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One or two parks in July? About 4 days, limited hiking

Chapel Hill, NC
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One or two parks in July? About 4 days, limited hiking

I'll be in Park City, UT for the month of July. I've never been to any of the Utah national parks (or state monuments) and would like to spend about 4 days or so doing that.

I'm thinking that I'd prefer not to be in 100 degree heat. Also, I broke one of my legs last year and it's still not 100% yet. I think 3 miles is the absolute maximum I could hike a day (otherwise I'm pretty athletic and adventurous.) I'd also prefer not to be driving around all the time.

I'd have a traveling companion of either my husband (working most of the time) or a woman friend (with husband also working), all in Park City.

Maybe something like part horseback riding trip / part hiking?

Does anyone have suggestions about which of the parks to go to and how best to be outside seeing things, without taxing my leg too much? Thanks!

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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1. Re: One or two parks in July? About 4 days, limited hiking

Moab would be a good choice with Arches and Canyonlands. You can experience a lot without hiking great distances so you'll be fine. It's less than four hours from PC. Yes, it can be hot but don't equate 100 with what you know as 100. Even if you do hit a hot time period, you can easily adjust your activities early and late, drink lots of water, etc. We often take friends down there in July from Park City and have never had an issue, even in the 106 range. But you can also hit wonderfully pleasant temps, too. A three night/four day trip to Moab is perfect amount of time.

Have fun.

Kipling. SK
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for Zion National Park
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2. Re: One or two parks in July? About 4 days, limited hiking

Then on the other side of Utah you have several possibilities, including Zion and Bryce, which you can build/add onto. Zion is on the edge of the desert, and can be quite hot in the Southerly section and main canyon. However, Northerly parts of zion climb higher in elevation, and you will find some relief from the heat in the Kolob sections and east Zion. It is fairly easy to enjoy the Main canyon of Zion in the evening and morning, and then seek A/C in the afternoon via a car tour to the Kolob sections. Or else when it is hot midday you can explore the narrower part of the main canyon, which is the north portion and consists of Riverside walk and the famous river based hike, the Narrows

Bryce is much higher in elevation, and can be very pleasant in the evenings and mornings in July. Bryce is more of an overlook and scenic drive type of park, where you do not need to hike much to see the best features.While you can find trail rides around and in Zion and Bryce, Bryce has a highly recommended trailride down into the hoodoos(the main attraction). This trailride is hosted by canyonrides, and is one of the concessionaires in Bryce NP

Also in this neck of the woods you will find within an easy commute the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and Page/Lake Powell/Glen Canyon. Then there is also places like Cedar Breaks, Red canyon, Coral Pink Dunes, Pipe Springs, and other minor attractions like best friends Animal Sanctuary.

From Bryce there is also the option of travelling along one of the best scenic drives in the Souithwest, which is scenic byway 12, or SR 12. This route travels via Escalante, and ultimately ends up at Torrey/Capitol Reef.

So yes, it is east versus West when you have four days to spend. Either option will be just fine. If you have questions and/or need more info or ideas, just ask.

Chapel Hill, North...
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3. Re: One or two parks in July? About 4 days, limited hiking

Hey Neighbor!

I thought Zion had the temps most like NC. It also has the most tree shade. Rock shade, IMO, is not the same.

Arches is fantastic and would be a great choice for its compact size. It is the hottest, though. Pretty easy hiking, but try to plan it to hit the trails in the morning or evening, preferably early in the morning before it gets too hot. It is beautiful and amazing. Moab is fun town and easy to get around. Lots of good restaurant choices. You can also do some rafting in the Moab area so that might be something that could work for your bum leg.

Bryce could also be really good and you can see much of it from overlooks. Hiking there is not too bad, but it is down into the Canyon and then back up, so you have to be aware of that and realize that it will be harder coming back if you do choose to hike down into the canyon. There is are also some rim hikes which would be easy strolls. Bryce gets very cool at night (in the 50s when we were there in late June), but the sun blazes down during the day and while it's not hot-hot, the sun is intense and there's not the shade we're used to. Take a hat and sunglasses for sure!!

Zion was my family's favorite park. You come into the park on the Canyon floor and the cliffs and spires tower above you. The Riverside walk is an absolutely gorgeous paved trail that goes down by the Virgin River and ends at the beginning of the Narrows. If the water level is low you might try a bit of that, but if your leg is still wonky you probably wouldn't want to go too far as there are some seriously slippery rounded rocks you have to walk on. It would be worth it to just go up a 100 yards or so IMO to get the feel for it. We went in late June/early July and the heat in Zion was just like the heat back home. Nothing to worry about at all. Springdale was an awesome little town with really great restaurants and wonderful hotels. Beautiful scenery all around you.

I think I'd either opt for heading to the Moab area and just plan around the heat. Look into the raft trips. In addition to Arches and Canyonlands you can also check out Dead Horse Point State Park and Goblin Valley State Park. (Check out http://www.utah.com/stateparks/dead_horse.htm and http://www.discovermoab.com/stateparks.htm for info on all these. ) Or, I'd head to Bryce and Zion which are both spectacular options as well. Bryce has the great horseback trail ride down into the hoodoos and Zion has several easy trails. You can also go tubing down the river right outside the park in Springdale.

You really can't go wrong and I think you'll have a great time whichever way you go. Utah is an amazing state.

4. Re: One or two parks in July? About 4 days, limited hiking

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