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Old 12-21-2016, 10:16 AM   #1
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Winter Trip to Utah

So after much discussion, My wife and I are planning to head out to Utah after Christmas to do some snowboarding at Snowbird and see some of Utah. Would love some insight or tips. The rough route looks as follows.



With the driving broken down like this



The plan is to get to Salt Lake City and camp at the KOA while we go to Snowbird for two days in the snow. The dog will be at daycare downtown SLC on those two days. We figure the KOA offers some showers and a spa that will be nice after days on the slopes. Also lets us test out our Espar for the first time in colder weather, while having hookups incase anything goes wrong.

From there it is up in the air. We have to get home by Sunday, but other than that it is up in the air. Not opposed to dispersed camping, but not looking to do anything two 4x4 crazy as we will be going solo.

I do see we will be close to White pocket, AZ. Any problems with that in winter? Looks like on this route we'd be driving right past Horseshoe Bend as well.

Anyways, just started researching this and any tips, or "hey, that road is closed in winter!" would be great.

I will be headed to Utah for two weeks in May, but I've seen some awesome winter pics of Utah, so excited to see it in person!

Thanks!
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:35 AM   #2
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Looks like a great trip! We will be in SLC (Alta/Snowbird/Canyons) a month after you at the beginning of our Mountain Collective ski trip loop. This is similar to what we did this past February with the addition of Teluride and Taos for this trip.

In SLC area, we are meeting a friend who is flying in from North Carolina so we share a hotel room in Sandy. We were able to find room again this year at the Extended Stay America via booking.com. The cost for a large room with kitchen is $83/night. It is also pretty close to a Costco that pumps diesel. Snowbird is about 30 mins up the road.

Driving from Granite Bay, a pretty good stop over point, if needed, is the Casino parking lot at Wendover. Can be bit noisy with truckers, but then your drive into SLC is during the morning across the flats.

Grand Canyon and Bryce should be beautiful at this time of year. Try to get one of the campgrounds/sites at GC that is close to a bus stop. Their transportation system is excellent.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:39 AM   #3
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We also got the mountain collective pass, hence the trip. What a great pass, hoping to hit up Squaw Valley, Mammoth, Jackson Hole, Snowbird and Aspen.

Having the dog will definitely force our hand a lot, but will definitely look into some places in the Grand Canyon. From my research it looks like the North Rim roads are closed, which means no Point Sublime. Have no idea how the road out there would be this time of year, but really want to go check it out some time.

edit: Seeing now that the extended stay place is pet friendly, hmmm
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:52 AM   #4
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If you have the time go see Horseshoe Bend. Nice parking lot and less than a mile easy hike. Early morning or sunset is awesome! Then you HAVE to see the Antelope Slot Canyon about 5 miles outside of Page, Arizona. The light isn't the best this time of year since it never reaches directly over the slot, but the lack of crowds are a great trade off IMHO. There is some great camping at Lake Powell.

Antelope Slot Canyon Tours

I have heard of White Pocket but don't have any experience with it. Also a place called 'The Wave' in the same area. That is definitely on my 2017 list! I could spend days in Page! Just beautiful country there! I am so jealous! Have a great trip!
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:54 PM   #5
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Bring the mtn bikes and detour to St. George.

Also: I always forget how high Bryce is. Be sure to check the weather before you head down there.
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:08 AM   #6
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All the roads you have on the map will be open so no issues there. There is a place called The Dog Park down the street from the KOA that is a great place to leave the pup for a couple days we use it every few months for our Mastiff the staff there is awesome. We finally got snow so you should have some good skiing as well. Hope the trip goes well for you. Let me know if you need something while your in town I am about a 10 minute drive North of the KOA there on North Temple.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:31 AM   #7
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If you have a little more time and want a more scenic route after leaving SLC, and the weather looks good, you might consider going through Torrey, near capitol Reef NP and then taking highway 12 from Torrey to Bryce. Exit I-15 at Scipio and take hwy 50 to hwy 24 to hwy 12. . The pass near Fish Lake can be bad if it is snowing, but if the weather is good it will be fine.. Highway 12 from Torrey to Escalante is amazing, a little exposed in places, but if the weather is good it is worth it. You can also stop and hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls along the way. There is a lot of good dispersed camping around Escalante.

While you are in SLC if you like Mexican food the KOA is really close to the Red Iguana, the best in SLC IMO.

If you need anything while you are in SLC let me know.

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Old 12-22-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2tx View Post
If you have a little more time and want a more scenic route after leaving SLC, and the weather looks good, you might consider going through Torrey, near capitol Reef NP and then taking highway 12 from Torrey to Bryce. Exit I-15 at Scipio and take hwy 50 to hwy 24 to hwy 12. . The pass near Fish Lake can be bad if it is snowing, but if the weather is good it will be fine.. Highway 12 from Torrey to Escalante is amazing, a little exposed in places, but if the weather is good it is worth it. You can also stop and hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls along the way. There is a lot of good dispersed camping around Escalante.

While you are in SLC if you like Mexican food the KOA is really close to the Red Iguana, the best in SLC IMO.

If you need anything while you are in SLC let me know.

Jeff
Yep that drive is amazing if the weather is good Torrey is a cool little town, great pies at the cafe there. Red Iguana is pretty good and close to you for sure. There is a New place a bit North called Chile Amora that is amazing as well.
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:15 PM   #9
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White Pocket: Some sections of House Rock Valley Rd will be greasier than snot when wet but the road to While Pocket will be fine if not easier.

Bryce is beautiful in the winter. If it's dry out consider taking the Cockscomb Rd and maybe detour to Goblin Valley. You could also hit Bull Valley Gorge or Round Valley but it's not really the time of year for slot canyon hikes.

S. Rim. There is dispersed camping outside of the park south of Grand View Mesa near the lookout tower. FS 301 or 302. Not sure if it's gated past the lookout this time of year but there won't be anybody around.

Eagle Point outside of Beaver is pretty fun to catch on a powder day. An entirely different experience that riding the tram with the rest of the cattle car. For that matter, my local hill in flagstaff has some great slackcountry skiing on a powder day.
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:20 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the tips everyone! Not sure if I'm more excited for the fresh snow to snowboard I. Or whatever we end up doin after!
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