Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default Stopovers between Arches NP and SF Bay Area

    Hello everyone,
    I will be visiting Arches National Park in the first week of May. It will be a nine day trip in total, I will be visiting Bryce first and then I will spent Monday through Thursday in Arches. I have to be home in the SF Bay Area on Sunday. I will be traveling with my van, so I can stay in Campgrounds on the way back.
    And now I’m looking for the “best” stopovers and places to stay. I’ve been to Death Valley, Valley of fire, Zion, Vegas, Yosemite before, so I’d like to see something else this time. I don’t mind hiking and I’m into landscape photography. I have only driven through the Grand Staircase area yet, and there seems to be so much to do, so that might be an option for a first stop, but what should I do there? What are the “hidden gems” between Arches and the Bay Area?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm really confused by your plans, are you starting from San Francisco as well? If you've only got 9 days total, and you're planning to spend 1 day in Bryce and then 4 in Arches, then by the time you add in the drives to/from Utah, you don't really have much time left for other places.

    Are you planning to visit Canyonlands during your time at Arches?

    Grand Staircase is a great area - as is Capitol Reef and Scenic Highway 12, but those would seem to be better ideas for visiting between Bryce and Arches.

    As far as Arches back to San Francisco, US-50 would seem like it would make a lot of sense. Great Basin NP is right along the way, and the highway through Nevada is quite scenic itself - with the moniker "Loneliest Road in America." As you get back to California, you've got the Tahoe region, and there are several great scenic roads over the Sierra other than Tioga Pass, although the first week in May, it's hard to say which ones would be open yet.

  3. Default

    Hi, thanks for your suggestions, I will look into them!
    Regarding my travel plans, I’m leaving the Bay Area Friday evening and will spend the night at the red rocks state park near Mojave. Then I’ll get up early and spend the day driving to Bryce, spend two nights there and drive to Arches on Monday.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    It would make sense to drive through Capital Reef via UT scenic 12 on the way to Arches with an overnight stop. As said above, a run home via US50 with a stop around Ely NV to break the journey.

  5. Default

    I love Capitol Reef National Park but it's going to be 2 hours out of your way and another hour to do the scenic drive. If you decide against Capitol Reef the other alternative is to just stay on I-70 and drive though the scenic San Rafael Swell. It's a beautiful drive with scenic turn outs that are just right for photo taking.

    We live in the SF Bay area too and we take Hwy 50 though Nevada whenever possible so we do it frequently. There are plenty of things to see on 50. If you stay on I-70 then take pick up 50 at Salina, UT. Great Basin is not far from Hwy 50 but add at least an hour if you do the scenic drive. Eurkea is a neat old mining town. Hickison Summit is located 45 miles west of Eureka and it's just a short drive off the highway to the Hickison Petrolyph site which is good for a stretch of the legs. Just before Austin, NV is a national forest campground. Austin, NV is another mining town. Make sure you do NOT need gas in Austin,'s ALWAYS VERY expensive! There are pony express sites located between Austin and Fallon. Watch for the site markers and ruins. Sand Mountain is located about 25 miles east of Fallon and a nice place to take a picture or two and stretch the legs. Grimes Point is about 10 miles east from Fallon with another petroglyph site and picnic tables. This might help. Hwy 50 Survival Guide

    Do you have reservations for Moab/Arches? Moab is a busy place if you're camping!

    Enjoy your trip.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are driving US-50 westbound, fill your tank in Ely. If eastbound, fill it in Fallon. There is gas in Austin and Eureka, but as UT says, very expensive. There's also very little gas between Ely and Delta.

Similar Threads

  1. San Francisco Bay Area to Zion, Bryce and back.
    By metaphysique in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-07-2013, 02:08 AM
  2. SF bay area to Yellow Stone and back in 24 days.
    By lundoe in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-29-2011, 04:48 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-05-2011, 02:17 AM
  4. Bay Area, Napa, and Lake Tahoe
    By Nardo in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-08-2010, 03:19 PM
  5. Recommendations on Stopovers Between DC & FL
    By Ben in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-24-2008, 01:41 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name