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  1. #1

    Default National Parks of Southern Utah

    Hello all!

    My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Utah's national parks in mid-October. We have 6 nights. And because we have not yet booked our flights, we can fly in or out of Las Vegas or Salt Lake City.

    We cannot decide whether we should spend more time in the Western parks (eg. Zion, Bryce) or in the Easterns parks near Moab (eg. Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Goblin Valley State Park).

    We would like to do some camping and hiking along the way. Any suggestions on an itinerary including things we should not miss?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Tough Choice

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    But I think in the end, I'd have to advise you to go with Bryce, Zion and maybe the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The parks of southeastern Utah are just enough harder to get to, with the exception of Arches, that accessibility tips the balance. I'd also, then, fly in and out of Las Vegas and maybe spend my first night there before heading into the backwoods. Then you could devote a couple of nights each to Bryce and Zion and get in some solid hiking in both parks. Depending on how you feel and how much time you have, the north rim of the Grand Canyon is a 4-5 hour drive from the St. George, UT area through the Grand Staircase-Escalante on US-89 but leaves you a full day's drive back to Las Vegas to catch your flight home. Trying to do too much will work against you on a trip like this, so just relax and enjoy what you can on a laid-back schedule.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Tough choice is right!


    As much as I love the eastern parks, the Grand Canyon (north or south rims) tips the balance for me.

    The first time I saw "the canyon" (as if it were the only one) was about two hours before sunset. We walked from a parking lot, through some trees and all of a sudden there it was...about 50 feet in front of us. I was stunned, and I feel that way every time we go there (half a dozen by now).

    The geological story of the area is fascinating. As I recall, the rocks at the TOP of the Grand Canyon are about 250 million years old, and the rocks at the bottom of Zion start at that age and get newer, and the rocks at the bottom of Bryce start at the same age as the top of Zion and get newer yet. So by visiting those three parks in that order you pass through an amazing record of geologic time, expecially considering that the bottom of the Grand Canyon is something like a BILLION years old. Breathtaking!

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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