Utah Big 5 Itinierary Help

Old Apr 7th, 2021, 05:43 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Utah Big 5 Itinierary Help

Hello all! I got some good feedback a while ago on places to go and things to do on this trip. I am looking to refine it a little further now and I am looking for input on whether this itinerary is feasible, or things we have missed that we should add. One of the things I am struggling with is that I really want to go to Observation Ppint in Zion but I know you can only get there now through East Mesa which is off roading. We can't take our rental car off roading,
Any suggestions to make that happen? Also looking for which highways and roads to take to get through this itinerary. Thanks so much!

Day 1 Arrive in SLC, head to Moab-yep, after a long flight I still want to get there the first night. I have a 5am flight and have no trouble sleeping on planes
Get supplies, etc, check in to UnderCanvas
Moab for 2 nights
Somewhere great for Sunset in arches?


Day 2 Up early, Sunrise at Delicate Arch
Explore Arches for the day. Which hikes?
Bring all our foods and drinks with us.
Sunset at Dead horse Point?


Day 3 Sunrise from our campsite, have a little slower start, drive through canyonlands and hike Mesa Arch.
Head to Bryce through Capitol Reef and see the Petroglyphs, Stop at Fruita and go to the Gifford Store
Get into Bryce for sunset Where to watch sunset?
Stay at Ruby's Best Western


Day 4 Sunrise at Bryce-Sunset Point
Do the Navajo Loop trail
See Thor's Hammer,
Head to Zion and stop at Canyon Overlook Trail on our way in
Watchman Trail for Sunset
Get to Cable Mountain Lodge, check in, pick up gear for hiking the Narrows.


Day 5 Up and out early
Hike the Narrows
Lower Emerald Pool if we're up to it or rest by the river at our hotel for the afternoon
Canyon Junction Bridge for Sunset


Day 6 Scout Lookout/Maybe Angel's Landing if we're feeling brave
Emerald Pools if we didn't do them day 5
other hikes?
Sunset on Pa'va Trail


Day 7 One more spectacular sunrise somewhere in Zion-suggestions?? Temple of Sinawava?
Either head to SLC via I 15 and hike in the Kolob Canyons
Still considering how we might get to observation point, having a tough time letting that go. It seems like you need a 4wd vehicle and off roading and we have a rental so that's a no go.
Make our way to SLC and stay overnight at Fairfield Inn, SLC


Day 8 Fly home
euro18 is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2021, 06:29 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,074
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Are you arriving at SLC at 5AM? I doubt that you can pick up a rental car before 7AM at SLC airport. You can pick up your supplies in Green River before heading to Moab. Undercanvas looks like a good choice unless there is strong wind or driving rain. Be sure to have a headlamp for each of you plus at least 1 extra handheld light for getting to the sunrise photo points or back from the sunsets safely.
According to alltrails.com the hike up to Observation Point is 7.1 miles with many switchbacks. The elevation rise is 2788' at about 4 miles. The elevation at the parking area for the East Rim Trail is about 4400'. Count on at least 3.5 hours hiking up and 2.5 hours coming back down.
Between Green River and Capitol Reef take the side trip out to see Goblin Valley State Park to see the hoodoos.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2021, 06:55 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No no, I have a flight that leaves at 5am and arrives at 10. We won't be getting our car until then.

I don't believe we are discussing the same hike. Observation point trail is closed indefinitely because of a rock slide. Observation Point from the East Mesa trailhead (which is accessible by a dirt road with a recommended 4x4) only has a 420' elevation gain and is only 3.5 miles in. It would be easily doable on our last day before we drive back to SLC.

Thanks for the recc on Goblin Valley I will check it out
euro18 is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2021, 07:09 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 295
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you want to see the sun come up in the arch, On your early rise day, go to Mesa Arch in Canyonlands Island in the Sky. Bring flashlights for the hike in. Do delicate arch before sunset put fresh batteries in the lights for the trip down.

these parks do not have much for food so get sandwiches etc before you go.

Have a fantastic trip
oldemalloy is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2021, 10:29 AM
  #5  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,788
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Zion. Looks like a nice plan. On the way into the park give yourselves some time to stop at some of the Checkerboard Mesa overlooks along the drive.
Obs Point - I didn't know the trail from the valley floor was closed. Coming in from the other side makes sense.
Don't forget to give yourselves some time simply laying on the grass in front of Zion Lodge - soak in some rays, rest your legs. Falling asleep is allowed....
The outfitter right by your hotel should have everything you need for the narrows. a) walking stick - definite. b) water hiking boots - I recommend, or if you have a pair of old hiking shoes you don't mind getting soaked they will do too. c) dry bag, unless you have a waterproof backpack. and if water is frigid and air temps not >85 or 90, consider d) dry suit.. The air temp in the Narrows will be 10-15 degrees cooler than Springdale.

Bryce, give yourselves some to drive along the internal park road (if it is open), and stop at various lookouts, or take a short hike at end, at the Bristlecone pine trail. Totally different flora at 9000' elevation. Small but ancient trees. Be sure to head out to the rim well after dark for star gazing. A blanket to lay on and just stare at the sky works great. Maybe some binoculars / monocular if you want to zoom in on the Milky Way or a planet or constellation.
J62 is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2021, 05:22 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just an FYI--Moab under Canvas is in a really unattractive location. It is out of the way, but near the highway. Not sure how quiet it is?? And a view of red rocks view in only one direction (east). I stay in town when we go so we have a pool and easy access to different restaurants/coffee shops etc. Cable Mountain Lodge in Zion is awesome.
StantonHyde is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2021, 01:33 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you! Yes, we have headlamps and small flashlights. I keep hearing about Mesa Arch so maybe we will amend our plans and go there. We are planning to bring in non perishable foods for exactly the reasons you said.

