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kimp Mar 19th, 2006 03:23 PM

Utah NP's - Best Way to Visit
What is the best way to visit as many as we can without tiring out? We will be arriving 4/29 around noon and will be there for 7 days. We love to hike so we need time for that.

christy1 Mar 19th, 2006 04:15 PM

Since they are spread out throughout the southern half of the state, you should make this about quality, not quantity. Choose either SW or SE Utah, but you can't do both in 7 days without non-stop driving and no time for real hikes. So, that means Zion and Bryce (possibly Escalante Nat. Monument or nearby state parks, too) by flying into Las Vegas, OR Arches, Canyonlands and other areas near Moab (you could visit Capitol Reef on this trip too, but that is a bit rushed), flying into Salt Lake City. Both trips would be fantastic and I know it will be hard to choose but you'll just have to come back for the other parks. :)

utahtea Mar 19th, 2006 06:25 PM

Where are you arriving? Las Vegas or Salt Lake City?


zacky Mar 19th, 2006 06:27 PM

check out some of the older posts on this (mine and utahtea's) they are great. zion and bryce can't be missed. we loved cap reef (very quiet, secluded, like a natl pk all to yourself), arches and canyonlands great, too. i'd stick with zion, bryce, vegas if i had a week and it was my first trip. must stay in springdale (zion) at desert pearl . simply one of the best stays in our lives and we have traveled the world and stayed in fine hotels. request river view with butte view. enjoy! i am jealous! do the observation point hike. better than angels landing and for the fit only - in zion.

PaulRabe Mar 19th, 2006 06:31 PM

I've been to all five national park in Utah, twice each, and I agree it would be a complete waste to try to see all five them in a one week trip. I fully agree you'll have to choose one group over the other, but you'll be VERY happy with either choice.

And as much as I love Zion and Bryce, my choice in this lovely dilemma would be Arches and Canyonlands.

tovarich Mar 20th, 2006 04:08 AM

When doing Bryce try to do the combination hike; Queen's garden trail and Navajo trail.This will give you the best there is to see in one walk.Paul

kimp Mar 20th, 2006 07:53 AM

We are flying into Vegas on the 29th & driving to Zion. After that it's all up in the air. Zion is my first pick, then the rest is up from there. Trying not to fit to much in then we would be seeing the SE corner.

kimp Mar 20th, 2006 08:00 AM

We have actually 7 full days, plus the afternoon we get there. Then driving back to Vegas for two days.

Dayle Mar 20th, 2006 08:10 AM

Hi Kimp,

OK, if you have already decided to spend 2 days in LV, then you only have time for Bryce and Zion. Make sure you have reservations in advance. Could be difficult at this last date.

Have fun!

Dayle Mar 20th, 2006 08:11 AM

Oops, make that "late" date!

kimp Mar 20th, 2006 08:44 AM

Dayle - We have 7 full days. Plus the 2 in Vegas. What do you think 4 days Zion, 3 BC or should we swing around Capitol Reef / Grand Escalante?

utahtea Mar 20th, 2006 09:41 AM


Before you decide on 3 days in Bryce, call and see if the hiking trails are going to be open by the end of April.

I think I would do 3 nights, 2 full days in Zion plus part of the day you arrive, leave early the next morning for Bryce and spend one night if the trails are still closed, two nights if they are open, then drive scenic Hwy 12 to Torrey and spend 2 nights for one full day at Capitol Reef.


christy1 Mar 20th, 2006 10:48 AM

You could include either Capitol Reef or Escalante. I'd pick up a copy of "Hiking the Southwest's Canyon Country" not only to help you choose between those two, but to help you get the most out of your Zion/Bryce visit.

utahtea Mar 20th, 2006 11:37 AM

Here's a great website on southern Utah:


kimp Mar 20th, 2006 03:19 PM

Is 1st week of May to early to visit? Concerned from the comment about snow.

Dayle Mar 20th, 2006 05:06 PM

Hi again Kimp,

No the first week in May should be fine, BUT it can snow at the high altitudes clear in to June! Hiking at Bryce this year in May should be OK, but do call ahead to find out for sure.

If you have the full 7 days, I would recommend also that you follow Utahtea's plan. It makes a wonderful trip.

I'm going down to Zion this weekend to enjoy the first 70 degree weather of the spring. Staying at a small B&B that is new for me and will report back.

sharondi Mar 21st, 2006 02:50 AM

Man! You are so lucky! I am so jealous. I am missing Utah so much that I talked my sister and her husband into a late summer tour of the parks - and I get to plan it for them. Hey! It's better than nothing!
Please be sure to post a review upon your return. Enjoy!

Dayle Mar 21st, 2006 07:49 AM

I will Sharondi. I know how much you love UT. Will report on both the Zion weekend and my week in Moab with the folks who are driving their motorhome up from southern CA.

Bobmrg Mar 21st, 2006 09:41 AM

Oops. We'll be leaving the Bay area April 10th heading for southern Utah. We've been to Bryce but want to go again...are you saying that snow might be a problem? Here at home in Seattle, we handle the snow problem by not buying chains and staying home when it snows...nothing in Eastern Washington that I absolutely must do.

utahtea Mar 21st, 2006 11:33 AM

I haven't been to Bryce in the winter and spring, but the park is open all year. They keep the roads clear, it's the hiking trails down into the canyon that might not be open. I would imagine that it would be beautiful with snow!


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