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  1. #1

    Default Salt Lake City -> Yellowstone -> Utah

    we are planning to make an US trip in June. Are main goal is Yellowstone, but also some of the Utah National Parks.
    Me and my wife have already been in Bryce and Zion, but there will be friends with us for whom this will be first visit in USA (besides, the weather was terrible when we were in Zion). We are all adults, there will be no children with us.

    We will have 15-17 days and initially planned:

    Day 1: WAW->SLC flight, hotel near airport rest
    Day 2: Salt Lake City: explore the city, get used to time difference
    Day 3: Get a car, drive near west Yellowstone boundaries (or inside, depending on price) via Idaho Falls
    Day 4-7: Explore Yellowstone, sleep inside park if possible
    Day 8: Go to Grand Tetons, then drive south to Jackson or further
    Day 9: Drive towards Arches: to Moab or Green River (feasible? seems to be a loong day driving)
    Day 10: Visit Arches NP, go back to Green River (or Moab)
    Day 11: Go thru Capitol Reef and Utah SR12 towards Bryce. Stan near the Park (Bryce Village, Tropic or neighborhoods)
    Day 12: Visit Bryce, go towards Zion (Springdale, Hurricane)
    Day 13: Visit Zion, sleep in the same place
    Day 14: Go towards Salt Lake City
    Day 15: Fly back to Warsaw

    And we have 2 spare days which we can distribute.
    Is this plan sensible and feasible? Do you have any suggestion for changes?

    I was thinking about finishing in Las Vegas and going back from there, however one-way fess for car rental are horrible.

    I'm waiting for suggestions :)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Jackson to Moab could conceivably be done in one day, but I'd highly recommend breaking it up into 2 days. The only way you could do it in one day is retrace your steps back down I-15 to SLC, why not take a different route? I would probably base it around US-191, with a possible overnight in Vernal, UT. I'd recommend staying in Moab instead of Green River, there are a lot more choices and things to do. Green River is essentially just a wide spot in the road.

    The rest of your plan is very sensible and feasible.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Good job.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    It's a wonderful trip you have planned and you have done a nice job with your planning. I would use Moab as a base for Arches NP and for Bryce canyon you could check out 'Rubys Inn'. For Zion you can't beat the lovely little town of Zion which sits on the doorstep of the park and the free shuttle buses that you have to use for the canyon pick you up from town, so no need to drive and find parking. With a couple of days to spare that could easily be used to slow the pace up between Moab and Zion you are in good shape. If you stopped between Moab and Bryce, [Torrey perhaps]or had an extra night in Moab, you would have time to visit the 'Island in the sky' section of Canyonlands NP which has some spectacular views.

    If you are starting out in early June, you could consider reversing your trip and arrive at Yellowstone later in the month. Spring/summer can come late to the park and it's pretty much fully operational by mid to late June.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    With 2 extra days, I'd certainly give yourself at least one more day in Moab so that you could explore Canyonlands - Island in the Sky, which I actually enjoyed a bit more than Arches.

    Another option you could look at is to do a loop around southern Utah, going from Arches, to Natural Bridges to Monument Valley, and then heading back around to Zion and Bryce.

    If you don't do that, you might want a second night in Jackson to have more time to explore the Tetons.

    Jackson to Moab can be done in a day. I did the trip a few weeks ago and did stop for the night around Provo, but I spent the first half of the day in the Tetons, and didn't get on the road until early afternoon. Since you would have already come from SLC, I'd agree with GLC's route suggestion as one to consider.

    I'd also agree with dave that reversing your trip could make some sense, especially since you'll hit the hotter areas of Utah when its a little cooler, and the mountains of Yellowstone when its warmer and fully open. Certainly try to say inside Yellowstone, as it is a very big place and trying to leave the park every night is going to mean a lot of extra miles.

  5. #5


    Thank you for all suggestions! Guess that adding additional night between Jackson and Arches and one in Moab will do well.
    We've been in Ruby's Inn in fact, and yes - it is a nice place :)
    Although a weather in mid-May was a little bit different from what we expected (

    Reversing the trip also seems reasonable, maybe we won't stuck in a snowstorm ;)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default On the other hand....

    .... visiting Yellowstone in late May and early June has a magic of its own. Last time I visited there it was towards the end of May, and was fortunate enough to see a Moose with a calf just hours old. The photo, though taken from a distance, is one of my greatest treasures. There was wildlife with their young everywhere.

    At the rate these animals grow, even just a month later they are so much bigger and more independent. That 'baby' animal magic is gone. Yellowstone in May is incredible, and I would highly recommend that you make your visit earlier, rather than later. The risk of snow not-with-standing.


  7. Default

    Personally, I think you are short changing Yellowstone with only one full day there. It's a huge park with so many different areas to see. I'd highly recommend spending one of your extra days in Yellowstone.

    I also agree that Moab area deserves a second day to see Canyonlands and drive scenic Hwy 128.


  8. #8


    In fact we planned four full days (Days 4-7) and one full day in Tetons.
    I know that we could spend our whole holiday there, but we don't go to USA often, and plan to see as much as possible (especially that our friends have never seen Utah).

    So many places to see, so little time - it looks I'll have a hard (but fun) time planning.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by matchey View Post
    In fact we planned four full days (Days 4-7) and one full day in Tetons.
    I know that we could spend our whole holiday there, but we don't go to USA often, and plan to see as much as possible (especially that our friends have never seen Utah).

    So many places to see, so little time - it looks I'll have a hard (but fun) time planning. BAD! I missed the part about the 4 days in Yellowstone! GOOD JOB planning Yellowstone! ;)

    I still vote for more time in Moab. :)


  10. #10


    Hello, it's me again :)
    We were discussing the plan with our friends, and there was one complaint: they really want to see Grand Canyon.
    I thought about adding one more day and putting North Rim between Zion and Bryce, so the plan will look like:
    Day 1 Flight from Warsaw to Salt Lake City
    Day 2 Salt Lake City
    Day 3 Drive towards Zion (sleep in Hurricane or Springdale)
    Day 4 Visit Zion then drive to North Rim (get there before sunset, sleep in North Rim Lodge)
    Day 5 Explore North Rim, drive to Bryce (sleep in Bryce surroundings)
    Day 6 Explore Bryce (sleep in Bryce Surroundings)
    Day 7 Drive road 12, Capitol Reef an to Moab (sleep in Moab)
    Day 8 Explore CanyonLands (sleep in Moab)
    Day 9 Explore Arches (sleep in Moab)
    Day 10 Go towards Jackson (sleep in the middle of the way) *
    Day 11 Go and reach Jackson (Jackson) *
    Day 12 Explore Grand Tetons (probably move to Yellowstone for night)
    Day 13 Yellowstone
    Day 14 Yellowstone
    Day 15 Yellowstone
    Day 16 Yellowstone
    Day 17 Drive back to Salt Lake City
    Day 18 Fly back to Warsaw
    * or just do it in one day

    Any comments/suggestions for this version? Seems that we will have little time in Zion, but probably we won't be able to do Angels Landing anyway (due to jetlag).

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