We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
128 posts
33 reviews
Save Topic
Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

Hi,

I'll be in the USA in August and I've planned a trip through the national parks of Southwest.

I know that I should have more time, but I'll only have 3 days to spend between Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands and I'd like to try getting the best experience anyway.

What do you think it would be the best itinerary (considering that I'll spend the previous night in Orderville)?

Itinerary A:

Day 1:

Orderville -> Bryce NP

Hike Navajo/Queens loop

Bryce viewpoint

UT12 to Torrey (spend the night)

Day 2:

Torrey -> Arches NP

Landscape Arch, Windows section

Delicate arch at sunet

Spend the night in Moab

Day 3:

Canyonlands

Dead Horse Point

OR

Itinerary B:

Day 1:

Orderville -> Bryce NP

Hike Navajo/Queens loop

Bryce viewpoint

Inspiration Point

Spend the night in Tropic

Day 2:

Tropic -> Arches NP via UT12

Delicate arch at sunet

Spend the night in Moab

Day 3:

Canyonlands

Dead Horse Point

I was thinking that option B it would be the best, but reading this forum I got the idea that it is better to sacrifice some time from Bryce (and get the idea anyway, hiking the Navajo/Queens trail) and get more time for Arches.

What do you think? Any alternative? If I choose option B, do you think I could visit Windows/Landscape in the morning, before Canyonlands?

Thank you,

Daniele

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
Level Contributor
6,415 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

How long do you have on day three? in other words, where are you planning to be at by that night?

In Bryce, you will see Sunset and Sunrise Points if you are planning on hiking the navajo/Queens/Rim trail loop. No need to head over to Bryce and Inspiration points unless time allows. I do suggest driving the scenic route, which ends at rainbow point, the highest point in the park. Along this scenic route there are several pulloffs/views which you can stop off at.

If you do head to Torrey on day 1, leave Bryce by early afternoon to be able to have sufficient daylight and to also see/stop at some of the views along the way. Byway 12 is one of the best routes in Utah. being able to leave bryce by early afternoon means get to bryce first thing in the morning. The main Amphitheatre and hiking will consume three hours, the scenic drive will take another two.

As a general rule, commit your biggest block of time to Arches, as that park has more diversity of features, which are seen by short hikes(with the exception of Delicate) CanyonlandsIITS and DHP can be treated more as a scenic drive. This leads back to where you want to be the night of day three, as it is unclear the time you have available for that day.

Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
128 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

Thank you,

On the night of day 3 I'd like to be next to Monument Valley. I have already booked an accommodation in Mexican Hat, but, if needed I can change/cancel the reservation.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
15,926 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

You can do it though it will be fast. More time traveling than at the parks so that changes the way you experience them. Yes, you'll want the most time for Arches so I would highly recommend your plan A with some modifications.

Day 1: Drive to Bryce with a short stop at Red Canyon. I would recommend a very short stay at Bryce. Half a day should be fine. I would not recommend the scenic drive simply because again you would spend the time driving instead of enjoying the much better views at the main amphitheater (Sunset, Sunrise and Inspiration points). So go to Sunrise for the trailhead to Navajo and Queen's Garden Loop. Enjoy the walk back along the rim.

Then head up Hwy 12 enjoying the views and stopping at the scenic lookouts. Stay in Torrey

Day 2- Drive to Moab area. You might have time for Goblin Valley if you want. You will reach the turn offs for Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point first. Take them and enjoy the main views. At Canyonlands stop at the Shafer Trail, Green River overlooks and Grand View overlooks. Take the Mesa Arch trail. Then on to Dead Horse Point maybe enjoying sunset from there. Stay Moab

Day 3: Take as much of your day in Arches as you can. Monument Valley is about a 3 hour drive and you'll want to arrive in the daylight so you can enjoy the scenic drive. So leave Arches in time for that, but otherwise spend the rest of the day in the Park. See the Windows, the Devil's Garden and the hike to Delicate Arch (not to the viewpoint). Bring a picnic lunch as there is no food service in the park and going back to Moab will eat up precious time.

Uden, The...
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

Agree with Kbec. Do Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point in the afternoon of day 2 after your Torrey stay. The drive on ut12 in the afternoon is awesome. Stop between Boulder and Torrey with the fantastic views in the afternoon sun on Capitol reef NP. 3 hours to get to Monument Valley all right but Mexican Hat is before the Tribal Park in app 2.5 hours. Most scenic route would be via Moki Dugway (95 and 261) but it's faster via Bluff.

Tet

Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
128 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

Thank you very much for your replies.

I'll do the UT12 in the afternoon and I'll spend the night in Torrey.

The next day I'll go to Canyonlands NP, then to Moab. The thing I'll miss will be the sunset at delicate arch, but in 3 days you don't have enough sunsets/sunrises to be everywhere :-)

Uden, The...
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

You can get to Arches day 3 now.

Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
128 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

Yes Tet,

but in that case I should drive toward the Monument Valley during the night and I don't think it's a great idea.

Thanks

Uden, The...
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

Maybe the sunset hike to Delicaet Arch day 2 and another visit to Arches day 3 before the drive to MV. But you're right. Don't drive in the dark.

9. Re: Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in 3 days

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 01 July 2014, 05:17