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  1. Default May roadtrip - Southern Utah

    We are an active fifty-something couple planning a ten day trip to Southern Utah to explore some of the national parks, enjoy the scenery and do some hiking and other activities. We plan to fly into Las Vegas on May 13, grab a rental car and head east. We are looking for a loop route that will end us back in LV to fly home on May 22. We would love some help planning the itinery - suggested route, must sees, must do's, hotels, restaurants, etc.

    Thanks in advance for your advice. we can't wait to explore this part of the country.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Popular options.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    We don't do must sees as such as every road trip is an individual choice but to create a loop and take in some great scenery and National parks heading either way around would go something like, head North out of Vegas on I 15 and head for Zion NP and Bryce canyon. You could then continue East to Scenic byway 12 and head to Moab and Arches NPand South towards Four corners and head through Monument valley to the South rim of the Grand canyon or if you didn't want to cover quite so many miles from Bryce canyon head down through Page [Lake Powell/Antelope canyon ] to MV and Grand canyon. You would enter from the East entrance on Deesrt view drive [64] and continue on 64 out of the South entrance to I40 back towards Vegas via Hoover dam. It is possible to detour onto part of the original route 66 through Seligman to Kingman on this part of the route.

    Have a look around the forums, there are many threads covering this area and when you have an idea of your preferred route we can then help you fine tune it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    South Central Orange County


    I took my family on this trip in May of 2003, and we were amazed at the views along Utah's Highway 12 (about 5 years after our trip I found out this is a famous scenic drive called "Scenic Byway 12"). The only difference is that we started and ended in So' Cal', so we only went through Vegas on the way up.

    The drive between Bryce and Capitol Reef National Parks was especially nice as there are big changed in elevation and climate on the route.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-21-2010 at 08:39 AM. Reason: block quote not really needed for in-line response

  4. Default

    As much as I love Hwy 12, Moab, Arches and Monument Valley, that's just to much driving for 10 days unless all you want to do is spend time in the rental car.

    I would suggest going to the Grand Canyon first. It will take most of the day to get there. Spend two nights at the Grand Canyon so you have one full day to explore the park. I like to start at Mather Point and walk along the rim toward Hermit's Rest. We usually take the shuttle buses after Hopi point. The great part of this trail is you can pick up the free shuttle buses almost anywhere along the way and ride if you don't feel like hiking any longer. If you want to hike down into the canyon keep in mind it takes 3 times as long to hike out as you hike in. As you exit the park make sure to stop at the scenic overlooks as you exit going towards Cameron and Hwy 89. The canyon changes so much as you make your way to Desert View Overlook. I like exiting the Grand Canyon this way because you will see part of the painted desert as you decend down to the little town of Cameron.

    Next stop is Page, AZ and Glen Canyon National Recreational Area, Lake Powell. Do the Upper Antelope Slots Canyon tour which will take about 2 hour total. Try to time this on a sunny day during mid day. The 3/4 mile hike to Horse Shoe Bend is really scenic, just be careful at the rim looking down into the canyon. You might want to take a boat tour on Lake Powell. I love this lake. If you spend two nights then I'd say do the all day boat tour to Rainbow Bridge National Monument on Lake Powel.

    Next stop Bryce Canyon. Spend two night here if you can. Try doing one of the hikes. My favorite is the Navajo Loop - Queen's Garden combo. Start at Navajo loop because it's a steeper grade going down than coming up Queen's Garden. Make sure you stop at Sunset Point, Sunrise Point and Bryce Point. If you have time drive all the way to Rainbow Point.

    Last stop will be Zion National Park. Enter on Hwy 9 and stop at the Checkerboard Mesa coming in to the park and then take the Tunnel down to the canyon. My favorite hikes here are the 2 mile easy Riverside Walk, Weeping Rock and the Emerald Pool hikes. Please try to spend two or three nights here.

    It's a fast three hour drive from Zion back to Las Vegas.

    If you wondering, I'm in my late 50's and still do all the hikes I mentioned. Let me know if you have any questions. I can't help with lodging because we always camp.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Utahtea -- Very Cool to see back on the Forum!

    Utahtea, it's very cool to hear from you again -- It's been a long dry spell.


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