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Utah National Parks Help

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Apr 4th, 2007, 11:21 PM
  #1
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Utah National Parks Help

I'm just beginning to plan a week-long trip to Utah. We are liesurely travellers and are interested in thoroughly exploring each place that we visit, rather than doing drive-thrus. We tend to lodge in one place, preferably in a park, and make day trips. We don't mind driving a couple of hours each way for a day trip. We like lodging w/a view in or near a park and will pay more for it. So far, I'm thinking of Bryce and Zion, but need advice. Is there plenty to do and see in Bryce and Zion for a week? Most posts I see include several parks. What are the distances? We do light hiking, like five miles, not too strenuous. Suggestions please to get me started?

I'm planning for next Spring (late May, early June 08) now so that we will get our pick of lodging. The cabins in Bryce NP look very nice. There are three of us - my husband, daughter and I.
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Apr 4th, 2007, 11:48 PM
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Bryce was about a day or two for me. Catch sunrise over the amphitheater, take a hike below the rim, drive the park road all the way out.

Zion is 2-3 days worth of hikes, depending on which areas you visit. Definitely take a walk through the Narrows.

I'd add Capitol Reef and Grand Staircase Escalante. Driving Highway 12 between Bryce and Capitol Reef is spectacular with a number of stops along the way for hikes.

I think Zion, Bryce, Grand Staircase, and Capitol Reef is enough to keep you busy for a week without having to rush about too much.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 01:10 AM
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I agree with lifelist plan.In Bryce you should do the combination hike Queen's garden trail and Navajo trail.You'll have seen the most important features of the park.In Zion you have several easy hikes you can do.We stayed in Springdale just outside the park (Best Western)with a beatiful view of the mountains.In Capitol reef stay at the Rimrock motel.Again nice view and close to the park entrance.It's between Torrey and the park entrance.Visit Fruita.If you still have the time try to visit the Goblins park.Paul
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Apr 5th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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you should add the extra locations, i would opt for Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. the dunes of pink sand are something to see. this is in the same area. search the park out on the net see address below. the sand dunes are unusual in this area of cliffs, hoo doos buttes and canyons....
http://www.zionnational-park.com/sdflora.htm
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Apr 5th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Hi Claire,

Southern Utah is really not the place to try and "base" for a week and do day trips. Most of the distances to other sites are too long and the driving too slow to make it practical, as well as time and gas efficient. That is the reason you don't see trip reports with people doing the week long base thing.

It's much better to make it a loop trip and change locations once or twice. How many days do you really have? Is the week including traveling to and from UT?

If you have a full 7 or 8 days, you could do Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef. If you have just 5 days, do Moab.

Happy planning!
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Apr 5th, 2007, 08:06 AM
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The distances are too great for easy day trips. We stayed a few days in each (bryce and Zion)
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Apr 5th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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dayle, it's actually more like five full days/two travel days since we travel from the east. I'd still like to go to Bryce and Zion but as suggested switch lodging once. Why switch to Moab?

I looked up distances: LV to Zion - approx 2 1/2 hrs., Zion to Bryce - approx 2 hrs. (then returning Bryce to Vegas - approx. 4 hrs.)

Thanks for the advice and recommendations everyone. Justme, the sand dunes do look very cool.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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Hi again Claire,

Yes, with 5 days, Zion & Bryce is a fine combination too. Just forgot to mention that one!

A B&B type Inn I like in Springdale is The Novel House. They have a web site.

Can't recommend other than the Bryce Lodge at Bryce. I usually camp there.

Have fun!
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Apr 5th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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For Zion, I recommend the Desert Pearl Inn in Springdale. We loved the place so much that we extended our stay.

www.desertpearl.com

For Bryce, we stayed at Ruby's, which was fine for us, but just your average Best Western. I'd like to try a cabin in Bryce next time.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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wtm, desert pearl looks perfect for us. Thanks.
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Apr 7th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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We just got back from Zion and Bryce area. There was a rock slide in the Wall Street area of the Navajo Trail that closed it to through hiking. It happened last May - I had no idea.

This was our second visit - Zion and Bryce are amazing! And my kids loved the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.
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Apr 7th, 2007, 03:15 PM
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Zion is my all-time favorite National Park and Bryce is a close second. I just returned last night from a week-long stay in Zion. It was a wonderful respite. Great hiking for all levels.
Our preference is to stay at Zion Lodge. You can't beat the atmosphere, the views, the accessibility of the trails. There is an excellent free shuttle system to get you to the trailheads. For us, 5 nights is perfect for Zion and we are always sad to leave. Since you are traveling so far, Bryce is definitely worth visiting. Some people go there as a day trip. It can easily be done. Plan on staying in Bryce til dark, so you can walk the rim trail at dusk and watch the sunset. We usually stay overnight in the cabins at Bryce. They are rustic, but it is pleasant being so close to the rim. However, you do not have a view of Bryce Canyon from the cabins. Hiking is great there, too. We like the Fairyland Trail and the Navajo Loop.
Yes, there are other parks to visit but I think you will have plenty to do with just Zion and Bryce. My personal preference is to spend more time in Zion than Bryce.
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Apr 7th, 2007, 09:38 PM
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Thanks for the responses/advice. I love the red rock since our trip to Sedona/Grand Canyon/Canyon de Chelly several years ago! Can't wait to be WOWed again!
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Apr 8th, 2007, 12:41 AM
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karen,

Were you able to hike a sort of loop that included part of the navajo trail and the Queen's Garden trail?

We will be at Bryce in just a couple of weeks--I had heard about the slide, but wondered what we could do to see that area anyway.

There is supposed to be a beautiful Douglas Fir tree toward the bottom of Wall Street. Do you know if it is still possible to reach it (probably just from the lower end)?
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Apr 8th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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When we were at the visitor center in March, the ranger mentioned the rockslide had closed the Navaho loop but said that we could make a loop by hiking the Queens Garden trail and the part of the Navaho trail that was open. We didn't have the time in our schedule to check it out though. :^(
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Apr 8th, 2007, 05:55 AM
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Iron like a Lion in Zion,
Iron Lion Zion
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Apr 8th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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caligirl - this trip I was with my boys, so we only hiked the Queens Garden Trail (1.6 miles round trip). From the maps I saw, you can complete the Navajo/Queens Garden loop, but I do not know where the tree is. I know what you are talking about (b/c my husband and I did this hike several years), but we did hike this far this trip.
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Apr 9th, 2007, 11:39 PM
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If you really like to explore the areas you go to, then I'd keep it to just Zion and Bryce. I can easily spend 5 days just in Zion.

Utahtea
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Apr 18th, 2007, 11:29 AM
  #19
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I decided to move our trip up to our dauther's Fall Break in October 2007 although we had to shorten the trip. I just made reservations at Desert Pearl. Thanks for the recommendation, wtm. Looks lovely.

I'll be back after more research with questions I'm sure. Thanks everyone.
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Apr 18th, 2007, 03:44 PM
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Bryce and Zion are both good; Bryce is not as civilized; do stay in the lodge and take the mule ride and do the ranger talks.

Zion has great restaurants right outside it in Springdale and some live shows you can go to. pack a lunch and go for a hike mc
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