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Help with planning needed please.

Uralla, Australia
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32 posts
6 reviews
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Help with planning needed please.

Hi I'm hoping you can help us with how to plan the best use of our very limited time in Southern Utah. We have only 5 nights, coming from Salt Lake City, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th May 2019. We have the night of 7th booked at Monument Valley and must be back in Gardiner, Wyoming for the night of the 10th May. We are prepared to drive all day on the 10th to get to Gardiner. We realise that we will have to limit what we can see and do and have thought perhaps Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley & Arches any suggestions on what would be the best way to spend this limited time including accommodation ideas, would be greatly appreciated. Our interests are photography and if time permits some hikes. We have no concerns getting up early and being out late. If there was a way we could do Highway 12 on this trip it would be great. We are bit overwhelmed as there is so much to see and do and are very mindful this is a flying trip to get a 'taste' of the area. We have been to Monument Valley a number of years ago but photography was not the priority then. Hopefully someone can give us some ideas how best to plan this trip. Thank you.

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Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
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449 reviews
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1. Re: Help with planning needed please.

Welcome to the forum. This is a challenging plan. Do also doublecheck in the Wyoming (better) or Montana forums about travel in and around Yellowstone at that time of year. You are pushing dates on road openings in the park with your schedule. The road to Gardiner SHOULD be open by then but you may find other closures in the park. You definitely need to be prepared to deal with snow there. It's also a HUGE drive up to Gardiner - probably 11-12 hours flat out. So just be prepared for that. And while I'm not one to generally worry about night driving, in Yellowstone it's especially dangerous. So you'll want to be in Gardiner by 7-8 p.m.

Try this for a plan:

May 5 - Salt Lake City to Bryce via Torrey, Boulder, SR12 (6-7 hours)

May 6 - Morning at Bryce; drive to Page (3 hours)

May 7 - Morning Antelope Canyon; drive to Monument Valley (2 hours)

May 8 - Sunset at Monument Valley; drive to Moab (3 hours)

May 9 - Moab

May 10 - Pre-dawn departure from Moab to Gardiner via Green River, Salt Lake City, Idaho Falls, West Yellowstone then through park to Gardiner

Have fun.

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Uralla, Australia
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32 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Help with planning needed please.

Thank you TW&C this helps, we are aware of road closures etc for Yellowstone and have planned the return on the 10th with South Entrance opening (weather permitting). We have been to Yellowstone many times in October November and are very aware of plans having to be flexible due to weather. Does SR 12 get affect by weather at this time of the year? The last time we were in Monument Valley was December and there was snow but roads were all open. We just don't know whether to limit this trip to just Bryce and Monument or Arches and Monument, unfortunately we tend to plan to see too much and are happy to limit if it means we get a good look and experience of the parks we do visit.

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