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Old 08-22-2013, 06:58 PM   #1
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Trip to UTAH

My wife and I will be going next week on a trip from Phoenix, AZ to Salt Lake City, UT. I would like to visit some National Parks like Arches, Canyonland, Monument Valley. Any ideas for places worth to visit in our one week trip?

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Old 08-22-2013, 07:34 PM   #2
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Re: Trip to UTAH

Stop in the visitors' centers in the little towns. Most are run by older volunteers in some really neat old Mormon community centers. Lots of good camping and sight seeing information ... they also got the raft trips and what-not, but it's the local old-time information that works.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
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Re: Trip to UTAH

Originally Posted by jsaavedrav
My wife and I will be going next week on a trip from Phoenix, AZ to Salt Lake City, UT. I would like to visit some National Parks like Arches, Canyonland, Monument Valley. Any ideas for places worth to visit in our one week trip?
The 3 you mentioned are all great, though Canyonlands is huge and hard to access much of from any given point. You'll also be going right by Grand Canyon if you take a fairly direct route. I haven't been yet but everyone here says the North Rim is spectacular and less crowded.
If you go a little east, I strongly recommend a loop through Monument Valley, Then maybe Mesa Verde NP near Cortez, Co. You could head over to Durango from there and go up through Silverton and Ouray on 550. It's a spectacular drive. Then maybe back west to Arches.
You're right in the middle of tons of beautiful places. You can't go wrong.

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Old 08-22-2013, 08:58 PM   #4
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Re: Trip to UTAH

Between Monument Valley and Canyonlands there's lots to see. Just north of Mexican Hat town is Mexican Hat rock. Take a short side trip to Goose Necks of the San Juan and Valley of the Gods. You could drive up the Moki Dugway to Cedar Mesa and the Muley Point Lookout - great views of the goosenecks and Moument Valley in the distance.

If you want to get off the pavement a bit, take the road up Butler Wash along the back of Comb Ridge between Hwys US163 and UT95. On the way back you could drive down Comb Wash along the front side of Comb Ridge. The top side of Comb Ridge along Butler Wash has many Indian ruins in caves. Fish Mouth cave is one - scope it out on Google Earth.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:53 PM   #5
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Re: Trip to UTAH

If you have the time checkout Zion and Bryce national parks. We stayed on BLM land just outside of Canyon Lands near a campground call hamburger rock if I remember correctly, awesome view of the sunset.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:52 PM   #6
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Re: Trip to UTAH

I really dug the Goosenecks. Be ready for some wind.

If you have 4wd, you can get into Canyonlands from the South by way of Horse Mountain and Beef Basin Rd. Exiting on UT211 S will take you past Newspaper Rock which is awesome.

It's not on the way to anywhere, but Kodachrome State Park has some cool hikes and if you're into campgrounds, theirs is nice.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:55 PM   #7
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Re: Trip to UTAH

You can't go wrong. The southern 20% of Utah is all spectacular. I spend a lot of time there, just got back from an 11 day trip. you need to travel east and west a bit before venturing further north to your destination. Head up to the Grand Canyon, on to Monument Valley, then to Moab and Arches and parts of Canyonlands (island in the sky). North to 70, west a bit and drop down to Hanksville. Head west to Capitol Reef, then through Boulder and Escalante (fabulous country) and again west along rt 12 to Bryce. Then a little more driving and two turns and you're in Zion. Then you head to Hurricane and catch rt 15 north to finish your trip. Map it out, the route will be clear. That's a great week!
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:30 AM   #8
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Re: Trip to UTAH

As said by BogusBlake, Beef Basin is awesome but the trail to UT211 is really rockcrowlling, espacially the end called Elephant Trail. You will need a full day from Bridges National Park to UT211. If it's to hard or you don't have enough time to drive it, you can drive UT211 to visit the Needles (south of Canyonsland) and hike to Chesler Park, definitely one of my favorite places in Utah !
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:20 PM   #9
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Re: Trip to UTAH

Toroweap is worth the drive down the 60+ mile dirt road if you have the time. North Rim camping with no crowds and no guard rails.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:40 PM   #10
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Re: Trip to UTAH

I've been on the Utah "Grand Tour": Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, Arches.

Of those, I would consider Bryce to be #1 on the must-see list. Plan on spending a good part of, if not all, day there if you hike down into the canyon, which is an experience I highly recommend. Small parts can be steep coming back up, but easily do-able if you're in average physical shape.

Arches is also fantastic, but perhaps a bit east of your travel path. If you are headed over in that direction, you may want to also consider Goblin Valley State Park off of highway 24 (I think). A very other-worldly experience, with great hoodoos to walk around in. Here's a link:

Trivia note: Some scenes from the movie Galaxy Quest were filmed there.

Since you will probably be going up 89A near Page, don't forget about Horseshoe Bend. About a 10 or 15 minute walk from the parking lot. Also in Page, there is Antelope Canyon, but you need a Navajo guide to take you there. Not sure if how far in advance you have to book a tour, though.
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