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.

4-5 day Trip to Utah ( similar to Yellowstone trip )

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
23 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
4-5 day Trip to Utah ( similar to Yellowstone trip )


I have visited yellowstone for 4 day-trip and also colorado( denver, aspen, vail, co springs)... I am amazed with the scenic drives, beautiful mountains, wild animals... I am looking for a similar experience in other states.... Could you please answer below questions and also provide with some info

1. Would Utah's parks offer similar experience to yellowstone / colorado mountains... any comments?

2. If Yes, i might plan for a 4-5 day trip to Utah + 1 day to Grand Canyon... ( will form a loop from salt lake city to grand canyon and back to salt lake city covering all parks..... i will fly back to mpls ). there are couple of posts for a 4 day trip which i will research on to build my itinerary....

Any thoughts/ comments on this?

3. Any other states / destinations which would offer mountainous nature beauty in USA excluding Alaska and Hawaii

I plan to visit during the week of May 26 or July 3.

Edited: 30 March 2014, 06:03
Tacoma, Washington
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
8,746 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: 4-5 day Trip to Utah ( similar to Yellowstone trip )

Utah is very different. You generally dont have the large amounts of wildlife on display and the wildlife outside of Deer is generally smaller.

4-5 days limits you on what you can see. some possible itineraries:

day 1 fly into SLC, PM drive to Moiab

day 2-4 Moab (Arches, Canyonlands)

day 5 drive back to SLc and fly home

add another day to the trip to do Monument Valley and/or Mes Verde and/or Needles district of canyonlands

day 1 fly into vegas

day 2-3 Zion

day 4 Bryce

day 5 North Rim grand canyon

day 6 back to Vegas

day 1 fly itno Vegas

day 2 drive to South rim, PM south rim

day 3 south rim, drive to Page

day 4 Pantelope Canyon AM, drive to Bryce, Bryce in PM

day 5 Bryce AM, Zion Pm

day 6 Zion all day...drive to Vegas at the end of the day

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
Level Contributor
7,642 posts
446 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 4-5 day Trip to Utah ( similar to Yellowstone trip )

As Dan P stated, Utah will provide a completely unique in terms of landscapes and geology. Southern Utah is red rock country and the stars of the show are the five National Parks with a strong supporting cast of National Monuments, National Forests, BLM lands and State Parks. There is a LOT to see and do in the area.

Here's something that may help with your planning and understanding of the area:


The link will take you to a travel article that is a primer on planning a trip to the Grand Circle. I think you will find it useful.

Now, Dan P also hit on a key point that with just 4-5 days will will have to pick a smaller area and explore there. The destinations in southern Utah are somewhat spread out, so there is a lot of driving involved to see more than a couple destinations. The two route/itinerary options that day listed are good ones for the time that you listed. There are other examples listed in the travel article linked about (including maps and detailed plans). These examples are also lined in the Utah Top Question item "How can I see all the parks in southern Utah?"

Could you provide a little information on what you want to get out of your trip? Are you going to hike? Biking? Photography? Scenic driving tours? What you want to do sort of defines the time needed in each location.

I like the two options that Dan P provided. Another one would be a 4-5 day trip that include Sedona, Grand Canyon and Page, Arizona (although 5 days would be tight for all three destinations). You could also use 4-5 days to explore Yosemite National Park or Sequoia and Kings Canyon (or again if you could add a few days you could combine Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon into one trip). Another great Park is Glacier in Montana. There are lots of great options.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
23 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 4-5 day Trip to Utah ( similar to Yellowstone trip )

Thanks Dan and Ohiotrip... It was really a useful information.... And, my main focus will be

1. Scenic driving tours

2. Photography

3. hike ( less )

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
15,827 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 4-5 day Trip to Utah ( similar to Yellowstone trip )

If you want to include the Grand Canyon and only have 4-5 days then I suggest you start in Las Vegas. It is about half the time for the drive. In that amount of time you'll want to keep the driving to a minimum. You could easily do a loop including Zion, Bryce, Page and the Grand Canyon in 4-5 days.

