Utah NP Road Trip

Aug 12th, 2019, 06:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 16
Utah NP Road Trip

Hi all!

My husband and I are approaching our upcoming Utah Trip (Aug 24th - Sept 2) -- and I am looking for any last minute suggestions that you may have. I have read over the other threads, but many were at a different time of year and different path. We like easy to moderate hikes, unique off the beaten path finds, foodie restaurants.

My itinerary is as follow:

Fly into Las Vegas - Drive to Springdale
3 Night at B & B in Springdale/Zion NP area
Drive to Bryce Canyon, taking scenic HWY 12
1 Night in hotel in Torrey
2 Nights at B & B in Moab

Everything is set and booked, so I do not plan on changing any of that. What I am looking for is hike suggestions at the park, any pull offs on HWY 12 that is a must see, any restaurants/attractions that are a must experience. Looking back, I regret not staying in Bryce Canyon area longer... but I can't change this now.

We are leaving Moab and crossing into Colorado. We have travelled to Colorado the last 3 years with the help of Fodors!

I appreciate ANY advice.
flurrygirl1218 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 07:42 AM
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Two nights in Moab is cutting it short since there are two major national parks to visit: Arches and Canyonlands, which are very different.

Michael is online now  
Aug 12th, 2019, 07:44 AM
Original Poster
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I was planning to focus on Arches since Canyonlands is such a huge park.

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Two nights in Moab is cutting it short since there are two major national parks to visit: Arches and Canyonlands, which are very different.

flurrygirl1218 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 07:49 AM
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We did a similar trip in April. Flew into Vegas, spent one night there at Vdara Hotel. Next morning drove to Springdale and stayed at LaQuinta two nights. Springdale is small, with many interesting cafes and eateries. There is also a decent sized grocery in town, with healthy options, and we picked up some snacks there. Sorry,I can't remember the name of the place we ate...it was on same side of street of grocery, and was a a diner/cafe type place. Husband had a pulled pork sandwich, don't recall what I had.

At that time the Narrows was closed, but we took the shuttle to the various stops and did some short hikes. Incredible scenery.

Off to Bryce for two nights. Stayed at A Best Western Ruby's....a large complex of buildings with an interesting history. You can't miss it. The first night we took the shuttle from the Inn to the park and did the tour. Next day we drove into the park, did the hike down into the canyon to experience the hoodoos and marvel at the landscape. It was mind-boggling. Then drove to other points of interest in the park, and did some short walks. At one lookout point, there was a snowpack of about 5 feet! We ate dinner at The Lodge in Bryce Canyon. A wonderful historic building.

Took Highway 12, a totally different landscape with beautiful viewpoints along the way. At some points we felt like we were in New England.

Then off to Torrey. We stayed at the School House B & B, with an interesting history. Apparently, Butch Cassidy came from Torrey, and there were photos of him at the inn, and the owner told us some of the history of the family and town. Stayed there two nights.

We drove to Capitol Reef from Torrey and did a couple of hikes in the park. Again, mind-boggling scenery. I think that was the day we did the Grand Wash hike (if memory serves). And we did a short river walk from Fruita(?) historic site.

Our last day we did the Cassidy Arch hike, which afforded excellent views. Saw some petroglyphs at some point too.

Then back to Vegas, stayed near the airport at Tahiti Village. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit Canyonlands or Moab.....next time!

It's a stunning area, and I look forward to returning to see what we missed. There were many more hikes to be done, but we didn't have enough time.

Enjoy your time there.
Calabria62 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by flurrygirl1218 View Post
I was planning to focus on Arches since Canyonlands is such a huge park.

Island in the Sky is actually more limited in area than Arches, and it is on a dead-end road.
Michael is online now  
Aug 12th, 2019, 08:33 AM
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Posts: 15,481
You might have already run across this, but just in case you haven't:

Into the Great Wide Open - A nine day road trip
Melnq8 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 08:44 AM
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At Zion: If you can handle a more strenuous hike then consider going up to either Scouts Lookout or Observation Point. From either you'll get spectacular views down into the canyon from a high up perch.
J62 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 09:40 AM
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2 nights at Moab, not much time at all, but might as well make the best of it. First day, I'd drive to the Canyonlands, check out the viewpoints along the drive and take a fairly short hike to the Meas Arch. If you leave early enough, after that you could visit Death Horse Point, or my favorite, hike the Delicate Arch and see it in in the Sunset colors. Second day, I'd devote to the Arches N.P.

Not sure where you'll cross over to Colorado after that. Route 128 From Moab toward I-70 it's a great scenic drive for at leas first third of the way. I prefer taking it toward Moab, the closer you get, the more stunning views you'll encounter along the way.

As a reminder, there's a very limited to none existing cell phone reception when driving anywhere around the Canyons, especially on Rt 12 . And don't let your tank to fall below half full. Watch the road information signs how far to the next service (gas station) area.
andyg5056 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 11:22 AM
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We liked Cafe Diablo in Torrey. Your Springdale to Torrey day will be a long one. I assume you'll be stopping at Bryce Canyon. Hwy 12 is beautiful but I'm not sure you have time to detour for hikes etc along this route. Maybe you could make a quick stop at Devils Garden. It's about 20 minutes or so off of Hwy 12 and the formations start right by the parking area. We weren't terribly impressed with most of the places where we ate in Moab. We did like Moab Garage as well as Moab Kitchen. Both are very casual. The latter is a food truck with indoor and outdoor seating. 128 out of Moab is a beautiful drive if you're going that direction.
Patty is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 01:27 PM
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In Arches do hike up to Delicate Arch, I'll try to attach some pictures. you can zoom into the first one to see the parking lot away in the distance and you can hope no one is trying to go the other direction when you are on the ledge.

The "path" to Delicate Arch

The ledge you cross just before you arrive at Delicate Arch

Last edited by emalloy; Aug 12th, 2019 at 01:29 PM. Reason: add information
emalloy is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by emalloy View Post
The ledge you cross just before you arrive at Delicate Arch
This Ledge is not as scary as some think, read more HERE:

And it is a memorable experience.

andyg5056 is offline  
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