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From GTNP to Capitol Reef

Tel Aviv
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319 posts
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From GTNP to Capitol Reef


Tet has provided us with a great outline of an itinerary for our YNP/GTNP to Southwest Utah NPs trip with two teenage boys next August:


I'm hoping you Utah experts can provide me with some fine tuning for days 7 & 8.

7. Drive from GTNP to Salt Lake City

8. Salt Lake City to Torrey for Capitol Reef NP

By my reckoning that route involves around 9-10 hours straight driving, so if we spread it over two days we should also have some time for some short stops or activities along the way.

Can you provide any suggestions: stunning scenery that contrasts with what we'll see in the National Parks, including maybe a brief hike, dinosaur sites for the boys or any other fun activities, historical towns or settlements, or anything else that comes to mind and doesn't involve too much extra driving time.

Also, where would be a good place to stop overnight assuming we're not necessarily set on SLC itself?

Many thanks.

Salt Lake City
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1. Re: From GTNP to Capitol Reef

Tet always gives fabulous advice that you can trust completely :-)

Day 7: Consider spending the night in Park City which is a historic mining town turned ski/summer resort. Here's a link to the Park City Mountain Resort summer activities website: http://www.parkcitymountain.com/summer. There's certainly plenty to do there for an afternoon/evening. It is in a beautiful setting, cool mountain air as a contrast to what will probably be a very hot Salt Lake valley. The boys would have a great time riding the alpine slide, zip lines, etc.

Day 8: Salt Lake to Torrey is about 4.5 hrs. Most of it is interstate highway. Most locals would leave I-15 at Scipio and go through Aurora and Sigurd to Hwy 24 leading to Torrey. But you could continue on I-15 to the junction with I-70 and stop to see Cove Fort which is the only remaining historic fort built by Utah Pioneers. It has been restored and is open for visitors. Afterward, you could continue east on I-70 to the Fremont Indian State Park for a quick visit and then continue on I-70 to Richfield and then take hwy 119 and hwy 24 to Torrey.

An alternative route would be to leave Park City and take Hwy 40 to Hwy189 to Hwy 89, then all the way to the junction with I-70 and then east to Torrey. It's a very scenic route but there's not much along that route to stop for or that the boys would find entertaining.

Torrey, Utah
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for Torrey, Capitol Reef National Park
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2. Re: From GTNP to Capitol Reef

Are you going to the SLC area for some particular reason?

If not you night want to consider winding your way down to Bear Lake then down to Evanston and take 150 - the Mirror Lake Highway - south towards Park City. 35 to Duchesne (very scenic), 191, 6, 10 and take UT72 into Wayne County. I've done the Torrey-Logan drive many times that way, takes about 8 hours with photo stops and is great.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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3. Re: From GTNP to Capitol Reef

Options, options.

Just a few things between Tetons and Torrey, definitely NOT all on the same route and rather randomly listed. Just to give you an idea so you can decide which might be best for your family.

Star Valley Cheese factory in Thayne equals Curd cheese , we always make a stop.

Raspberry shake in Garden City by Bear Lake. You could rent a boat and head out on the lake. A perfect thing to do in the summertime.

Minnetonka Cave, south of Montpelier

Oregon Trails Center in Montpelier, you get to head out on the trail like a pioneer.

Great Salt lake at Antelope island

Thanksgiving Point in Lehi has a super dinosaur museum,,,,Museum of ancient life, something for everyone.

There is also a good dinosaur museum in Price on the campus of Eastern Utah College.

I love the Mirror Lake highway between Evanston and Kamas. You could take a hike around Mirror Lake, climb Mt Baldy.

Rock Cliff nature center at Jordanelle Reservoir

IN Park City, are the alpine slide, the alpine coaster, the Olympic training and museums.

Temple Square and sunday morning broadcast of the Tabernacle Choir.

Flaming Gorge and Red Cliffs visitor Center,

Vernal State Field House- Another great dinosaur museum

Nine Mile Canyon FULL of Fremont Indian petroglyphs.

Big Springs, Mesa Falls just south of oops not on the way from Tetons

Fossil Buttes,,, not too much to see though you can dig for your own fossils.

Cleveland Lloyd quarry,,,though not too much to see there either.

Little Grand Canyon of the San Rafael, Wedge Overlook and Buckthorn wash petroglyphs, a nice off road trip.

Highway 89 is a great road through rural Utah, stop and explore Spring City and it's national historical district with more than 60 homes and buildings on the historic register.

Mystic Hot Springs,

Fremont Indian Museum (maybe off the path abit).

Too much for a two day trip. What peaks your interest?

Tel Aviv
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4. Re: From GTNP to Capitol Reef

Wow- thank you all so much for your posts. That's exactly the sort of local knowledge and input I was hoping for.

Look's like I have a full day's Googling in front of me checking out all the places and routes you've mentioned. Then the problem will be to narrow the options down...

I love vacation planning!

5. Re: From GTNP to Capitol Reef

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