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  1. Default Southern Utah Trip Ideas

    My best friend and I are planning on finally doing the road trip we always talked about in highschool and college (were 31 now). Anyhow, we have 9 days for our trip. We plan on leaving Cincinnati on May 20th. and returning on the 29th. (not long, I know). We are going to Moab, UT since my friend is big into mountain biking and wants to ride slickrock. Our current plans are to make it to Moab in 2 long days of driving (about 1550 miles), tool around southern Utah (possibly northern Arizona) for a few days, and take 3 days to get back. My question is if you had 3 days in this area, what would you do? There seems to be so much stuff to do and see that I can't decide what's best on such a short stay. What would be a reasonable itinerary? Are there parks where more things are accessable by car than others, etc. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Moab: Utah's Parks Region

    Quote Originally Posted by monroeaccord
    ...we have 9 days for our trip. ... We are going to Moab, UT since my friend is big into mountain biking and wants to ride slickrock. .... What would be a reasonable itinerary? Are there parks where more things are accessable by car than others, etc.
    Welcome to the Forum!

    Well, you certianly have chosen a wonderful 'jump off' point for visiting parks. If you're looking to spend a lot of time in Moab, there are 2 National Parks and 1 State Park within a short drive of Moab: namely Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. I would personally spend a day at each park (Dead Horse Point SP, I see, has the Slickrock Trail that you've mentioned). Per my edition of Streets and Trips, both of the National Parks look to have quite a bit of area accessible by car. If you would rather get out of Moab, you can head down to Monument Valley.

    As far as a reasonable itinerary, your 2 days on the road to get there may be cutting it close. Even with that, here's what I would set up;
    Day1 - Day 2: Drive time from OH to UT
    Day 3: Arches NP
    Day 4: Dead Horse Point SP/Slickrock Trail
    Day 5: Canyonlands NP
    Day 6: Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction, CO (right of the interstate on your way back
    Day 7-9: Drive time back to OH

    If you decide to hit so many National Parks and Monuments so frequently, I would definitely recommend picking up a National Park Pass, which will cover your entry fees for the remainder of the year.

    Have a good trip!
    Brad
    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 01-13-2006 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Changed some spelling, decreased quote

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I Love Slickrock country

    Quote Originally Posted by monroeaccord
    My best friend and I are planning on finally doing the road trip we always talked about in highschool and college (were 31 now). Anyhow, we have 9 days for our trip. We plan on leaving Cincinnati on May 20th. and returning on the 29th.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! I think that it is an awesome plan. I have always loved the slickrock country. It is possible to hike for miles and never leave a footprint!
    Our current plans are to make it to Moab in 2 long days of driving (about 1550 miles), tool around southern Utah (possibly northern Arizona) for a few days, and take 3 days to get back.
    31 years old still has the huge advantage of youth, but that is really pushing it... and your car. Even if you are able to maintain 75 mph, the fastest average speed you can attain, (with rest stops, fuel breaks, etc.) is about 57 mph over that distance. Which works out to about 14 hours of driving per day. What kind of shape will you be in when you reach Moab? (I must admit to having done even greater distances and still worked events upon arrival -- so I know it can be done -- but I worry about those three days going home. Take plenty of breaks, eat high-energy food and stay alert!)
    My question is if you had 3 days in this area, what would you do? There seems to be so much stuff to do and see that I can't decide what's best on such a short stay. What would be a reasonable itinerary? Are there parks where more things are accessable by car than others, etc.
    I would spend as a day or so hiking around Arches NP -- my favorite place for getting away from the crowds is Cayonlands NP -- so many amazing places and few people ever go more than an 1/2 mile off of the paved roads. I really like the area around the confluence of the Green and the Colorado Rivers. Do a search for posts made by Killer he lives in the area and knows it pretty well. Here is a field report from the Capitol Reef area.

    Go to Monument Valley as you leave the area --

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default Rafting in Moab

    I'm gonna be in visiting Moab that same week with my sister. We're planning on one day at Canyonlands, one at Arches, and not sure how we are gonna loop back yet (towards Vegas) hopefully through Monument Valley, unless we stay an extra day in Moab to river raft. That was what I wanted to ask about...
    Is the river rafting in that area good for beginners (no experience whatsoever) and relatively inexpensive?

    Thanks,
    Brett

  5. Default

    Rafting sounds like a good idea if it's not too advanced. I've never been before either. Another question, what are some good places to stay at near the parks? Would camping be a good idea at that time of year? Also, how far in advance should I book accomidations? Thanks for all of the help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Not an expert but...

    When passing through Moab a few weeks ago I met a couple of experienced cyclists who thoroughly recommended Arches National Park as a great spot for mountain biking.

    I'm not familiar with the water rafting experience either, but to get you started, here are a few links to some Moab based companies that offer all kinds of adventure packages (horseback riding, canoeing, 4WD tours, etc):

    Canyon Voyages
    Tag-a-Long
    Red River Adventures
    Adrift

    what are some good places to stay at near the parks? Would camping be a good idea at that time of year?
    I guess it depends on your endurance but May should be ok, maybe a little chilly at night. As I wrote in that post, there are several campgrounds and cheap motels to choose from in the area of Canyonlands and Arches NP.

    Gen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by packman
    I'm gonna be in visiting Moab that same week with my sister. We're planning on one day at Canyonlands, one at Arches, and not sure how we are gonna loop back yet (towards Vegas) hopefully through Monument Valley, unless we stay an extra day in Moab to river raft. That was what I wanted to ask about...
    Is the river rafting in that area good for beginners (no experience whatsoever) and relatively inexpensive?

    Thanks,
    Brett
    My son and I did a white-water river-rafting trip in Moab a few years back. It was a kick but a piece of cake for the paying customers. You just hold on tight, paddle like heck when they tell you, and let the guides do most of the work. It was only the 2nd white-water rafting trip either of us had ever been on. And it was fine. Heck, it was a hoot! I think I spent about $40-50 for each of us and this included a light, riverside lunch and transport to/from the river. Very reasonable for what we got and for the memories.

  8. Default

    Once you hit Denver and are driving, you are not going to want to travel I-70 in the dark. It's just to scenic to miss! Once you reach Utah, take exit 202 and take hwy 128 into Moab. Again, this is a very scenic hwy and should not be done in the dark. If it is dark when you reach this exit, then wait and take hwy 128 as you leave Moab instead...just make sure it's not dark!

    We did the white water rafting trip out of Moab several years ago when our boys were young. We all LOVED it. It was so much fun! I was so scared the night before but it's a good beginners run and I was worried for nothing!

    Utahtea

  9. Default

    Good point! I never thought about the fact that we would be driving through the best scenery of the trip in the dark! We are gonna stop for the night in Golden, CO and head into Moab first thing in the morning. It looks like it would only be a 5-6 hour trip, so we will still have some day time left when we arrive. We are planning on renting a primitive cabin when we get to Moab. Does anyone recommend one place over the others?

  10. Default

    Slickrock Campground in Moab has cabins. We've only camped there in our RV and never used the cabins, so I don't know what they are like inside.

    Utahtea

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