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Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

New England
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Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

We are planning a trip to Spokane in September and thought of going to Utah, is there enough dramatic scenery along the way from Spokane to Salt Lake City or do we need to drive further to Moab or Zion? Not sure if we want to drive for days on end unless the scenery is worth it along the way. We have one week for this trip. Since we are not familiar with this area it is hard to get a feel for the scenery along any given route. Help please!

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

The scenery in Utah north of salt lake isn't special though it isn't boring. But the drive through Idaho can be beautiful depending on your route. Where is your ultimate destination? Back to New England?

New England
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2. Re: Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

No, we will either fly home from Salt Lake City or if we decide to go all the way down to Zion, we will fly out of Las Vegas, that is of course, if we can get a rental one way from our starting point which is Seattle. If we can't get a plan together for Utah, we may just stay in Washington and the coast.. Right now, it is entirely undecided, until we can get a better feel forr the area.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

Well, if you want to visit Idaho, then SLC might be a good place to leave from. There are some nice places up there, or you could use SLC as an exit after visiting Yellowstone and the Tetons.

But if you want to see the fabulous parks in Southern Utah then you'll have to drive all the way south, there is nothing in Northern Utah to match.

If you go then be sure to include Bryce along with Zion. And if you are looking for scenic drives then you should plan a visit to Capitol Reef (4 hrs south of SLC) and then south along hwy 12 to Bryce (about 3 hr drive time, but longer due to lots to see), then on to Zion from there (2 hrs). Minimum four days for a trip to include those three parks.

But definitely check for one way rentals. I'm not sure what the extra cost would be, but it might make it completely unrealistic.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

I have never driven from Salt Lake to Spokane so can't really comment on the duration of the 10-11 hour trip. But looking at the map there is a nice stop in the lovely Missoula, Montana, Craters of the Moon NM, and an overnight side trip to Yellowstone/Jackson Hole, if you wanted.

I'm not sure which part of New England you are from, but I would have to suspect that the geography will be much different than what you are accustomed to. Bigger mountains, less towns, more wide open spaces, and fewer trees.

Salt Lake City/Park City in mid-late September is usually a great time to view fall colors in the adjoining canyons. Though this may not be the best year, as it has been extremely dry and with a weak snowpack to begin with. I'm not sure how long you will be out west or what the overall itinerary will be, but the Wasatch, in and of itself, is definitely a three or four day area. There are amazing scenic mountain loops to shoot photography or simply enjoy the day within an hour or so of Salt Lake or Park City.

Moab is about a 4 hour drive from SLC and Zion is a little longer. Depending on your available time and rental drop fee situation, it might be worth the drive.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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5. Re: Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

I have driven between Spokane and Salt Lake City and the drive is a beautiful mountain drive through the panhandle of Idaho and Montana. Huge forests of Pine. Nothing scenic to speak of though once you hit I15. We visited a working silver mine in Wallace, Idaho and a few ghost towns in Montana. Lots of lovely resorts too. I know the worlds longest gondola ride is based on the route in Kellogg but we didn't have time for it. It is not the same kind of scenic rocks though that you would get in Southern Utah. Basing a trip through Yellowstone and the Tetons makes more sense geographically if you have never visited. It would be a shame to drive right by them. But then again I do love our Southern Utah rocks.

Park City, Utah
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6. Re: Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

The I-15 route through Idaho is actually quite scenic and for sure the most expeditious. An even more scenic alternative would be to drop down 93 to Salmon, then follow the Salmon River to Stanley and Sun Valley, possibly stopping at Craters of the Moon.

All in all, though, if your objective is Utah redrock country I would just take I-15 and get down here as soon as possible. You will enjoy the drive through idaho.

Have fun.

New England
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7. Re: Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

Thank you so much for the info!

New England
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8. Re: Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

Thank you so much for the information!

9. Re: Best dramatic drive from Spokane to Salt Lake City.

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