Thanks so much!
euro18 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2021, 01:40 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by StantonHyde View Post
Just an FYI--Moab under Canvas is in a really unattractive location. It is out of the way, but near the highway. Not sure how quiet it is?? And a view of red rocks view in only one direction (east). I stay in town when we go so we have a pool and easy access to different restaurants/coffee shops etc. Cable Mountain Lodge in Zion is awesome.
Thank you. I did see that.... I'll talk with my daughter some about it, but we are both heavy sleepers and the idea is so appealing to us. I think we will probably roll with it.
euro18 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2021, 01:46 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by J62 View Post
Zion. Looks like a nice plan. On the way into the park give yourselves some time to stop at some of the Checkerboard Mesa overlooks along the drive.
Obs Point - I didn't know the trail from the valley floor was closed. Coming in from the other side makes sense.
Don't forget to give yourselves some time simply laying on the grass in front of Zion Lodge - soak in some rays, rest your legs. Falling asleep is allowed....
The outfitter right by your hotel should have everything you need for the narrows. a) walking stick - definite. b) water hiking boots - I recommend, or if you have a pair of old hiking shoes you don't mind getting soaked they will do too. c) dry bag, unless you have a waterproof backpack. and if water is frigid and air temps not >85 or 90, consider d) dry suit.. The air temp in the Narrows will be 10-15 degrees cooler than Springdale.

Bryce, give yourselves some to drive along the internal park road (if it is open), and stop at various lookouts, or take a short hike at end, at the Bristlecone pine trail. Totally different flora at 9000' elevation. Small but ancient trees. Be sure to head out to the rim well after dark for star gazing. A blanket to lay on and just stare at the sky works great. Maybe some binoculars / monocular if you want to zoom in on the Milky Way or a planet or constellation.

Thank you for the reminder to slow down and just enjoy it all. Falling asleep in the grass sounds heavenly. I wish we had a month to explore it all but will do our best. We have been in touch with Zion outfitters to order the things you mentioned.
Thanks again for your suggestions. I appreciate it!
euro18 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2021, 03:41 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 295
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do a quick google search of Mesa Arch at sunrise. The pictures are awesome. I have not done it at sunrise, but even later in the day it was one of the most breathtaking views ever.
oldemalloy is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2021, 03:45 AM
  #11  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,788
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For the Narrows, know that if the water flow is above some threshold (150 CFS) the Narrows will be closed. Since it's still early April and before the snowmelt upstream, it's currently low, at half that, or 50CFS. Normally by now (the triangles on the chart below) it's a bit higher. The outfitters will be aware of the water flow & won't rent gear if it's not open. Since it varies day to day, you may want to check in at the outfitters upon you arrival. If it's touch and go day to day, grab a day when it's low enough & rearrange your plans.

Sudden warm weather melting the snowpack, or a rain a day or 2 ago can greatly impact the flow.

You can check the water levels here or on the NPS website HERE

From NPS
Most recent water temperature (1/1/2021): 42F/5C
The Narrows closes when the flow rate is over 150 cubic feet per second (CFS), or during spring snowmelt. The Narrows also closes when a Flash Flood Warning is issued by the National Weather Service, and remains closed for two hours after the warning is lifted. Check the weather before you head into a narrow canyon. Flash floods are always possible.





These are the #'s from 2020, when it was closed from approx. 4/15 to 5/20. I've been there early May before and lucked out that it was open. I don't know the snowpack depth this year.

Last edited by J62; Apr 8th, 2021 at 03:57 AM. Reason: more info
J62 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2021, 05:10 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by J62 View Post
For the Narrows, know that if the water flow is above some threshold (150 CFS) the Narrows will be closed. Since it's still early April and before the snowmelt upstream, it's currently low, at half that, or 50CFS. Normally by now (the triangles on the chart below) it's a bit higher. The outfitters will be aware of the water flow & won't rent gear if it's not open. Since it varies day to day, you may want to check in at the outfitters upon you arrival. If it's touch and go day to day, grab a day when it's low enough & rearrange your plans.

Sudden warm weather melting the snowpack, or a rain a day or 2 ago can greatly impact the flow.

You can check the water levels here or on the NPS website HERE

From NPS
Most recent water temperature (1/1/2021): 42F/5C
The Narrows closes when the flow rate is over 150 cubic feet per second (CFS), or during spring snowmelt. The Narrows also closes when a Flash Flood Warning is issued by the National Weather Service, and remains closed for two hours after the warning is lifted. Check the weather before you head into a narrow canyon. Flash floods are always possible.





These are the #'s from 2020, when it was closed from approx. 4/15 to 5/20. I've been there early May before and lucked out that it was open. I don't know the snowpack depth this year.
Yes. Thank you so much. From what I understand they don't think it will be closed too much this year because they didn't have a high snowfall year. We are planning mid May so that could definitely be dicey and will rely on them to help our decision. Thanks so much for the charts and info
euro18 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2021, 05:12 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by oldemalloy View Post
Do a quick google search of Mesa Arch at sunrise. The pictures are awesome. I have not done it at sunrise, but even later in the day it was one of the most breathtaking views ever.

I just did. Looks like we will definitely change our plans to go to Mesa Arch the morning of our first full day! We have headlamps and small flashlights to get us there before sunrise. I am so incredibly excited. This is a big bucket list trip for me and to share it with my grown daughter is an incredible blessing!!!
euro18 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2021, 04:06 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 295
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good to hear. I am sure you will love those parks.
oldemalloy is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
krejaton
Europe
5
Nov 25th, 2013 11:36 PM
Lauren1979
Europe
5
Nov 13th, 2013 07:13 AM
oberost
Europe
8
Jun 10th, 2004 02:34 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:26 PM.