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Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

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Denver, Colorado
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Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

Hi I am visiting Arches/Canyonlands/Moab area in March with my boyfriend. We are driving in from Denver. I want to do Arches, Island in the Sky, and the Needles. Is this reasonable to do in 5 days, 4 nights (Wed-Sun)? Half a day on Wednesday another half on Sunday will be taken up with driving to and from Denver. We are planning on camping in the parks and I have been doing some research and these were the things I was hoping to do:

Island in the Sky: False Kiva, Green River Overlook, Mesa Arch

Needles: Slick Rock, Pothole, Cave spring trials and Elephant Hill

Arches: Fiery Furnance, Delicate Arch, Windows, Devils Garden, Double O Arch, Park Avenue

Is an additional day needed? We are in our 20s and reasonably fit and find what the park service says the time the trails take is usually too conservative for me.

Also are these good ideas for things to do/see within the park? Should I be allocating additional time for the town of Moab (I'm currently only planning on driving through and stopping for food)?

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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1. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

This is probably possible but definitely on the borderline. Were you planning to camp in each of the parks or establish a base? Do note that while Island in the Sky and Arches are literally across the highway from each other, Needles is a good distance away. Each park is quite different. You have key spots identified for each of them. Needles will be the most time consuming.

Nothing more you need to do in Moab if you're camping. It is the only town in about an hour so that's your source of food and fuel.

March weather probably nice. Do plan on layering up. Still cold nights, warmer days, but still likely long pants/sleeves.

Have fun.

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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2. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

Good comments from Tumbleweed. I concur, you can probably fit in all the activities you listed, but it could be tight. You have a lot on your plate for Arches in particular, but you have picked some great hikes. Do keep in mind that the length of daylight in March; that will limit you a bit.

Try Delicate Arch for sunset. The Windows Section is nice for sunrise. Looks like the Fiery Furnace hikes are scheduled for 10:00 and 2:00 during March, so take that into account when laying out the plan. Figure about 3 hours for the Ranger led hike. We did the 2:00 FF hike in October (2012) and still had time to get to Delicate Arch.

Denver, Colorado
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3. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

Thanks for your input! I was planning on camping in all of the parks. The campgrounds in Canyonlands are first come first serve; If we get there by the early afternoon is it likely that we will still be able to get a spot? I'm hoping mid-March won't be super competitive to get a spot, but I'm worried especially about Island in the Sky's campground that only has 12 spots.

Kipling. SK
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for Zion National Park
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4. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

You probably could check the FCFS in the park, but likely it will be full. I would concentrate on familiarizing yourself with the FCFS on BLM lands surrounding Moab, which has a lot more room, and a better chance on success>> blm.gov/ut/…campgrounds.html You can also check the discover moab website for further lists of campspots.

Denver, Colorado
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5. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

Thank you! That's a great tip. I will definitely look into those alternatives. Do you have any suggestions for the Needles area? Or is the campground within the NP the best option (it has 26 sites)

Moab Utah
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6. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

Canyonlands camping is first come first served. Arches can be reserved on line in advance. Use recreation.gov to do so right away. Arches camping highly sought after.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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7. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

The fact that you are coming in during the week will help with first come first served camping. I might head for the Needles area first to see if I could grap a spot there rather than trying to do that on the weekend.

Dead Horse Point is a good base for it and the Island in the Sky area and you can reserve it- which is why I usually end up there rather than chance the Canyonlands IITS campground.

But you might want to try to stay in a commercial spot in Moab (also reservable) so you don't spend the time packing up and setting up more than once. Or find one along the river close to 191.

I don't see what the others are saying about it being tight. You have one full day for Arches, easily done. You have one full day for Island in the Sky- add in Dead Horse Point, again should not be a problem.

A full day for Needles will be necessary with the drive from Moab and back, and the longer Elephant Hill hike.

That gives you an additional two half days. That would be good for a look at Corona Arch on your first day.

Come in and leave via hwy 128 (Danish Flat exit, #14?). You can check out Fisher Towers on the way out in the morning.

Moab, Utah
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for Moab
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8. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

Danish Flat, exit #214 from I-70. Then via Cisco to 128.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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9. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

Thanks Noel, didn't have time to double check.

10. Re: Arches and Canyonlands. March Trip

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