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Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

Los Angeles...
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Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

We will be driving through Utah just after Christmas and are going to arches. Should we also include a trip to Canyonlands or Capitol Reef? We will be going to Los Angeles afterwards so Capitol Reef will be somewhat on the way. We are interested in hiking and will not have 4WD. I hear Capitol Reef is great and not crowded at all.

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

You can do both, and that's what I would recommend. They are entirely different. Capital Reef does require more time if you really want to see it in depth, but as I say, you could get a taste for both without going out of your way.

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

what would you recommend as a base for exploring both? or would we need to change hotels?

Moab, Utah
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3. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

You'll want to stay in Moab for Canyonlands and Arches as they are basically 'next door' to each other. Move on to Torrey which is about 10 miles from Capitol Reef to visit that park.

Just after Christmas it won't be crowded at any of these three parks. We'll be in Moab between Christmas and Newy Year ourselves.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

I agree there is certainly no need to exclude one or the other.

There are three sections to Canyonlands and the one most often included with Arches is the Island in the Sky. It can easily be seen in a morning before heading off to Capitol Reef. Another park you might also want to consider is Dead Horse Point State Park, a little bit of a detour off the road to Canyonlands. Easily included at the same time.

There are some great short hikes in all the parks. How much time will you have to explore?

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

We are thinking about devoting a day to Arches (I hear it can be done in a day) and a day or two for the other park, whichever we choose. Possibly could add another day.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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6. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

So spend all day 1 at Arches.

Hike the windows section, Delicate Arch, and see the arches along the Devil's Garden section.

The next morning Day 2 head to Island in the sky/Dead horse point.

Hike to Mesa Arch, stop at Green River overlook, and Grandview Point. Detour to Dead Horse Point (or maybe get there for sunrise?)

Then drive to Capitol Reef stopping in Goblin State Park along the way.

Next day spend all day 3 at Capitol Reef.

Hike to Hickman Bridge, Cassidy Arch, drive the scenic drive to Capitol Gorge, hike it to the tanks, maybe go to the Golden Throne if you are up to another climb or walk through the Grand Wash if the weather is good.

Next day you're on your way.

Wonderful country, and you won't have to worry about the heat.

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

Where would you recommend we stay near Capitol Reef? It seems to be a lot of B&B's that require early arrival and we'd obviously be arriving late.

This drive will be ok without 4WD?

Moab, Utah
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8. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

Accommodation choices in Torrey at Christmas time are limited. You'll probably find that some of those B&Bs are closed as well.

For just an overnight stop between sight seeing we'd say the Best Western or the Days Inn. We stayed at the Wonderland Inn late Dec '07 and can't really recommend it.

No 4WD required for any of your plans so far.

london
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9. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

We stayed at the Torrey Schoolhouse b&b for Canyonlands - if it's open I'm sure there'd be no problem arriving late there - they just hang your key by the stairs for you to collect on arrival.

london
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10. Re: Canyonlands or Capitol Reef and why?

What complete rubbish (my last post that is) - I meant Torrey Schoolhouse for Capitol Reef of course!