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Trip Report Trip Report National Parks Utah in October 2017

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We are back from our trip and it was amazing!!! Flying into Vegas worked for access to Zion, which we loved! We were there for 2 nights, and stayed at the Deert Pearl which has a great location close to the shuttle bus and even within walking distance to Zion. The hotel staff recommended walking up to the Cafe Soleil for breakfast -- one of the best!-- and ordering lunch to go at the same time. It was a super tip and saved us time and thinking both mornings there. We carried our lunch and picnicked when we got hungry. We ate at the Red rock Grill at the Zion lodge one night for dinner and that was fun, and we got to do some amazing stargazing by stopping on the road on the way out. We loved the hikes and the ease of getting around with the shuttle. The ride to Bryce was easy and beautiful and we departed early enough to do the hike at the entrance to the tunnel at Zion, and got to Bryce with enough time to do some good hiking and exploring there. Since we were staying at the park lodge there, we were able to do the sunrise and sunset photo shoots easily. It was so cold for the sunrise, our idea and tip to others is to bring those disposable hand warmers to use for your camera fingers! We picked up Subway sandwiches for our in-park picnic just outside Bryce when we went on the second day to Escalante-Grand Staircase. The visitor center in Escalante was very helpful in planning for the fairly short time we had to explore; they suggested Devil's Garden which was accessible with our 4 WD car and such fun to explore and hike around! The ride was lovely and we stopped at the Petrified Forest on the return back to Bryce, it could easily be skipped. The following day we drove to Moab, with a stop at Capitol Reef, which we loved also, and were so happy we squeezed in a ride through part of it and a short hike. The rte 12 was a spectacular ride over there. In hindsight, it would have been nice to spend the night in Torrey, see more of the park and break up that VERY long ride to Moab. We got to Moab toe the BW Canyonlands, which was a great place to stay. Got an early start in Arches; a couple of the areas ere closed for construction purposes, and the Visitor Center opened ridiculously late, we visited Windows, then retraced our drive to the Center to get maps etc and then reprove the same 5 miles, so it wasted a bit of time. We didn't realize you can pick up the maps at the empty booth driving through! We hiked lots and saw lots of spots since we knew it was school vacation the following days. The next day we went to Canyonlands and Dead Horse Park. Canyonlands was spectacular! Early our final day we got out to see Delicate Arch and although there were lots of folks, it was less busy than a short time later. They had re-opened Park Ave and so we hiked through there and it was not busy at all. Then a very long drive to SLC, and we were happy to explore the city. Overall a great visit, and would have made a few tweaks . I also wished we had one more day in Moab to have been able to rent bikes and explore a bit more, it is a lovely area.

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