Atlanta to the West
Well been thinking about it for a long time. Finally got a month off of work. So off we go. The trip starts from my current home (Atlanta) to the West. Planning stops in Phoenix, San Diego, San Fran, Redwood, Bend, Portland. Then working our way south thru the 4 corners region. Making stops in and around Moab, Arches, etc.
Anyone have some tips? Concerns? Comments? Places I should not miss?
Etsimated 9750 miles Round Trip.
Good places in Utah
Hello, I got back a couple weeks ago from a road trip out west. The Grand Canyon is very nice. If you have a couple days, I'd suggest hiking down, camping, and hiking back up, as long as it's not in the summer. The rim will be nice, but in the middle of the summer it can be brutal. Otherwise, there is a quick hike that will take you down about 1100-1200 feet down. We only had time for that when we went.
Also, Arches NP is great. There's a lot of great hiking around there. Devil's Garden is wicked cool. Just get there wicked early in the morning (or reserve if possible) if you want a campsite. They don't have many and they fill up fast. There's a lot of great hikes that you can do there. If you're into backpacking, the Needles district in Canyonlands is the palce to go. Canyonlands is also very close to Moab and Arches. The Island in the Sky part of Canyonlands is also very beautiful. Some Moab tips: Gearheads, an outdoor gear store sells Clif bars for only $1 each. Everything else is quite pricy. Also if you have any car problems, do not go to Arches Repair in Moab. I had some serious problems with my car there, and I'm quite a bit suspicious of the mechanic there. He was very nice and went out of his way for me, but I think that's his way of getting you to trust him before he screws you over.
Anyway, southern Utah has a lot of great places to visit: Zion NP, Capitol Reef NP, Bryce Canyon NP, and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Definately worth the trip. Since you'll be in the 4-corners area too, Mesa Verde in SWern Colorado is really neat. It has scores of old cliff dwellings and beautiful scenery.
Another tip: bring chapstick and drink a LOT of water. It's so dry out there, your lips chap up fairly quickly.
Have fun! I want to head that way again the next chance I get!
Oh yeah, just making sure you hit up Arches NP. The predominant rock is called slickrock, which is only slick if its wet, snowy, or icy. Otherwise its the most amazing rock to hike on. Your sneakers and boots stick to the rock a little bit. It's so weird! You can hike up and along inclines that you wouldn't be able to on normal rock. The place is a rock scrambler's paradise.
Also don't miss seeing Balanced Arch at sunset. The low sun really highlights the red rock that dominates the park. Unfortunately it was cloudy both times we went to see it.
Best Part -- No foot prints
I have been in love with the slick rock country since my first visit in the early 80's. One can walk for miles and leave nary a footprint. Just remember to be prepared and bring water -- it is easy to lose track of the way back!