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  1. #1

    Default Need Help! - Planning a Trip from Monument Valley UT to Gardiner MT


    I am planning to start my road trip (end of october 2012) from Monument Valley UT to Gardiner MT. Need advice on what locations to visit in between other than the main attractions (arches, salt lake city, grand tetons, yellowstone).

    Unfortunately I only have 8 days (October 26th thru Nov 04).

    Can anyone please let me know the best itinerary for this route.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A few ideas from many.

    Hello and welcome back to RTA !

    There are quite a few options and no single 'best' itinerary. You could drive this route in a day and a half so you have quite a bit of time to explore, depending on how much time you plan to spend at those attractions listed. You could head to Zion and Bryce NP's and take Utah scenic 12 to Torrey and onto Capitol Reef and Arches. Instead of SLC, you could consider heading up through Vernal, passing Dinosaur NM and Flaming Gorge Res.

    You would also have the option of heading east from MV to Mesa Verde NP via Four Corners and then to Arches, or continue further to Durango and drive up the scenic 'Million dollar Highway' through the mountain towns of Silverton and Ouray and through Delta to the Colorado National Monument near Fruita.

    You have a lot of other options so I would do a little research to see how best you can spend your time to suit your interests. Once you have a basic itinerary down we can offer suggestions and help to 'fine tune' it.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the suggestions Dave. I was actually busy crafting a detailed plan after looking at your suggestions. I have already covered most of the things from phoenix to bryce. I am not sure four corners is worth the drive. And the flight has already been booked for SLC. Please see my plan below.

    Friday (oct 26) - land in SLC
    Friday night travel to arches national park and stay the night
    Saturday (oct 27) - arches national park (devils garden trail, fiery furnace (booked ranger tour) and delicate arch- sunset)
    Sunday (oct 28) - start to monument valley, take the monument valley safari tour and start to Jackson WY (

    From Oct 29 thru Nov 4 we plan to stay in Jackson WY (as the base) and cover the tetons and yellowstone.

    This is the part i am worried about. I see that the roads close on Nov 4. So i think i should still be able to do the grand loop and the geysers. I am not sure how the weather will be (hopefully no heavy snow - praying to the weather gods!)

    Can anyone let me know whether the tetons and yellowstone are doable from Oct 29 thru Nov 4? if so what should be my route

    Any help is greatly appreciated.


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

    Default some concerns

    There are several parts of your plan that I would give some serious second thoughts to.

    First, I'd pretty strongly recommend that you start your trip by heading to Yellowstone and the Tetons. It is really quite likely that you'd start seeing snow by the late in the year, and even there you won't be able to do the entire loop. The section from Canyon to Tower Falls closes in early October. Also keep in mind that nearly all of the parks services will be closed by the time of your visit. The earlier you can get there, the less likely you'll have weather problems, and the more time you'll have to work with if you have to adjust your plans.

    Perhaps your bigger issue though, is to use Jackson as a base. Jackson is just too far away from Yellowstone to work as a spot to tour Yellowstone. Its about 2 hours just to get to attractions on the southern half of the park, like Old Faithful and the geyser basins, and it could easily take you more than 3 hours to get up to Mammoth. That's each way, assuming your weather, traffic, and wildlife delays aren't too significant. I'd really recommend you start your trip by going to West Yellowstone, or a lodge inside the park, and then head down to Jackson for your time in the Tetons.

    Are you from Phoenix and/or is that where you are flying from? If that's the case, I'd probably skip it for this trip. Its actually a shorter drive from Phoenix to MV than it from SLC to MV. It seems like you'd be very rushed at your current pace anyway. As you'd laid it out, it would basically have been a daytrip from Moab. Its 3-4 hours from Moab to MV, and that's assuming you don't take detours to Natural Bridges and/or the Moki Dugway, and then you'll need a few hours to do a Jeep tour. Then need to make it back to at least Moab to have a manageable one day drive to Jackson.

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