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Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Amsterdam
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Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Hello all,

I'll be visiting the southwest states of the US in 2 weeks. I'm so excited. I need some final help with my itinerary, though. Here's my current itinerary:

(..)

Zion NP ; July 12/13

Zion NP - Bryce Canyon ; July 14

Bryce Canyon - Mexican Hat via UT12/24/95/261 ; July 15

Mexican Hat - Monument Valley ; July 16

OR

Bryce Canyon - Page ; July 15

Page - Monument Valley ; July 16

I've read that the UT12 is one of the most beautiful roads in the US, I'm just wondering if it's worth the extra travel time. I'll be traveling with three children (18, who doesn't care about the travel time; 15, who kind of does, and one 12 year old who doesn't really care).

I won't have time to visit Capitol Reef NP, so it's just the UT12 I'm interested in. If we drive via Page, we could enjoy Antelope Canyon..

Remember, this is my first trip to the southwest states, and, most probably my last (kinda expensive; 4 weeks with 3 children..).

Thanks so much! :-)

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Goedemorgen Daniel.

Great trip you are going to make. Noticed you are coming from Las Vegas. On your way to Zion maybe visit Valley of Fire SP, exit 75 off I15. Between Mesquite and St. George you're driving I15 through Virgin River Gorge. Try to make a stop but be careful, heavy traffic and no official parking lots.

Now for your questions.

7/12: Drive to Zion

7/13: Stay Zion. Great idea!!

7/14: Zion-Bryce is 2 hours but please make a stop on ut 9 towards Mnt Carmel Junction. Just past the tunnel is the short Canyon Overlook Trail with awesome views. Take us89 north and ut12 to Bryce. Maybe a short stop at Red Canyon, also a nice place. Rest of the day in Bryce Canyon NP.

7/15: Bryce-ut12-Torrey-Capitol Reef-Hanksville-Hite Overlook-Natural Bridges NM-Muley Point-Moki Dugway-Gooseneck SP-Mexican Hat. This will be a very long day if you want to see it all. Only driving it already will take some 6.5-7 hours but you never should miss ut12. www.scenicbyway12.com My advice is to drive ut12, stop at Kiva Koffeehouse between milemarker 74 and 73 for the views and a cup of coffee with a pie on the terrasses. Then drive to Torrey. Take ut24, a scenic road through Capitol Reef NP and to Hanksville. Maybe the kids will like the Rockshop for a short stop (on your left hand side before the intersection in Hanksville). Then take ut 95, as scenic as ut12 at places. Fill your tank because no services (or houses!) between Hanksville and Mexican Hat. Make a stop at Hite Overlook for gorgeous views.I would skip Natural Bridges NM and take ut261 to Moki Dugway for a stop. A steep descent on a gravel road for 3 miles (curves are paved) and then drive to Mexican Hat and see "The Hat" before. If time left ((;o)- see Gooseneck SP before Mexican Hat. Paved road, 4 miles long. You should count on a very long day so start early and always carry lots of water.

Now for your Page route. Bryce to Page is 3 hours and it's another 2.5 hours to Monument Valley and another 30 minutes to Mexican Hat. Antelope Canyon will be crowded and with waiting time it may take longer than 2 hours for a visit if you are lucky. Also many things to see in between but you'll have to backtrack from Bryce. In Kanab is Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Moqui Cave and Frontier Movie town and Coral Pink Sanddunes are close. Also between Kanab and Page at milemarker 21 are the Toadstools worth a visit and there's Glen Canyon Dam, Horseshoebend overlook etc. in Page.

Hard choice but not to me really. I would drive via Torrey and see 2 of the most scenic stretches in the USA like ut12 and ut95261. Just start very early.

Happy planning and feel free to ask more questions.

Just one last remark. Between Mexican Hat and Monument Vally make a photostop at milemarker 13 on us163. You'll see why.

Tet

Amsterdam
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2. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Thanks Tet,

Just when I thought I'd stay in Page, you tell me I should take UT12! I'm still not sure. The UT12 sounds great (thanks for the website!!), but, if we go via Page, we can visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon as well (a 3 hr one way ride?).

If we'd stay in Mexican Hat, we'll visit Monument Valley and the south rim of the grand canyon afterwards.

Any comments on this? From what I've read, the north rim is less crowded and as nice as the south rim.

Thanks for all the tips on the (photography) stops!

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Daniel, are you "D" on AllesAmerica??

Back to you later.

Tet

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Hi D!

Bryce-north rim is 3.5 hours. Less people are visiting but also less space for parking etc. and you'll have to walk to explore a bit of the canyon. So count on at least 2 hours for your hiking. Then it's 2.5 hours to Page via Jacob Lake and 89A. There's only one lodge at the north rim and a couple of places to stay outside like in Jacob Lake, or Kaibab Lodge just north of the entrance to GCNP north rim. I would skip Page this time. As I told you Antelope Canyon (and Page) will be crowded and there's also roadconstructions between Page and Bitter Springs on us89 with delays up to 1 hour or more possible. If this were my trip I did ut12 and to Mexican Hat. Next day explore Monument Valley and make your way to south rim. Just mho of course.

Make your reservations asa possible.

Tet

Amsterdam
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5. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Thanks again!

I'm not sure what you mean by "allesamerica?"

Anyway, as beautiful as UT12 is, I think I have to skip it. I love to visit Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon. I've found a tour which takes a maximum of 8 people per guide so it isn't busy all the time.

Uden, The...
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6. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

It's your choice, have fun!

Amsterdam
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7. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Do you think I'm stupid if I go via Page? Do you prefer UT12 above Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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8. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

I'm trying to stay out of itinerary decisions anymore but have decided to put in my 2cents worth.

Going via hwy12,torrey, hanksville etc. will take about 2 hours longer and you will understand why Tet is telling you to go this way when you see it.

If Page is important then you can still get to Page after Monument Valley on the way to Grand Canyon South.

If I had to chose between one rim of the GC for my first visit it would be the south rim.

If I had to chose between Hwy 12/24 etc or the North rim of the GC (as long as I was going to the south rim) I would chose hwy 12/24/etc.

But you are not being stupid for chosing one over the other. It is your trip, see and go where you want!

Uden, The...
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9. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Well Daniel, I was TA local expert for Page (now they call it destination expert) and one of the reasons to quit was I felt restricted in giving unbiased advice but you are definitely not stupid going to Page. Page is kind of a love baby to us and we visited a lot of times. But on this trip I would chose for the northern route as described and as Kbec has said, and also was pionted out by the experienced AA members.

New Boston, New...
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10. Re: Itinerary almost finished - need some help regarding UT12

Daniel - Best wishes for a great trip no matter which you decide - please be sure to write a trip report as we are going to some of the same places in August. I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions upon your return.

Safe travels.