM
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You mentioned you're not hikers but you want to do easy walks. What's the difference between an easy hike and a walk.

You also mentioned two elderlys. I'm also not sure what that is.

You can stop at Balanced Rock. No hiking.

You can go to the Windows section. The parking lot is in the middle and you can walk to several arches.

In Canyonlands (Island in the Sky) I suggest the very short and easy hike to Mesa Arch. It's the only arch you'll see (even in Arches NP) where you approach the arch at the top.
Myer is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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Thanks again to all. Myer,you are right, I should clarify some concepts. When I talk about easy walks I mean easy hikes. The two elderlys are on their 70's. Now I'm not so sure about how many days I need in Moab. Considering the factors mentioned, will two days will be enough to visit Arches, do a flot trip and visit Island in the Sky and Dead Horse point?

Regarding Zion. What would you do if you have two days or three days?
Gilawi02 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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There's plenty to fill 3 days in the Moab area. If you aren't into difficult hikes, I think you can do Zion NP in less than 2 days. My vote is for Arches, Canyonlands and Moab area.
DebInTN is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 06:35 PM
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Things to do in Moab Area with short walks.

Arches: Windows section and double arch are both very short walks and you can see them as you walk so if the older people get tired, they can just stop and enjoy. Park Avenue is another great place to go as far as you like. Landscape Arch is a mile hike but not a lot of elevation gain so that might be possible. I would think that Delicate Arch hike at 3 miles round trip will be out, but there is a scenic overlook you can drive out to, to see it from a distance. If you're not doing any long hikes, you can pretty much see Arches in one day.

Canyonlands, Island in the Sky District. Make sure you go to the Green River Overlook. Some compare this to the Grand Canyon. Upheaval Dome requires hiking. Grand View is another great view point and there is a walk but there are steps in the beginning. If those don't stop you, then go as far as you like and come back. Mesa Arch is only 3/4 miles round trip and hopefully the elder in the group can make this hike because it's well worth it. Canyonlands with a few short hikes can also be seen in a day.

Other things to do in Moab. Drive out scenic Hwy 128 to Fisher Towers or even out to Dewey Bridge. Very scenic drive along the Colorado River going east. Drive the Potash Road, Hwy 279 along the Colorado River going west. Look for the petroglyphs on the cliffs. The spots are marked. Drive Kane Creek Road which is on the other side of the river and look for more petroglyphs.

utahtea is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 03:57 AM
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Thanks to all.

Utahtea: you just gave me exactly the information I needed to make an inform decision. What would you recommend for two and a half days in Zion?
Gilawi02 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 04:37 AM
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The easiest walk in Zion is the Riverwalk. There's definitely some elevation gain on the Emerald Pools trails, but it's easier than options like Angel's Landing.
bachslunch is offline  
Aug 19th, 2011, 03:36 PM
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Great advice, utahtea
DebInTN is offline  
Aug 19th, 2011, 05:55 PM
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As bachslunch said the Riverside Walk in Zion is the easiest 2 miles round trip. It's also one of my favorites & very scenic hikes. Weeping Rock might be an option but there is a little elevation gain as with Lower Emerald Pools. Middle Emerald Pools might be an option BUT the Upper Emerald Pools are strenuous.

I always like to walk the Par'us Trail. You can make it a round trip or do it one way and pick up the shuttle bus to go back to the visitor center. There's a nice easy walk between the Grotto area and the Zion Lodge. Again you only have to do it one way and pick up the shuttle bus.

Take lunches and find a nice spot to eat them. The Lodge has some seats outdoors. Have an ice cream at the little restaurant near the Lodge. They were redoing the lawn area when we were there in April so I have no idea when it will be done.

Take a drive up though Zion Tunnel to the Checkerboard Mesa Area.

If you want to see the few houses that are left of an old ghost town, you might venture out of the park to Grafton. If there has been a lot of rain, then the road might be impassible. The last 3 or so miles is a nice dirt road, but it turns to muck with a lot of rain.

If you haven't been to Bryce, you can make a nice day trip from Zion to Bryce.

Just sit and enjoy your surroundings!

utahtea is offline  
Aug 20th, 2011, 03:01 AM
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Taking your advice for Zion, Utahtea, thank you!
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Aug 20th, 2011, 03:43 AM
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Thanks from me too. Now I fill ready to the trip and yes, Bryce is on my itinerary coming from Torrey.
Gilawi02 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2011, 05:29 AM
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While you are up there, Angel Canyon and the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a nice short visit.
minmn is offline  
Feb 10th, 2012, 11:38 AM
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