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11-day Itinerary Advice

Toronto, ON
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11-day Itinerary Advice

I am planning a 11-day trip in the Southwest in April 2014 and after reading TA, Photographing The Southwest books and Scenic Driving Utah I came up with this itinerary from Las Vegas.

Looking for feedback if it’s doable or too ambitious and if I have to cut back, what should be the priorities?

Day 1 – Arriving in LV, rent a car (SUV, but not 4WD as they did not have the option), get groceries and supplies, drive to Springdale. ETA in Springdale is 5 pm. Leave the car at the hotel and take the shuttle to Zion for sunset at the Virgin River Bridge.

Day 2 – Spend the day in Zion. I would like to catch the sunrise at the museum spot. What are the chances to catch a parking spot being a Sunday? The shuttle leaves too late to allow set up time.

Day 4 – Hike Canyon Overlook trail and drive to Bryce. Spend the afternoon in Bryce Canyon and catch sunset.

Day 5 – Spend the day in Bryce Canyon

Day 6 – Leave Bryce and take the Scenic Byway 12 to Torrey. Can I do all these things:

- Kodakchrome Basin

- Grosvenor Arch

- Candyland

- Willis Creek Narrows – is it worth spending the time here vs. more in Capitol Reef

All these if the weather is good and Cottonwood Canyon Rd is dry. If not, will spend time in Escalante. Then:

- Stop at all outlooks on the way to Torrey

- Capitol Reef Scenic Drive and catch sunset

Stay in Torrey.

Day 7 – Drive to Temple of Sun and Temple of Moon early morning if weather/road OK. Should I attempt Factory Butte if I don’t have 4WD?

Continue to Goblin Valley. Spend 1-1.5 hour in Goblin Valley and continue to Moab.

Spend the rest of the afternoon in Arches (hike to Delicate Arch for Sunset). Stay in Moab.

Day 8 – Spend the morning in Arches and afternoon in Canyonlands. Drive to Dead Horse Point Overlook first, then catch the sunset in Canyonlands. Stay in Moab.

Day 9 – Drive from Moab to Monument Valley with stops at Natural Bridges and Gooseneck. Stay at The View Inn.

Day 10 – Take a tour in Monument Valley in the morning, then drive to Canyon De Chelly. Where is the closest gas station once leaving The View In?

Do the South Rim Scenic drive, then drive to Page. Spend the night in Page.

Day 10 – Visit Antelope Canyon in the morning (will book a photography tour), then check out the Horseshoe Bend and Glen Canyon Dam in the afternoon. Spend the night in Page.

Day 11 – Drive to LV with stop at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.

Is there anything I should remove/add given the time?

Thanks.

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
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1. Re: 11-day Itinerary Advice

What happens on Day 3. I assume it is Zion as well.

I do not see competition for parking at the museum, but I'll admit I haven't tried it. Photography seems to be pretty popular in the park. If there isn't any parking at the museum, then you can park at the visitor center and walk over via the Parus trail, unless you have a load of equipment to carry.

Seeing as you have allowed sufficient time for Bryce, you can stop off at Red Canyon on SR 12 for some photos. There is plenty of opportunity for stops and pictures along SR 9 in Zion before you exit the East entrance.

Day 6 is tough to call. If you want to make plenty of stops along SR 12 from Bryce to Capitol Reef, I would allow four hours minimum. The drive alone is three hours. If you want to do the Capitol Reef scenic drivew before sunset, then you need to allow another hour yet. What you can realistically do along Cottonwood road is debatable. Do what you can in the time you have. If the BLM visitor center in Cannonville is open, then stop off and see about current conditions.

Can't help you with sites in Capitol Reef, but you need to allow, once you enter Arches (just a rough guess), a couple of hours to drive to/hike to Delicate Arch before sunset.

Not sure about sunset in canyonlands, but I have heard that sunrise is good from Mesa Arch. You can try sunset either there, or at Grandview point.

The nearest gas from the View Hotel would be at Gouldings, on the opposite side of the highway as the entrance to the tribal park. I would guess that fuel may be cheaper in Kayenta tho.

Couple of other things you could try on the way back to Las Vegas. Either Best Friends animal sanctuary or Frontier Town film museum near/in Kanab.

Toronto, ON
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2. Re: 11-day Itinerary Advice

Thanks, WidmarshSK. I will keep Red Canyon in mind.

Yes, Day 3 is in Zion. Sorry, I messed up the number when copying from the Excel file.

Will try to work back the schedule to catch the sunset in Capitol Reef.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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3. Re: 11-day Itinerary Advice

Day 1 SUV will be fine, no 4x4 really needed

Day 2 I haven't tried it, but I haven't heard parking to be a problem at the museum for sunrise.

Day 3, Are you planning to do the Narrows or Angel's Landing? Riverside Trail and Kayenta and Emerald Pools hikes are great. So is Hidden Canyon and Observation Point.

Day 4, Do stop at Red Canyon for at least one hike

Day 5, I hope you are planning sunrise at Bryce. That is when the magic happens.

Day 6, I'm not sure what you mean by Candyland. If you start early you should be able to do all that in a day. You might not make it to Capitol Reef by sunset, though I don't see that as an issue. It wouldn't give you the chance to do Hole in the Rock road to Devil's Garden, but keep it in mind.

Day 7, Hmm, I think Temple of the sun and moon might take longer than you expect. It is not an easy road in places (might be where you wished you had 4x4). You could investigate a tour?

Day8&9 look fine

Day 10--I haven't been yet, but from what I gather touring CdeC might take more than half a day. Add to that the travel time from MV and then on to Page and you may have too much on this day.

It will be a full and packed trip. Plan to have food in a cooler so you can eat on the go and picnic in the parks.

4. Re: 11-day Itinerary Advice

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