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Utah trip report

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North Carolina
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Utah trip report

Recently returned from our trip to beautiful Utah and wanted to share our experience since I received such great advice from the Utah experts.

We arrived in Salt Lake City early, picked up the rental car and headed out to Torrey, the gateway to Capitol Reef National Park. We rented a cabin with Thousand Lakes RV Park, brand new cabin with all the amenities. Campground was quiet and the folks managing the campground were very helpful. After checking in to our cabin we headed to Capitol Reef, drove to Panorama Point then on to Sunset Point for the short hike. WOW-what beautiful views and striking colors at the end of the day.

Up early the next morning to hike the Grand Wash and Cassidy Arch trails. We began the hike from the trailhead on Hwy 24. We loved every minute of these hikes, from the solitude of the Grand Wash to the immense views from Cassidy Arch. Next, stopped in the Visitor Center then on to the Scenic Drive, a stop at the Gifford House for cherry pie and a cinnamon roll-both were HUGE and delicious. Hiked the Capitol Gorge trail to the Pioneer Register and the Water tanks. Ended the day with a drive on the Pleasant Creek Road to Pleasant Creek where we soaked our tired feet.

Cathedral Valley was our destination today. Began the drive from the Caineville Wash Road ending at the River Ford. Amazing, beautiful scenery from beginning to end. The Temples of the Sun and Moon were massive! Loved the view as we drove up the switchbacks, enjoyed our picnic lunch at the campground. Such different terrain, when we got to the Bentonite Hills we thought we were on another planet-just beautiful. Once we finished Cathedral Valley we still had plenty of daylight so off to the Notom-Bullfrog Road we went. Again, WOW! The Waterpocket Fold area of Capitol Reef was unbelievable. Continued the drive with the Burr Trail and over to Hwy 12, stopping for dinner in Boulder at the Burr Trail Grill. After dinner, which was delicious, we travelled Hwy 12 back to Torrey.

On the road again to travel Hwy 12 out of Torrey. Snow this morning as we came across Boulder Mountain. Stopped at several overlooks and had a snowball fight (yep, a snowball fight)! We stopped at the Calf Creek Recreation area and hiked the Lower Calf Creek Falls trail, lovely! Continued on Hwy 12, stopped in the Kiva Coffeehouse, drove all the way to the Head of the Rocks overlook and into Escalante. This was a wonderful way to spend the day, so much beauty and so much to do; not enough hours in the day.

Out the door this morning to travel to Moab. On our way we stopped to hike the Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyons. This hike was one of our favorites. The slot canyons were just beautiful, lots of scrambling over rocks, hiking in knee deep water, and just having a wonderful time. Once in Moab, we checked into our cabin at Moab Valley RV resort and had dinner at the Moab Grill.

Arches National Park today-Fiery Furnace hike this morning. This was the first ranger led hike we had been on, very informative and fun. Hike to Delicate Arch in the afternoon with a hike in the Windows section for the sunset. What a great day, lovely landscape, so many arches!

We were a little lazy the next morning, breakfast in Moab at the Peace Tree Café and browsing the shops in downtown Moab. Ok, back to Arches for hike in Park Avenue, Skyline Arch, Sand Dune Arch, and Broken Arch. We decided to remain in the park well after sunset to enjoy the stars-we were speechless, horizon to horizon stars.

Today we rented a jeep from Moab Adventure Center/Canyonlands Jeep. We were able to drive the Bull Canyon and Gemini Bridges trails. What fun and adventure! On to Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park for more 4x4 fun. We drove to the Green River Overlook and Grand View Point-both were so vast and beautiful. Drove the Schafer Trail, including the switchbacks, Fossil Pointe, and the Potash Road back to Moab. We had a wonderful day with our jeep rental and Moab Adventure Center was great. Once we turned in our jeep we decided to drive Hwy 128 out of Moab out to Fisher Towers. This was a beautiful drive with wonderful views of the Colorado River. It was too late in the day to hike the Fisher Towers trail, but the drive alone was well worth it. We stopped at the Red Cliffs Lodge for dinner-yummy!

Last day in Arches-hiking the Devil’s Garden/Primitive Trail today. Started early before the trail became too busy. What a great hike, lots of beautiful arches, impressive views, and varied terrain. We spent most of the day on this trail, we LOVED it!

Headed back to Salt Lake City today and our evening flight home to North Carolina. We loved our vacation to Utah and the wonderful national parks.

Thanks again to the Utah experts for your advice, we had a vacation of a lifetime and we hope to come back to Utah one day!

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Utah trip report

Great report. Sounds like you were able to soak in a lot of things. Not many folks venture into Cathedral Valley or even the Notom Road area in Capitol Reef. Glad you had a fun vacation. Thanks for the report.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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2. Re: Utah trip report

You had a great plan that seemed to work perfectly. I loved all that you were able to do. Thank you for sharing each day's events and all that you were able to do each day. I find if you use the full day there is plenty of daylight to enjoy so much. I was especially impressed that you did both the full Cathedral valley drive and the notom/ burr trail roads on the same day.

3. Re: Utah trip report

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