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Moab - Cap Reef - Moab: Too much for 1 day?

Texas
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332 posts
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Moab - Cap Reef - Moab: Too much for 1 day?

We will be based in Moab for a few days, thinking of taking a day trip to Capital Reef, and back to Moab for the night. Is it feasible to drive from Moab to Cap Reef (via Goblin Valley), tour the CR area, and drive back to Moab all in one day? Also considering returning to Moab via the southern loop taking 95 south then 191 north to Moab. Is this feasible, time-wise? Or should we just retrace our route from Capital Reef back to Moab via I-70? I guess this is 2 questions: Can we do Moab-CR-Moab in one day via I-70; If yes, then can it be done using sourthern route return instead?

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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1. Re: Moab - Cap Reef - Moab: Too much for 1 day?

Sure, you can do it, but it will be a lot of driving and not a lot of time for the parks. Moab to Capitol Reef is about 3 hours without stops using I-70 and route 24 via Hanksville, so about 6 hours round-trip. Goblin Valley is a couple of hours for that side trip, so you might have 2 hours for CR, depending on the time of year (meaning a time of year when the days are long). Returning via the southern route will take a little longer and make the trip even less doable.

So, I would say that you should not do this as a day trip. If you could fit in an overnight stay in Torrey, then you could have time for a visit to Goblin Valley and CR, but doing this as a day trip from Moab would be a long day of driving....not my idea of having fun.

Park City, Utah
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2. Re: Moab - Cap Reef - Moab: Too much for 1 day?

As noted, it's do-able but really doesn't make any sense just to see Capitol Reef or Goblin Valley. Both are fantastic, but not appreciably different than Moab to justify the time. If you only have a few days in Moab, spend them exploring Moab. You can't see anywheres near everything there in a few days.

For example, take the day and drive down to Canyonlands Needles district for a hike.

The only thing I can think of that would MAYBE make sense is to drive over to Little Wild Horse Canyon (near Goblin Valley) for a slot canyon hike, which you really can't get in Moab. But just to see CR and GV wouldn't make sense.

Have fun.

Texas
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3. Re: Moab - Cap Reef - Moab: Too much for 1 day?

Thanks for your input, both of you! Will plan another trip later, to include Capital Reef, Bryce, Zion etc. Concentrating on doing Moab area in-depth, and Monument Valley on this trip. I just lost my head for a minute there!

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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4. Re: Moab - Cap Reef - Moab: Too much for 1 day?

You're welcome. I think you will have a much better time by concentrating on Moab and MV for this trip. Glad to hear that you will be coming back for the western parks. There is just so much to see in area that it is impossible to do it all in one trip (no matter how much time you have!).

5. Re: Moab - Cap Reef - Moab: Too much for 1 day?

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