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    we all had a talk and decided to scrap driving out there completely. We will fly to Vegas and begin our trip there, probably spending our first day there. From there we can go to the grand canyon and camp/stay there for possibly a few days, that way we can have an epic hike in the grand canyon. Then we will probably go up to Moab and spend a night or 2 there, exploring Arches National Park and Canyonlands. Then we will probably go see Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef before heading to Zion, where we will spend at least a couple days, and then it's Back to Vegas to fly back.

    This way is still kind of a road trip due to the multiple destinations and large amount of travel, but it is cheaper, and we get to do a lot more cool stuff while we are there, like the grand canyon for example.

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    Sounds like you've changed your plans. I did read that you tried to make reservations in Zion at Watchman Campground and it was full. Keep checking on line for cancelations! They happen all the time and keep checking up to the night before you arrive if you haven't been able to get a spot by then. We got 14 days with cancellations this spring but had to move 4 times! Our last night reservations was made just the night before. There are some BLM campsites not to far outside the park near Springdale, so ask at the visitor center about them.

    Most first come first serve campgrounds in the national parks fill up by early afternoon. Just outside of Moab are a lot of BLM campgrounds along the Colorado River on both the Potash Road (Hwy 279) and scenic Hwy 128. I doubt you will be able to get one in Arches or Canyonlands, Island in the Sky district. If you can't find a campsite at Capitol Reef ask at the visitor center about BLM camping just outside the park.

    I would recommend three nights and on full day for each Arches and Canyonlands, Island in the Sky District.

    Utahtea

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    Yes now we are going to book a 10 day trip flying to and from Las Vegas, in which case we will see a lot more than we originally intended while we are there. I would love more advice as to what to do while we are there.

    The idea now is a 10 day loop from Vegas, consisting of the Grand Canyon, Moab (with Arches and Canyonlands of course), Capitol Reef, Bryce canyon, and of course the place we are most excited about exploring: Zion National Park.

    I'm scared of making any reservations for campsites for the trip. My reason being, It is going to be the beginning of August, and therefore its going to be pretty hot outside. We all want the option of being able to choose to stay in air conditioned hotel rooms, if we decide when we are there that it would be too uncomfortable to camp. We all have plenty camping experience, but none of which is in the desert in the middle of summer.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,923

    Default

    You may get away w9ith winging it for some of the others, but I would try to book accommodation at the Grand Canyon before you leave. See if you can pick up a cancellation, or something close by. If you are going to do any serious hiking you will want a shower and comfy bed afterwards. (You do know, I take it, that to hike to the other rim, you have to book well in advance. But there are dozens of great hikes available.)

    Lifey

  5. Default

    You can probably wing it for all but Grand Canyon and Zion as long as you're not in Moab starting on a Friday or Saturday night. Moab has something going on almost every weekend now that draws crowds of people.

    I just learned something new! I just checked and there is no longer first come, first serve camping for Mather Campground at the Grand Canyon during peak season. You have to make reservations for August if you want to camp here! This campground is at 7,000 ft. elevation so while it might be hot on the hike down into the canyon, it's usually cooler on the rim. Mather is located at the Grand Canyon Village and the beauty of this campground is you can just walk to the shuttle buses and you won't have to worry about finding a parking place. They do have showers at the campground. http://www.reserveamerica.com/campin...O&parkId=70971 Desert View Campground is first come, first serve but it's a ways from the Grand Canyon Village and there are only 50 sites.

    In Arches you're going to want to do Delicate Arch hike and possibly the hike out to Dark Angel. http://www.utah.com/hike/dark-angel-trail

    In Capitol Reef the Rim Overlook trail was awesome but strenuous for us old folks. If you're good hikers you might want to continue on past the Rim Overlook to the Navajo Knobs. http://www.nps.gov/care/planyourvisit/trailguide.htm

    Utahtea

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,698

    Default

    I think it's worth booking campgrounds where possible, at the end of the day if you forfeit your $15-20 and stay in a hotel occassionally it'll be worth it, especially when you divide it between you. It also gives you the option of some camping and some not if it's a split decision.

    I think your new plan is the way to go and whatever way you look at it, it's an epic roadtrip !! You haven't got to drive loads of miles to have one, it's about the rewards you will get along the way. From GC to Moab take US163 through Monument valley and make time for a stop. UT24 and scenic 12 to Capitol Reef and Bryce canyon are awesome roads and now you get the time to enjoy it !! With 6 National parks on your list, purchase the annual pass for $80 as it will save you money on this trip and be available to use for 12 months after purchase.

    Mather campground in GC is pretty well shaded in the woods and the Watchman does have some shade and you may be able to get a riverside site. [I know you can in an RV] Bryce canyon is at high elevation and should cooler.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,923

    Default Not necessarily alwyas booked out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    ... Bryce canyon is at high elevation and should cooler.
    It was early August when I arrived at Bryce. At the visitor centre i was told just to look for an unoccupied camping spot. Check them out, you may also find that they are nowhere near booked out. Bryce is also a great place to take some hikes among the hoodoos.

    Lifey

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    the Watchman does have some shade and you may be able to get a riverside site. [I know you can in an RV] Bryce canyon is at high elevation and should cooler.
    Just checked and all of the Watchman river side campsites in Zion are booked for all of August except for Aug. 31st. There aren't any sites open for the first two weeks, but there are some open starting August 17th for tents. Check each description and picture to see if you will have shade or not. All the hike in spots in F loop are in the sun! I would not give up hope of getting a spot at Watchman....you just have to be vigilant and keep checking! http://www.recreation.gov/camping/wa...O&parkId=70923

    Utahtea

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,053

    Default always great to hear from you

    Utahtea,

    Nice to see you here on the Trip Advice forums -- I've been away for a couple of days -- wandering on back roads in Kentucky.

    Mark

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Utahtea,

    Nice to see you here on the Trip Advice forums -- I've been away for a couple of days -- wandering on back roads in Kentucky.

    Mark
    Thanks Mark, The back roads of Kentucky sound like fun. We've been having a lot of great adventures too. I'll try and post more often. :)

    Now back to the thread,

    Utahtea

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