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Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

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Hendersonville, NC
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Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

Hey folks,

Some of you may remember me ... I'm doing a 35-day road trip out West next September. Leaving mid-Sunday morning, Sept. 30, from Bryce Canyon and heading to Moab, where I hope to catch sunset (7:03 p.m.) maybe at Dead Horse Point SP or Arches.

Thanks to TA I have "discovered" Cafe Diablo and am super-excited to go there for lunch. Other than that, I'm looking for a pit-stop suggestion for a quick hike or scenic driving detour, and the more I read about Capitol Reef the more I'm intrigued. Would love to do Calf Creek Falls hike at Escalante but don't think I have the time.

Would you recommend Capitol Reef for my one outdoors stop, and if so, how much time do you think I'll have there and still make it to/near Moab by sunset? And, given that limited time, what would you recommend? Would love to pick some fruit from the orchards (what, if anything, is in season at end of September?), see the old schoolhouse (looks like great photo op) and/or do a hike/run. Would like to run Grand Wash trail but, again, probably not enough time, plus, if I eat lunch and have a beer at Cafe Diablo I don't know that I'd be up for running. So, would Hickman Bridge be a good option?

Any feedback on what you think I could/should see on my one-day drive would be appreciated. Thanks!

Torrey, Utah
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1. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

I'm sorry to say that my only thought is that if you have 35 days but feel you have to travel from Bryce to Moab in one day you are not planning well. Slow down and actually experience some of the country!

Edited: 20 October 2011, 14:21
Hendersonville, NC
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2. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

I definitely hear ya, Bob, and thanks for the perspective. You've really given me something to consider, as it was a given that that Sunday would just be a travel day and soaking in the sights of UT 12 from my car, but I do like the idea of taking my time and exploring that day instead.

That 35 days, though, includes driving out West and then a whirlwind tour including Yellowstone/Grand Teton, Oregon and Northern California before doing two days/three nights at Zion, two days/three nights Grand Canyon NR and an afternoon/night/morning at Bryce before heading to Moab/Arches for two days/three nights. Would have to take away from somewhere to add an extra night in the Torrey area. I'd hate to cut anymore time off Moab, and definitely don't want to take time away form Zion or GCNR.

Tough call. Thoughts? Anyone?

Torrey, Utah
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3. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

Cut your distance in half and come back a second time!

Really, if you do a whirlwind tour you will return home with a lot of photos and fragmented memories of the things you saw, they will merge together and you won't really have any feel for the places you went. Been there done that!

You can do a lot in 35 days but it will be worth so much more if you soak up some places rather than pass through many places.

Hendersonville, NC
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4. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

Thanks Bob, but with all due respect, and appreciation for what you're recommending, my trip has been planned for months, places booked, and I'm beyond excited to see these other places, too. Other than one trip to Seattle in 1998, I've never been anywhere out West and there's a very good chance (due to reasons I won't get into here) that I'll never have another chance to visit these places again. Always dreamed of seeing Grand Teton, Oregon, the California redwoods and NoCal coast. I'll have the time next September and can't pass up the opportunity to see it all, including Utah.

Anyway, right now I'm just trying to focus on that stretch from Bryce Canyon to Moab. I may very well end up staying in Torrey ... we shall see. Would love to take your advice and take my time driving UT 12/24 that Sunday and enjoying more of Capitol Reef, but would also be nice to catch sunset at Dead Horse Point SP, have dinner at Moab Brewery and already be in Moab the next morning to catch sunrise at Park Avenue in Arches.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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5. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

Crossed posts, but I'll still leave it the same.

35 days seems like a lot, but you will be covering lots of ground. So I understand that you don't have time to see everything.

What you don't understand is how much there is to see and do between Bryce and Moab :-)

Having said that...

Leave by 9 am, it will be about a 5-6 hr drive if you go along hwy 12/24. And Torrey and Cafe Diablo will be about half way. So that part is good. If you spend an hour eating and you want to be in Arches by 6:30 (part of the wonder is the lighting beforehand), then you have about 2-3 hrs to play with.

You could certainly enjoy the main road through Capitol Reef in that time. I would think that would give you enough time to hike Hickman Bridge, pick an apple or two, stop at the schoolhouse, and petroglyphs.

You would probably have time for a visit to Goblin Valley as well, and by then you could tell what kind of time you were making. Give yourself two hours from Goblin Valley to Moab, so leave by about 4 since you'll want some time to get to your sunset spot.

Hows that?

Edited: 20 October 2011, 16:18
Hendersonville, NC
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6. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

Sounds like a plan, Kbecjeans - perfect!

"What you don't understand is how much there is to see and do between Bryce and Moab"

I have no doubt about that. I think many of us, me included, fall into the trap of seeing a video on YouTube and doing mappings on Mapquest and it all looks so condensed and doable, but it's totally different from being there. Believe me, would love to spend more time in that gorgeous stretch of Utah, though I can think of worse ways to spend a day than catching sunrise at Bryce, driving UT 12/24, having lunch and a beer at Cafe Diablo, picking apples at Capitol Reef and watching sunset at Dead Horse Point ... :-) ... speaking of Cafe Diablo, anyone know if the rattlesnake patties are available for lunch (their lunch menu is not up on the website), and if so, can you get the venom on the side?

Torrey, Utah
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7. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

The lunch menu will probably be different next year anyway, that is if they decide to open for lunch - this was the first year. Keep an eye on the web site - I'm currently re-designing it and all the menus will be there. Probably no decision on opening hours until next spring.

Hendersonville, NC
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8. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

Thanks Bob. Hope they have some sort of rattlesnake dish next year when I'm there. Never had it before. Taste like chicken?

Auckland Region...
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9. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

Hi all,

I will be driving from Bryce to Moab in just one day due to short school holiday. can anyone suggest the route from Moad to Bryce? I heard about the scenic U12 will definitely drive on this, but do I start from Highway 70, then into Highway 24 , then U12 to bryce? please kindly advise. Any good stop for lunch on thee way suggested? thank you

London, United...
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10. Re: Suggested itinerary for Bryce Canyon to Moab drive?

Yes, from Bryce to Moab you will take Highway 12, 24, I70 and then 191 South. It's quite a long drive for one day though due to slow, winding mountain roads - you should really devote several days to this beautiful area. I would get an early start and allow at least 5-6 hours for the drive.

I like to eat at the Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder.