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Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

Chicago
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Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

We need advise to see if we are on the right track planning our late April/May Utah camping trip. Are we trying to see too much, or not enough? I assume the weather will be cool mornings and evenings, warmer during the day. Also, what are best places to camp at near Arches and Zion. We would like RV hook ups.

1 - arrive Grand Junction, go Colorado Natl Monument, tour and camp there

2 - Drive to Moab, set up camp in private RV Park, which one??Arches – visitor center, smaller hikes

3 - am - Ballooning, pm – Dead Horse Point StPk, Corona Arch & Bowtie Arch Trails in Moab area, Hike in Canyonlands NP? Mesa Arch, Grand View trail

4 - Big hiking day in Arches, Fiery Furnace Tour? Is this tour worth it? Delicate Arch, Tower Arch, Devils Garden

5 - Drive I-70 & Hwy 24 to Capitol Reef, 16 mile scenic drive, hiking, visitor center, Fruita cg in Park

6 - More hiking in Capitol Reef NP? Scenic hwy 12 to Bryce, Stay in NP Campground – North or Sunset

Get sunset views – Sunset Point on Rim Trail? Inspiration Point?

7 - Early morning hike to see sun rise, Hiking options – Rim Trail (Hike one way, take the shuttle back), Fairyland Loop Trail, Amphitheater, Free 3-hour narrated bus tour to Rainbow Point, Drive to Zion Camping options: Watchman in NP , Zion Canyon Campground ½ mile south of park entrance, showers ?? other good cg near Zion

8 - Zion all day. Visitor center, scenic drive bus trip.Hiking options: Emerald Pools, Watchman, Weeping Rock, Angels Landing, Narrows

9 - Another full day in Zion NP, More hiking and/or relaxing

10 - Drive to Las Vegas, spend 1 night there then fly home

Tacoma, Washington
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1. Re: Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

Out west April/early May can still be cold where temps fall below freezing. If you camp you need caping gear to handle these temps.

It may be warmer in Moab and Grand Junction but Bryce is a few thousand feet higher--thus generally colder.

As far as your itinerary goes its reasonable

1. arrive Colorado national monument

2 Moab

3 moab

4 Moab

Canyonlands---dio this in the AM because much of the view points are westerly thus sun is behind you. Mesa Arch hike is an easy hike and well photographed. Many people try to do this for first sunlight for the day, and others do this late afternoon when sun is behind them.

dead horse point state park is next to Canyonlands and mainly has eastern view points so its better to do thi in the afternoon when the sun is behind you for pictures.with both parks is mainly driving to a view point then a short walk to the edges.

Arches---fiery furnace is worth doing but reservations are required. unsure availability will be.

Windows is an easy hike and should be done in early AM and late PM for low sun angles

Devils garden can be done mid day. Its an easy relatively flat hike out and back.

delicate Arch hike is something you do ealry in the AM or do it closer to sunset and walk back after sunset. Its a 1-2 hr hike there --its just about all uphill about 2 miles. sepnd time at the arch taking pictures, then it will take about 30-45 minutes coming back almost all downhill. there are afew other areas to take pics and explore.

roughly 2 days Arches, 1 day in canyonlands.

The last night you are there after sunset you could do a headstart and drive to Green River (if you do gobblin Valley SP) or Hanksville (Capitol Reef)

5. explore Capitol reef---much of capito, reef is 4 whell drive access only. If you dont have 4 wheel drive or you dont do a tour then capitol reef only requires about a half day visit. then the rest of the day you explore UT 12 and some side roads off of there. at night you could look to stay in Escalante or near Bryce.

6 Bryce canyon for the day. Most of the parts to see are in the main amphitheater area.stay another night in bryce.

7 drive to Zion via Cedar Breaks and Kolob Canyon/Zion to springdale

8 Zion

9 Zion AM, drive to Vegas

10 day in Vegas

11 fly home

Like I said before My concern is the colder weather for camping. If you dont have good camping gear for cold weather look to push this trip toward memorial day weekend.

Also--look at reversing the trip. Starting in april/May Las Vegas can have 1 way rental car deals taking you to Denver or grand junction without one way rental charges.

Park City, Utah
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2. Re: Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

Day sequence is pretty good. You don't say this specifically, but are you picking up an RV in Grand Junction and that's what you're driving? Day 3 is definitely too aggressive with addition of Corona/Bow Tie on a day that is already very full. Given your interest in hiking, definitely consider Little Wild Horse Canyon for your day between Moab and Torrey. It's a bit early in the season and you're likely to find standing water, but still do-able.

Have fun.

Kipling. SK
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3. Re: Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

If you are driving an RV, you will not need warm gear to camp, as it isn't that cold at the end of April ;) Bryce is a high elevation park, and the temp can go a few degrees below freezing at the beginning of May overnight. Your RV heating will guard against any freezing issues you may have with pipes and tanks.

If you arrive early in May in Bryce, the shuttle, coach, and sunset campground might not be up and running for the season. You might want to check that out. You should look for a campspot in North campground so that you are close to the rim path. Failing that, there will be RV camping outside of the park gates at www.rubysinn.com

At Zion, try and make reservations at Watchman. After that, the campground that you picked out at www.zioncamp.com will be your next closest choice. Past that, your next closest RV spots will be up in East Zion, and west towards the small town of Virgin. There are no hookups in the South Campground, which is a first come first serve.

