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Trip planning for Arches and Bryce

Pune, India
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10 posts
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Trip planning for Arches and Bryce

I am plannning a trip with my family (two adults + two kids 10 and 5) to visit Arches National Park and Bryce in the month of May 2014. We have two options: 1) fly into Denver and drive to Arches and then to Bryce 2) fly into Salt Lake City and then drive to Arches and Bryce.

The unknowns regarding option #1 is how the whether and road conditions are in May to cross the Rockies (Denver to Moab) and the amount of time required.

Which one of the two routes is more scenic, faster, food and rest areas in between?

What other intersting things/parks can be covered? I am open to go to Zion and Canyonlands as well. I am looking at 3-5 day trip. What places/town would you advice to spend the nights in?

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New South Wales...
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for Moab
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1. Re: Trip planning for Arches and Bryce

3 or 5 days? It makes a big difference. Either way you don't have time to spare with extra 3 or so hours each way from Denver to Utah. Stick with SLC.

I'm going to say concentrate on one area or the other. Make it Zion, Bryce, Route 12; there's enough people going to Arches and Canyonlands already.

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Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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2. Re: Trip planning for Arches and Bryce

SLC is under 4 hours to Moab, Denver is over 6. As noted, Denver is really out of the question if you want to add Bryce. Denver route is a bit more scenic as you cross the mountains. But both are nice. While you can get snow any month of the year, I would not consider it as a determining factor in May.

If you have 3-5 days you do not have time to add Zion. If you have 3 days, you do not have time for Bryce.

Sample plan from SLC:

1 - Arrival; SLC-Bryce

2 - Bryce to Torrey

3 - Torrey to Moab (Little Wild Horse Canyon/Goblin Valley)

4 - Moab

5 - Return to SLC for departure

This is a really bare minimum plan. You can also go direct Bryce to Moab, but likely won't then have time for Little WIld Horse Canyon and Goblin Valley stops.

Have fun.

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Pune, India
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3. Re: Trip planning for Arches and Bryce

Thanks all for your advice. This really helps me.

Based on all this information, I am inclined to go with a one way car rental - take it in SLC and drop it at DEN. Time and cost wise it works out the same and we get to see the Rockies!

Thanks again.

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Salt Lake City Intl Airport
Salt Lake City Intl...
Salt Lake City, UT
New South Wales...
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for Moab
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4. Re: Trip planning for Arches and Bryce

Despite many people's aversion to one way drop fees I think there a fair enough charge. Especially when all the trade-offs like time, back tracking and different airfares come into play and it suits you.

It's a good plan to go one way from SLC to DEN and something we've done before; albeit in our case with 5 weeks and Yellowstone in between.

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Salt Lake City Intl Airport
Salt Lake City Intl...
Salt Lake City, UT
USA
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5. Re: Trip planning for Arches and Bryce

Hi Pankaj, Welcome and hope you have a wonderful trip to the USA. A really nice way to drive from Moab to Denver would be to travel on highways UT 46 to CO 90 to CO 141 to CO 145. Then take a drive to see the towns of Telluride and Ouray. It's a longer drive than if you did the interstate I-70, but would be well worth it. Telluride and Ouray are spectacular. In Utah, Bryce is incredible. Out of Moab, Dead Horse Point and the drive on Highway 128 along the Colorado River are beautiful.

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6. Re: Trip planning for Arches and Bryce

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