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need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

Ohio
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need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

My husband and I were out in Utah in September.

Really, really loved Zion. We plan on going back sometime but are interested in seeing more in Utah. But with all the wonderful parks are unsure where all to go and how long to stay at each place.

We would probably fly in at Vegas and maybe back out from there.

For sure want to see Bryce and Arches. We love to hike. Not backpack. I like a soft bed to sleep on with a shower in the morning!

We are thinking of May this trip or in September again.

Like to avoid the crowds and the real hot and cold weather.

Will we see snow in May?

Any help would be appreciated.

If it helps, we spent 4 days in Zion and didn't feel like it was enough.

We're not looking to just drive through an area but get out and hike.

Thanks

Green Valley...
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1. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

We went in May, 2006. Hot but dry, 90s - 100. Apparently, snow fell in Bryce (then quickly melted) the day after we left it. We took time seeing the parks as did you, e.g., 4 nights in Zion. We went to the N. Rim, Grand Canyon National Park - fabulous. We did that as a day trip, quite easy, then on to the others. Pre-Memorial Day travel was devoid of crowds. While there were people on the trails, nothing like later in the year. The Zion buses were only 1/4 to 1/2 full. The hikes at Arches and Bryce were fascinating and provide great photo opportunities. At Bryce, you probably will want to get off the "rim trail/walkway" and walk down into the valley for a couple of short hikes. Different perspective than from above. We also visited Antelope Island State Park, in Great Salt Lake, outside that city, for wildlife/bird watching, among other neat things.

Paramus, New Jersey
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2. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

We have been to Utah 3 times in May and the weather couldn't be better. You don't need reservations (although if your in Moab on the weekend there seem to be a lot of Coloradians there).

Arches is our favorite Park. If you go there are plenty of hikes for the hotel crowd. Many sights are right off the road. The hike to Tower Arch is reasonably easy and very nice. We've never been on the Ranger guided Fiery Furnace hike but plan to do so next trip.

last time we spent 3 days in Moab. Moab is about as close to Denver as it is to Vegas. So you can start In Denver if you want to.

Our favorite hike so far (maybe a little over a mile) is to Corona Arch which isn't in Arches but just outside Moab. Any local can tell you how to get there. Corona Arch is almost as big as Rainbow Arch and you can go right up to it. Don't miss it if your in the area.

If you spend 2 days in Arches you can check out of your hotel early on the morning of the third day and do Corona in the morning. then put fresh batteries in your camera and head North to Dead Horse Point. and then down into Canyonlands-- your going to have to rush this a bit if you only have 3 days here but most of the sights in Canyonlands are right off the trail. Not to miss is Mesa Arch.

Try and make it to Green River to overnight.

Head down Route 24 in the morning. Look up Goblin Valley. It's well worth the 10 miles or so it is off the road. If your into slot canyons, Wild Horse slot is only a couple miles away from Goblin.

Bryce is also a favorite of ours. Very different from anything you have ever seen.

Stay on 24 out of Goblin and it will head thru Hanksville which isn't worth mentioning except for the rock shop on the west side of town. If it's still open do stop and ask to see the dinosaur bones which they will gladly lead you to. it's only a 5 min stop but well worth it.

you will pass thru Capitol Reef but the sights in Capitol are hard to get to and a long way off. you would need a few days here to do it justice. If you have time stop for the mile walk to Hickman Arch (if you not quite arched out by now). You can stay in Torrey this night and if you do make sure you eat in the Diablo Cafe on the west end of town.

the ride down route 12 from Torrey has many sights that you just need to see yourself. No point wasting time trying to describe them. It's a great ride. While in Bryce do take the Broadway trial.

now route 12 is a fantastic road but if you have a couple days extra this is what we did 2 trips ago.:

After seeing Goblin and Wild Horse head South on 24, see the rock shop. then turn around and head down 95 (which also has some sights). there is a small hotel which advertises itself as the only building on 135 miles of highway 95. they have about 10 rooms and the family that runs the place used to do the cooking for a place in Moab. You better call ahead to make sure they have a room. It's called Fry Canyon. Now if you go this way you will be heading for Monument Valley, but before you get there as you turn off 95 onto route 261(south) the bottom will fall out of the road and you will be suddenly about 1100 feet above the valley below.

do head into Monument Valley (turn southwest onto 163)and do the loop, if you leave early out of Fry canyon you will have time for a quick loop then get going into Arizona on (northwest into Page where civilization will return and plenty of hotels and places to eat.

While in Page you have to explore the Antelope Slot Canyons. there are 2 of them. the Lower is my favorite but the upper is very nice too. The lower is easier to get to. it's just outside Page on 98, turn North just before you get to the power station out of town (you'll pass it on the way in ) and then another quick left into the parking area.

