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grand circle itinerary early Sept.

Coshocton, Ohio
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grand circle itinerary early Sept.

Here is our itinerary for our upcoming trip Sept 4 - 14

drive to Denver and spend the night

drive to Capitol Reef, tour and spend the night

tour Capitol Reef in am, drive Highway 12 to Bryce, tour? spend the night

tour Bryce in am, drive to Zion and tour, spend the night

tour Zion, then drive to Page

spend 2 nights in Page touring Antelope Canyon and doing laundry and resting

drive to Grand Canyon in am, spend 2 nights

drive to Moab for 3 nights

We are driving from Ohio so that is the reason for staying in Denver. All of our reservations are made. We will fit in short hikes as we can. Hubby is not crazy about this trip as he prefers Yellowstone and Colorado which we visit every year. I'm ready for a change of scenery! Does this sound doable? I know it is like a drive by but this way it keeps hubby happy. PS we are not staying in the park lodges, too many mice for me!!

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

I've stayed in dozens of park lodges and haven't seen a mouse yet. But I understand they were there first.

As to your plan it is doable.

Coshocton, Ohio
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2. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

Thanks RedRox! Unfortunately I have seen many mice in the lodges. The policy used to be to kill no living creature in the National Parks.

This seems like a "drive by" trip to me, but I'm glad to see you think it is doable.We usually spend a week in Yellowstone alone. Are you the RedRox who posts on Y-net? If so, you have wonderful photos!

Sedona, AZ
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3. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

Nope not the same RedRox. But I do take and post some good pictures around here.

Your trip is hasty but can be done. Obviously, if you reduced the number of destinations, you could improve the quality of time at the stops. The GCNP is one place where I would strongly encourage you to overcome the mouse thing and stay inside the park. Being able to walk to the rim for sunset and sunrise will enhance your experience exponentially.

Kipling. SK
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4. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

Drive By? Possibly as you are fitting in two destinations into some of the days. Your plan is doable for sure, but it is obvious you are going to drive by Zion if you spend too much time in Bryce. You also appear to be driving by Scenic SR12 as well.

Sufficient time at the GC

Adequate time at Page and Moab.

If you want a change of scenery your plan will succeed, but I would have suggested an extra day in the first half of the trip

Kipling. SK
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5. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

RR, I think those mice knew you were coming!

Ohio, USA
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6. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

First of all, welcome to the forums, cindy, from a fellow Ohioan.

OK, where to start. How about mice? I’ve stayed in National Park lodges all over the west and have let to see a mouse in the room. Good thing as my DW would probably want to keep it. The good news is that at most of the parks you are not missing too much by staying near the park (and some of the parks do not have in-park lodges anyway). As mentioned, the Grand Canyon is the one place that you really should try to get lodging inside the park, just to cut down on the travel and to have better access for sunrise and sunset. I usually give the same advice for Bryce Canyon, but if you are staying at Rudy’s or one of the related hotels just outside the park, then you are probably close enough.

What’s next…oh, yeah, your dear hubby. So he’s not enthralled with touring through the desert southwest? I think that he will find that these parks provide such a stark contrast to the parks of CO and WY that he will HAVE to like them. As mentioned, my wife and I have visited many of the western parks, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain and Glacier and we enjoyed them all and will return to many of them. But we keep coming back to southern UT and northern AZ. We just dig the red rocks (well, and we dig RedRox also, but I digress). Each park is different and has its own vibe. Some of the parks, like Bryce Canyon, provide a more intimate setting and allow you to get to know the park in a short time. Others, like Zion, require a bit more effort to really understand the park; they take more time to explore and require a bit more hiking to get t the best parts (I’m not talking about multi-day backpacking, but rather some half to full day hikes to allow you to get some of the iconic views). And then there is Arches. You will just not find scenery and formations like you will see in Arches and around Moab. The Grand Canyon? Just awesome. Just so much variety. I understand the variety that Yellowstone offers with the geysers, hot springs, waterfalls and tons of wildlife, but there is variety in southern UT as well, just a different type of variety. Go with an open mind and open eyes…he’ll be impressed.

Finally, your trip plan. Yes, it is a bit rushed in places, but it is doable. I agree that in southern UT and northern AZ a tour like you are planning, less is often more, meaning visiting fewer places but spending more time is the remaining destinations often provides a better overall experience.

Here’s a link that might be useful:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28965-c177493/Utah:U…

This is a travel article that several of the regulars on this forum contributed to. It has a lot of good info on places to see, routes, etc. It might provide a few pointers.

Have you plotted your route on Google maps or one of the other web mapping sites? That would provide you a good estimate of the drive times.

Note that it will be a long drive from Denver to Torrey/Capitol Reef and you will passing right by Moab. Perhaps this will not work since you have your reservations in place, but I would have started with Moab, then worked around the loop from there. Then you would also have options on the route back to Ohio once you left Grand Canyon.

I think that you are in for an enjoyable trip. It is great to see more of the National Parks. Each is unique and has something special to offer. While we all have our favorites, it is good to get out and sample. Who know, you and your husband might find a new favorite!

Coshocton, Ohio
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7. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

@ OhioHick!

I've been to Medina several times for hubby's doctor. (Crystal Lakes)

I am the one who really wants to visit other National Parks. We've spent quality time in Alaska and at Glacier but he enjoyed those parks. Hopefully he'll like these too. We're retired so we could spend more time but he has to come back out to WY with a friend at the end of Sept. I think he is thinking these parks will be like the Tucson area that we spent a week in many years ago. We flew so he didn't see anything but that area.

We are used to driving long distances as we drive 13 to 14 hours on our way out west. We also stay on east coast time with our sleeping habits so we are early risers.

I tried to start with Moab but couldn't get rooms on some legs of the trip going in that direction.

@RedRox sorry it isn't you on the other board. I'll look up your pics though.

Sedona, AZ
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8. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

The parks in your plan are NOTHING like Tucson.

https://picasaweb.google.com/home…

Over a hundred albums and a few thousand photos. Enjoy.

Chapel Hill, North...
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9. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

If you could steal one of those nights from Page and add it to Zion I would do that. Bryce and Zion seem very rushed to me. In general, Zion needs more time than Bryce.

I did not like the town of Page, although there are several things to do there and many do like it as a destination. Part of my dislike may have been the less than welcoming Holiday Inn Express we stayed in. We did the half day float trip there and we did like that, but 1 night and the half day was adequate for us. I think if all you want to do in Page is Antelope Canyon then 1 night would be sufficient.

I really loved the little town of Springdale outside Zion (great restaurants, wonderful hotels, stunningly beautiful surroundings) and personally would much, much, much rather spend 2 nights there than 2 nights in Page. YMMV, of course.

Ohio, USA
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10. Re: grand circle itinerary early Sept.

LIke RedRox said, southern UT is NOTHING like Tucson. There is so much more color and character in the rock formations in southern UT and northern AZ as compared to the Tucson area (don't get me wrong I liked my one visit to Tucson, but it is just not the same as the parks of southern UT).

As for Page, there is not much in the town, but there is a LOT in the area. Antelope Canyon is probably the main draw, but there is also Lake Powell, Rainbow Bridge, Glen Canyon Dam, Horseshoe Bend, Navajo Bridges...lots ot see. My wife and I spent several days in Page a few years back just checking out all there is too see and do. That said, Springdale is a nicer little town and Zion certainly needs at least a full day (so a two night stay). Tough choice.