Hello, I am going on a two-week road trip at the end of September. I will be leaving from Seattle, and spending 3.5 days in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. I am then spending 3.5 days in Salt Lake City.
The next leg of my trip involves the Utah National Parks (plus Great Basin National Park, and Crater Lake National Park is also thrown in there because I'm heading to Bend). I am wondering what would be the best way to divide up my time.
I will be ready to leave Salt Lake City at sunrise or earlier on the morning of a Thursday. I want to be in Bend, Oregon by ~9pm on the following Monday. So I'm looking at roughly four full days to make this trip. I will be doing 30 hours of driving to get from park to park (plus however long I take to mosey around the parks themselves). I have experience making long drives.
This is what I want to see -- I'm hoping I can squeeze all of these in!
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Zion National Park
- Great Basin National Park
- Crater Lake National Park
Here is a link to the (proposed) map of my trip (Brighton & Anasazi State Park are on there because of a couple of scenic byways I wanted to take -- these detours only add about two hours to my trip. Winnemucca is there simply as a place to spend the night.)
I'm still actively researching the parks, but am struggling regarding how to divide up my time and what would be the best places to spend the night.
My very tentative idea (and any times listed are quite flexible -- just a very rough guideline):
Thurs -- Leave Salt Lake City at 7am. Arrive at Arches National Park at ~1pm. Spend ~4 hours at Arches. Drive to Canyonlands. Spend ~3 hours / until it gets dark at Canyonlands. Spend the night at Canyonlands. Or should I switch and go to Canyonlands first, and spend the night at Arches?
Fri -- Leave Canyonlands at 7am. Drive to Capitol Reef & arrive there at ~11am. Spend 2-3 hours there. Leave at 2pm. Drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. Arrive at ~5pm. Explore til dark and spend the night at Bryce Canyon.
Sat -- Continue exploring Bryce Canyon. Leave at ~11am. (Roughly 5-6 daylight hours spent at Bryce). Drive to Zion National Park. Arrive at ~1pm. Explore til dark and spend the night at Zion.
Sun -- Leave Zion, drive to Great Basin National Park. Arrive there ~11am? Most guidelines suggest spending half a day there. Leave at ~6pm? Drive to Winnemucca, arrive by ~11pm, spend the night.
Mon -- Sleep in, Finish driving to Crater Lake National Park. Arrive there anytime as long as it is still daylight. Spend 2 hours there. Leave for Bend and arrive at Bend at 8 or 9pm.
Any critiques or suggestions in general would be much appreciated!
Also, is there anything worth seeing along my route in Nevada? It looks pretty desolate on the map. I really like historical stuff and was hoping to be able to see some sort of Mormon Pioneer and/or Oregon-Trail-ish stuff somewhere, but I haven't found anything like that so far.
Thanks in advance for any tips!