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10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

North Vancouver...
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10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

We will be flying into Vegas mid May and renting an RV. We love adventure. We plan to hike.. hoping to hike the Narrows, bike, horseback ride, cayoneering in Escalante, whitewater rafting in Moab. Most interested in Zion and Moab areas but realize 10 days is not quite enough for the entire loop. I'm thinking of 3 nights in Zion, 3 nights along route 12 and 3 nights in Moab, then drive the freeway back to Vegas in a day. Any suggestions or advice? Other route suggestions? Am I right in my feeling that 10 days is too short for the big loop?

Park City, Utah
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1. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

It's a bit of an aggressive plan for an RV. Keep in mind that you won't be driving 80mph on I-70 like you would in a car. Given your interests, I would also suggest you think about SLC as a gateway rather than Vegas. And if you do use Vegas, maybe think about reversing your route.

Here's a suggested plan which is actually a bit aggressive for an RV.

1 - Arrival - drive to Zion

2 - Zion

3 - Bryce

4 - Escalante (Calf Creek Falls)

5 - Torrey

6 - Moab (Little Wild Horse Canyon en route)

7 - Moab

8 - Moab

9 - Return drive

10 - Depart

Given your timeframe, I've suggested Calf Creek Falls hike in Escalante which is right on 12. If you want to do anything more aggressive than that, you'll need more days. But you can hit Little Wild Horse Canyon between Torrey and Moab for that experience.

If you did this itinerary out of SLC and booked an afternoon or evening flight home, you could actually drive from Moab early that morning.

By the way, we enjoyed our time in North Vancouver during the Olympics!

Edited: 13 January 2013, 19:17
Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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2. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

Great advice from Tumbleweed, as usual. Do look at SLC as your entry exit point since Zion and Moab are key points for your trip. SLC is more central and likely to save some driving (not sure about RV rentals from SLC, but then I no nothing of RVing).

Here's something that may help with your planning:

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

This is a travel article about touring the Grand Circle. Lots of good information including links to other TA resources.

You are correct that 10 days is not enough time for the big loop, but is probably just enough for the places that you want to visit (perhaps a bit rushed, but doable).

Chapel Hill, North...
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3. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

Just a heads up that the Narrows may or may not be open in mid-May. If the snowfall is light this winter the snow melt might be done by then, but we went in the summer of 2010 and it had been a very snowy winter. The Narrows didn't open until the end of June then. It opened on our last day there. The kids loved hiking in the river so I hope it will be open for you, but the Riverwalk is nice and there are spots near there where they can get in the river that are not the Narrows if the Narrows is closed.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

Sounds like our trip only in reverse. We live in BC and flying to Vegas in mid may for a ten day trip. We are doing the big drive first and working our way back.

Day 1 Vegas

Day 2 Moab

Day 3 Moab-delicate arch

Day 4 Moab- fiery furnace

Day 5 Moab- Canyonlands

Day 6 Torrey- goblin state park and Little Wild Horse

Day 7 Bryce Canyon- Calf Creek( enroute )

Day 8 Zion- Queens Garden at Bryce in morning.

Day 9 Zion-Observation Point or Narrows

Day 10 Vegas

This will be our 4th time in Zion and still haven't done The Narrows. Doesn't look good for May. Lots of snow in Utah. We enjoyed The Canyon Overlook Trail and Hidden Canyon. Think we will try Observation Point if we can't do Narrows.

Tumbleweed and Ohio give great advice.

Uden, The...
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5. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

With an RV you'll have to take time for the p/u and buying groceries so I don''t think you can arrive Vegas and drive to Zion that day. Not sure how this is from Canada but for a visit from Europe one has to stay overnight first before the p/u of an RV.

North Vancouver...
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6. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

Thank you for all the responses. I just realized they were here... I should clarify.. the RV we will be renting is more of a camper van than a house on wheels. :) Hopefully it won't do too badly on the highway. Vegas really is more economical from Vancouver to fly and much shorter drive to Zion although I realize the drive back from Moab will be a long day.

We will have 10 nights. I'm thinking:

1 - Arrival - drive to Zion

2 - Zion - Narrows, if possible or other various hikes

3 - Zion - Kolob Terrace

4 - Bryce

5 - Escalante

6 - Capitol Reef

7 - Drive to Moab

8 - Moab - Arches

9 - Moab

10 - Drive back to Vegas and overnight in Vegas

11- Fly home

North Vancouver...
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7. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

It's a quick flight from Vancouver and we will be in Vegas late morning or early afternoon.

North Vancouver...
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8. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

Ok.. I'm just getting the hang of how these responses work... new to trip advisor as a participant! I thought I was responding to each person but it looks like I'm responding to everyone.

Tumbleweed... thanks for your input. I'm glad you enjoyed Vancouver. We had a great time during the Olympics as well.

Ohiohick .. I've read so many of your posts on Utah and have immensely enjoyed all the insight. Thank you!

Panchopup - I'm afraid we will miss out on Narrows :( Was really wanting to do that with the kids. I guess fall is more predictable for that.

Bigred - When do you fly in... we're thinking of May 12th. And do you have kids?

I do have a confession.. which I feel sheepish to admit. I did the big loop 2 years ago with my 16 year old son in 6 days! Not even a day in each stop. :( But it sure gave me a hunger to go back. Unfortunately, he won't be coming with us this time but I wanted to take my husband and other kids and get more of a taste of the area. Thanks for all the input!

Ohio, USA
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9. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

Thanks for the kind words, Celeste. I'm tickled that you have enjoyed my inane ramblings ;-)

Wow, 6 days for the big loop! Did you actually get to see anything over than the dashboard of the rental car ;-) It is amazing how the desert southwest gets in your head. We just keep coming back and there is no end in sight.

BTW, the plan looks good. It will be a long drive back to LV from Moab, but if that fits the bedget better, so be it. It is a pretty drive along the interestate, but a long stretch along I-70 with no services.

Uden, The...
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10. Re: 10 days in Utah with kids ages 12 and 9

Keep an eye on the timechanges. You''ll lose one hour between NV and Ut but you''ll gain that on the way back to Las Vegas.