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  1. #1

    Default Southern Utah Loop Trip

    Hello,

    I'm lookin to take a Southern Utah trip this May with my sister and wanted to get some input. I checked some of the searches on the site and couldn't come to a conclusion. This is what I want to hit on the trip: Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, Vermillion Cliffs, North Rim Grand Canyon. I've been to Zion and Bryce already so I'm planning on skipping them this time around and will do Capitol Reef on another trip in the future.

    Here is what I have:

    Saturday:
    Leave Vegas 5 a.m.
    Arrive Canyonlands (Island In The Sky) 12 p.m. ??
    Sleep in Moab

    Sunday:
    Tour Arches National Park till 11 or 12
    drive to needles district
    leave for monument
    Stay at Goulding

    Monday:
    Tour Monument Valley till about 1 or 2
    Drive to Page, AZ
    Sleep in Page

    Or Monument Valley to North Rim and sleep at the canyon

    Tuesday:

    See North Rim
    Leave for Vegas in the late afternoon

    Now some of the stuff that has me confused is on mapquest it says the drive from canyonlands to moab is 79 miles and 3 hours? Is that true?
    Are the Vermillion Cliffs visible on the way to the North Rim? I've never seen Lake Powell, is it worth staying in Page to get a small dose of it? Or should I just head on to the North Rim on the third day?

    Thanks in advance,
    Brett

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default North Rim -- questionable in May

    Quote Originally Posted by packman
    I'm lookin to take a Southern Utah trip this May with my sister and wanted to get some input. I checked some of the searches on the site and couldn't come to a conclusion. This is what I want to hit on the trip: Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, Vermillion Cliffs, North Rim Grand Canyon.
    Welcome back! Depending upon when in May you are planning on traveling, the road into the North Rim might still be closed due to snow. This year, it didn't open until nearly the end of May.
    Saturday:
    Leave Vegas 5 a.m.
    Arrive Canyonlands (Island In The Sky) 12 p.m. ??
    Sleep in Moab
    This is the first challenge -- I don't think it is humanely possible to get to Island in the Sky this fast. There are no direct routes from Las Vegas and so by the shortest possible distance this is over 500 miles, on slow roads. If you left Las Vegas by 5 am, you could reasonably reach Canyonlands by 2:00 pm.
    Sunday:
    Tour Arches National Park till 11 or 12
    drive to needles district
    leave for monument
    Stay at Goulding
    This day is a little more reasonable -- but I really doubt you will want to leave Arches that quickly.
    Monday:
    Tour Monument Valley till about 1 or 2
    Drive to Page, AZ
    Sleep in Page
    yes, this is doable.
    Now some of the stuff that has me confused is on mapquest it says the drive from canyonlands to moab is 79 miles and 3 hours? Is that true?
    It is a one-way road, (into park and back) and I am not sure where that distance is quoted from -- but it could easily take that long.
    Are the Vermillion Cliffs visible on the way to the North Rim?
    Yes, you will pass by them on Alt-US-89 between Marble Canyon and Jacob Lake.
    I've never seen Lake Powell, is it worth staying in Page to get a small dose of it?
    It is a pretty lake.

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default thanks

    Thanks for the help Mark. If I'm not doing any hiking, how much time do you think I should leave myself to visit the Island In The Sky district? Cause I could always leave Vegas a bit earlier. It looks like its mostly interstate. I could always skip North Rim and do that and Lake Powell on another 2-3 day trip out of Vegas. Then I could spend more time on Arches and Canyonlands and come back from Monument Valley via 95 to Hanksville and back UT-12. Could possibly knockout Capitol Reef..or is that gonna just create a lot more driving for me?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Mis-oriented

    Quote Originally Posted by packman
    Thanks for the help Mark. If I'm not doing any hiking, how much time do you think I should leave myself to visit the Island In The Sky district? Cause I could always leave Vegas a bit earlier. It looks like its mostly interstate.
    I had Island in the Sky on the wrong side of the Colorado (in my head) so yes, you can use I-15 and I-70 to reach it. However it is still 470 miles and it will require all of eight hours to cover that distance. That being said, that road provides an easy access into that section of the slickrock country and so, I think you could see alot in the 4-5 hours you have planned for there.
    I could always skip North Rim and do that and Lake Powell on another 2-3 day trip out of Vegas. Then I could spend more time on Arches and Canyonlands and come back from Monument Valley via 95 to Hanksville and back UT-12. Could possibly knockout Capitol Reef..or is that gonna just create a lot more driving for me?
    Here is another field report from part of that route..

  5. Default Condors & the Vermillion Cliffs

    The Vermillion Cliffs are a successful release site for many of the California Condors -- if you are interested in seeing an endangered species in its natural habitat, take the graded road from US89A north past the western end of the Cliffs (this road cuts off just before the end of the valley and just before the highway curves into its climb to the top of the Kaibab Plateau) -- get as close as you can to the Cliffs and you may see these birds soaring there. They are mostly black with a distinctive white blaze on the leading edges of their wings.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Gotta make time for Goblin Valley State Park

    Quote Originally Posted by packman
    ...via 95 to Hanksville and back UT-12.
    Brett, when you get to Hanksville - you have got to take the time to run up to Goblin Valley State Park. It is one of the most amazing collections of hoodoos you are ever likely to see. If you ever saw that silly 1999 film "Galaxy Quest" with Tim Allen you will recognize this place!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-17-2005 at 02:41 PM.

  7. #7

    Default sounds cool

    Never actually heard of this place. Looks pretty interesting by the pics. I'll have to add that into the plans and make a stop. Gotta love southern Utah, just so much cool stuff to see. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    169

    Default Arches

    I agree with others that you will want more time in Arches. Many of the "arches" you walk to - not visible from the road.

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