At the time of your visit, the Narrows may not be an option for you. It will depend on spring runoff at the time. Even if the Narrows is flowing fast, or closed, you should still hike the Riverside Walk trail anyways. Lower Emerald Pools trail is another easy trail, as is Parus. Weeping Rock is a shuttle stop. Watchman involves some elevation change, and is a good, short trail accessible by foot from the campgrounds. West Rim trail to Angels Landing spur is one of the most popular trail in the park, due to its terrific views. The elevation gain can classify this trail as moderate. You can guage whether you want to tackle the AL spur from Scout Lookout. RT to Scout Lookout can take two to three hours.

Chicago
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4. Re: Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

Thanks for the tips. We are getting picked up and dropped off. This is part of a longer trip my sis and BIL are taking out west. The will have a truck and travel trailer, so we will have heat, but then will also need hook ups at the campgrounds.

Sounds like we have to choose which arches to see. The suggestions of what times to see them are great.

Boston...
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5. Re: Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

We did a very similar trip in 2012 - Denver to Las Vegas, last few days of April and 1st week of May, although we weren't camping. Temps were low 60s - to upper 70s for the most part. Great hiking weather. Bryce was a bit colder though, with temps in the low 40s at night and in the early morning (so make sure you have warmer clothing for Bryce). But then it warned up nicely into the low 60s during the day. We loved the Fiery Furnace tour! Definitely thought is was worth it. There's a lot to see in the Moab area - we were there 4 full days and didn't get to do everything we wanted - but we still saw a lot! At Bryce, we really enjoyed the Navajo/Queens Garden loop trail (one of my favorite hikes of the trip).

Salt Lake City, Utah
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6. Re: Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

For RV camping in Moab check out this list: www.discovermoab.com/campgrounds_private.htm The only one I have personally stayed at was Canyonlands RV. It is in the heart of town which could be convenient. I would not however recommend it. The two north of town have good reports from family who use them ( Moab Valley and Riveside Oasis).

At Zions try to get into the park (I'll trust that Widmarsh that it is Watchman that has the hook ups).

You should reserve everywhere you can and soon as you may find they are already full.

Day 1 Enjoy

day2 Great. Be sure to take the Danish Flat Exit off I-70 for the scenic hwy 128 drive into Moab (it isn't signposted on the freeway.)

Day 3, Sounds fun. Do you know if the Balloon ride ends in Moab? Or what time it will end? Depending on how long the balloon takes you should have time for it all. I would head first to the Corona and Bowtie trail. Plan two hours for that. Then up to Canyonlands Island in the sky for Grand View and Mesa and Green River overlook. Plan 3-4 hrs. End at Dead Horse Point, It is wonderful for sunsets, plan an hour.

Day 4 Yes the Fiery Furnace tour is worth it. However it does eat up a big chunk of the day. So if you do that you may need to cut back at some other locations in the park. Hopefully you will have been able to do some on the first day. If not then maybe don't do the full Devil's Garden loop, or don't walk Park Avenue, or the primitive loop around the windows. Definitely still count on doing Delicate arch for sunset.

Day 5 Add in Little Wild Horse and Goblin Valley

Day 6 Not sure about hook up situation at Bryce campgrounds, I'd reserve ahead of time at Ruby's. I'm not a photographer, but most anywhere on the Rim trail should give you good photos. Though it is much better at sunrise.

Day 7 Any of your options for hiking/touring sound good. Though I'd recommend the Navajo /Queen's Garden trail for the best bang out of your time buck.

Yup, those are your best campground choices at Zions. I'd hesitate staying on the east side (Zion Ponderosa) especially if you are driving the RV back and forth. Virgin is certainly an option, though I wasn't too impressed with their hospitality when we were seeking tent sites.

Day 8 Obviously not all those hikes will be able to be done in one day. Narrows might be closed due to high water. Consider the Kayenta Trail from Grotto to Emerald Pools. One of my favorite views of the valley.

Sounds fun. Good luck with the camping spots.

Kipling. SK
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7. Re: Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

I believe Watchman only has select sites with electric hookup only. Forgot about showers. There are no showers in Zion NP, but there are pay showers in Springdale. The showers at the quality inn from what I understand no longer cater to the park camping popuilation. There used to be showers at Zion Mountain School and Zion Rock Guides. I have seen there may be one at Zion Outfitter. These three places are some of the towns several outfitters. Visiting any one of them will be able to net you the places to go.

Which Arches to see? Deicate should be on top of the list for sure. It is a little over a mile and a half to get up to it, but it is well worth the effort. Landscape Arch in Devils garden is my next favorite, followed by Double Arch in the Windows section. I do not know anything about bowtie arch, but Corona Arch is impressive in its immensity as well, just make sure to satisfy yourself with Arches NP first. When you are in Canyonlands IITS district, do not forget about Mesa Arch, which is located just off of the road.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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8. Re: Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

Widmarsh. Bowtie is right next to Corona. I know, it is hard to remember it when Corona takes center stage.

9. Re: Utah 10 day itinerary help - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

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