Day 1 LV to Zion

Day 2 Zion to Bryce

Day 3 Bryce to Grand Canyon

Day 4 Grand Canyon to LV

If you have that 5th day either spend another day in Zion OR Grand Canyon. OR stop in Page

If you need to start in SLC then Grand Canyon really can't be included in that amount of time. Then you would need to chose between Zion and Bryce, OR Moab with Arches and Canyonlands. You could throw Capitol Reef into the mix if you give yourself that 5th day.

And I agree with Ohio that other places you might look would include Glacier ( a must do park imo), Yosemite. Add into that mix Olympia NP and Mt Rainier out of Seattle. And the coast of Oregon is another great scenic drive.

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
Level Contributor
6,268 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 4-5 day Trip to Utah ( similar to Yellowstone trip )

I have not seen a lot of the country in Yellowstone, but it is my opinion that there are not a lot of similarities when you compare Yellowstone to south Utah. First of all, the climate in South Utah is completely different. The days are obviously warmer, and the insufficient rainfall promotes a desert like environment. In the southwest corner of Utah, the Mojave desert(the desert that Las Vegas sits in) influences some of the terrain. There are areas of higher terrain, which result in mesa tops and plateaus, which are generally flat and can contain some of the characteristics of Yellowstone. But then again, because of the dry climate, many species of plant life and animal life you would find in Yellowstone will be absent.

Mule deer dominate much of the landscape, and constitute the bulk of the 'bigger' animals in the area. There are some elk at the Grand Canyon, but they are a smaller subspecies, and are dwarfed by some of the larger species you find to the north. I did see some white tail deer in Zion last time I was there, but I feel that they are rare in this region.

The plant life is influenced by the desert as well. The forests in the region are dominated largely by the Utah Juniper. As the terrain rises you start to see evergreen trees, like Ponderosa Pine and Pinyon Pine, then even higher you can find white spruce and douglas fir, and the occasional Bristlecone. If you get to ten thousand feet or so, then you start finding stands of aspen.Back down to lower elevations, you find plants that only can thrive in sandy and rocky ground. You can find prickly pear cactus, cholla, yucca, all types of rabbit bush, sagebrush, ephedra, and barberry. In the oasis type of environment found around creeks, you can find tree species such as oak and willow, and the occasional maple and cottonwood.

From the desert complex mentioned earlier, the terrain rises in Utah to the plateaus and mesas mentioned above. Mixed in between these areas are many types of examples of erosion and how its effects have changed the landscape over millions of years. It is this effect that has caused south Utah to be sometimes referred to as canyon country. Millions of years ago, much of middle North America was dominated by an inland sea. Dozens of unique sedimentary layers were applied to the face of the earth, reinforced in certain areas by colossal sand dunes that blew into the area throughout time. After the inland sea receded, much of the sedimentary layers in south Utah were exposed by shifts in the earths crust, and erosion. The Grand Staircase National Monument preserves many of these layers, and you can see the steps in a couple of key layers. The mesa above the Grand canyon is some of the lower portions of the Grand Staircase. The Limestone formations at Bryce NP form some of the higher portions of the benches and layers of the GSENM. The National Parks in south Utah showcase many good examples of the canyons and cliffs and erosionary patterns of the region.

Conclusion is if you are interested in Geology, then south Utah is for you, and I encourage you to visit. Zion and Bryce NP's and the areas in between will give you a good variety of these geological treasures. If you are looking for wildlife and the climate and environment similar to Yellowstone, then you will need to follow the Rocky Mountain range to the north, and into Canada. Glacier is a good example from the limited knowledge I have. Banff, Waterton, and Jasper in Alberta are other regions you might want to research as well.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
23 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 4-5 day Trip to Utah ( similar to Yellowstone trip )

Thank you!

7. Re: 4-5 day Trip to Utah ( similar to Yellowstone trip )

-:- 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 April 2015, 06:16