Also in Page is the half mile walk to Horseshoe Bend which is just south of town on 89, just ask any local where it is.

just north of town on 89 is the Glen Canyon Dam which created the Lake. you will cross over the Colorado right in front of it. do take a tour if time permits.

also on the lake is a boat trip out to Rainbow Arch, the largest arch. it takes 1/2 day and is very relaxing.

You can just stay on 89 to get to Bryce (this is the long way) or you could take the 50 mile or so dirt road short cut thru the Kodachrome basin which has some sites of it's own. it's a little hard finding the road from 89 however so you better ask a local for directions if you go this way.

the lower Antelope Slot canyon will be the most foreign thing you will ever experience on this planet.

either way you go you will enjoy the May time of year.

have a nice trip.

Green Valley...
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3. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

Thank you Wheezer. I've kept a copy of your response so, when we return, I'll follow your directions to some interesting areas.

Sarasota, Florida
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4. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

September is a gorgeous month in Utah, especially early in the month; the crowds have gone, as has the high heat.

Moab is an excellent base for several days. If you time it right (Aug. 30 to Sept. 15) you can hit the annual Moab Music Festival, but be sure to reserve ahead. It includes jazz, classical, folk, etc., mostly in outdoor settings all around the area, and is increasingly popular. A fantastic place to stay is Sorrel River Ranch (one of the concerts is on their property).

Ohio
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5. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

Lots of great ideas from everyone.

The weather was great when we went in September this year.

Only rained on the day we left for the Grand Canyon and that was a drive day so no big deal.

Never thought of flying in at Denver. If we do that we may never want to leave Colorado!

Paramus, New Jersey
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6. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

Thanks for your thank you.

if you do fly to Denver and you have a couple days:

you can see the mint, if coins interest you.

head south to Colorado Springs area where:

1) Garden of the Gods are

2)Pikes Peak (kill the rent a cars brakes or take the cog railway)

3) Cave of the Winds(for the not too claustrophobic)

4) Manitou Cliff Dwellings

I seem to remember something about 7 falls too.

BUT, if it takes a day away from seeing the Moab area don't waste a day doing this. the Garden of the Gods is very nice to see but its only like an introduction into seeing Dead Horse Point, Arches Park, Goblin Valley, Antelope Slot and Monument Valley.

if you start in Denver you will also go thru the Eisenhower Tunnel as you head up over the Rockies at no additional charge. We hit a snow squall 2 times coming out the other side of the tunnel and once it was in June. Even if its dreary in Denver the sun will come out as you hit Utah.

Also as you head out RT 70 at one point you drive along the Colorado in a place called Glen Canyon. very scenic and you can stop ant put your toes in.

Grand Junction is a good stop over place if you don't get an early start out of Denver (it's probably about the only civilization you hit after clearing the rockies.)

If you go this way drop down onto route 6 in Utah and then onto 128 into Moab. Road 128 sure doesn't look like much when you get on it but wait till you hit the last 10 miles or so after you pick up the Colorado River again.

make sure you have a gallon of water in the car and things like fruit, dried fruit, nuts, canned things to eat with pop open lids (standard stuff for dessert travel) (1-gallon for you and 1 for the car)

and have quart bottles to carry on the trails.

good luck.

nyc
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7. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

Another option for going to Moab is from Salt Lake City. It's a shorter trip than coming from Denver though not as enjoyable in my experiences. It's a wash for me either way.

I usually look at the flight times/prices and pick between Denver and SLC and fly home from Vegas. It's nice to end the trip with a party.

Torrey, Utah
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8. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

"Also as you head out RT 70 at one point you drive along the Colorado in a place called Glen Canyon."

Make that Glenwood Canyon, it used to be scenic but then they built a freeway in it! I like Wheezer's suggestions, if you have a day to spend in Torrey look me up and if I'm here maybe we can take my truck out on the back country tour. May is a great time to come, there can be snow in the high country but it's brief.

Bob Palin

www.fremontriver.com

Moab, Utah
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9. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

Is that an open invitation, Bob? Torrey is on our route for 2007.

Torrey, Utah
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10. Re: need help on what parks to see in Utah in May

Yes, I'm usually willing to take anybody out there, I can't promise I'll be here though or that if I'm here I'll be able to do it, but if you email me a few days or weeks in advance there is a better chance. I can't take long term reservations because my life isn't that predictable!

Please note that this is not a commercial service, just a personal offer. I don't have a license to charge for this nor do I intend to, somebody was arrested last month for giving unofficial paid tours. I don't want my playground to become my workplace so I'll probably never make it a business.

Bob Palin

www.fremontriver.com

killer@bobpalin.com