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Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

BRONXVILLE
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Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

Hello,

Thanks for your help earlier, which enabled me to put together this itinerary.

Flights & hotels are all booked.

1) Oct. 22: Arrive SLC, 1 night

2) Oct. 23 Moab: check into Best Western Canyonlands for 4 nights, See something that evening.

3) Oct. 24 Moab: Canyonlands Island in the Sky, Dead Horse Point, Hell's Revenge Sunset Tour

4) Oct. 25: Moab: Arches

5) Oct. 26: Moab Jet Boat? Or drive 128?

6) Oct. 27: On the way to Torrey: Stop at Goblin Valley State Park & Little Wild Horse Canyon. Check into Austin's Chuckwagon Motel for 2 nights

7) Oct. 28: Torrey: Capitol Reef (see questions)

8) Oct. 29: Some of Capitol Reef in morning. Travel from Torrey to SLC, 1 night

9) Oct. 30: Fly from SLC back to NY.

Here are my questions:

1) Looking for suggested hotels in SLC. We get in around 2:33 PM from NY.

I want to head straight to Moab early the next morning.

2) In Moab, I wanted to book a float trip to Fisher Towers. However, all outfitters that I've checked close down after the first or second week of October. Does anyone know if jet boats are still running during our visit? The web site that I looked at didn't have calendars or dates.

3) For Torrey, I'm torn between exploring on our own during our full day, or booking an all-day jeep tour in Cathedral Valley. If we do the latter, I am wondering if we have time on our departure morning to see the main part of Capitol Reef. Here's why that might remotely be possible: I'll be accompanied by my 75-year-old mother, who doesn't care to hike. She will walk maybe about 2 miles, if it's fairly flat terrain. So many Capitol Reef hikes are out.

4) Also looking for a hotel for our final night in SLC. If we stay in Capitol Reef as long as possible, all we're going to want in SLC is to arrive before dark in late October, have dinner and settle in, fairly close to the airport. Any suggestions?

Thanks for any suggestions you can provide.

I wish I'd added a third night to Capitol Reef but must keep to the booked flight.

19 replies to this topic
BRONXVILLE
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1. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

I'm wrong: I found October dates for the Canyonlands by Night and Day tour group. Others are shut down but that outfit appears to be operational.

Anyone done their jet boat tours?

I would love to do the rafting but my mother wouldn't want to get wet or experience rapids. She'd want a placid, calm float. This is also why I was looking at the jet boat.

Edited: 09 June 2018, 08:54
Park City, Utah
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2. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

Well, a jet boat is just that, a jet. Its very fast and a wind blown ride! Not a calm float.

If you do a float trip below the bridge, down river, it will be very calm. You can get a little wind on the water, but if the weather is still nice, your Mom should really enjoy it.

Take a wind proof layer, wide brim hat, flexible material with a strap. Sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm! If its a colder day and you still want to go, add a warm layer and gloves.

Park City, Utah
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3. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

Good overall plan. On your arrival day, why not just drive to Moab? You would be there by 7 p.m. If not, suggest coming up to Park City for the night. It's only 35-40 minutes from airport and no longer the next day to Moab plus you won't have to deal with traffic. It's slow season so you'll get good rates. Look at Marriott Summit Watch on Park City's Historic Main Street.

On your return, the airport hotels are the same distance to the airport as staying downtown. And there's not much out at the airport hotels. So think about staying downtown (Monaco, Holiday Inn Express, etc. - everyone has a hotel there). It's just a 10-15 minute drive to airport.

Your plan in Moab is fine. I'm not a jet boat fan and feel you'll gain more by exploring around with your car to places like Fisher Towers, Corona Arch, etc. In Torrey, a Jeep trip in Cathedral Valley would be spectacular. But mom needs to be prepared for eight hours of bumping, banging and jarring driving. Jeep trips like that take a lot out of you (we have our own Jeeps). You won't have that same experience on Hell's Revenge, which is smooth slickrock most of the way.

Have fun.

BRONXVILLE
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4. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

I've done further research.

Now I see that NAVTEC Expeditions has a full-day Moab float available during the week of our trip. The site says they "put in at Hittle Bottom" and "Our trip begins upstream from Moab near the stunning Fisher Towers."

Red River Adventures & the outfitter that RedRox has recommended (I cannot recall the woman's name right off) has closed down by then, as have several other outfits that others have recommended in this forum.

I agree that jet boats are far more disruptive to the environment than floats. But I was looking for a way to get on the river, and it appeared after I checked 3 different outfitters that they all closed down about 2 weeks before we arrived in Utah. I also figured a jet boat would keep my mother drier than a float.

Now I must say, my mother surprised me by really loving the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour in Sedona, which is why I was thinking she might be okay with Cathedral Valley, if the payoff is worth it.

This is now the part of the trip that is really bothering me. If we spend our full day in Cathedral Valley, will we still have time to do justice to the scenic drive & Fruita in Capitol Reef on the following day before departing for SLC? What is the true travel time from Torrey to SLC?

This is why I wish I'd booked a third night in Torrey.

BRONXVILLE
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5. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

@TumbleweedandCactus: Sunset in Moab in late October is around 6:30 PM. If we left the airport around 3:30 PM stopped along the way, would we be driving after dark? I've been wary of that on visits to Utah. I appreciate your suggestion of Park City as an alternative. Also, I have Marriott Rewards points, so the particular hotel you suggested might be a good one for us.

I've been reading Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven," so staying in downtown SLC & getting a glimpse of the temple will be an interesting experience for me, to say the least.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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6. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

I see that no one really answered your questions about what to do in Torrey..

A back country tour of Cathedral Valley will be pretty much an all day event. The thing to consider for your Mom would be if she can tolerate bouncing and jarring around in a vehicle for up to 6 hours. Killer Bob, the DE for Torrey, drives backcountry tours for an outfitter in Torrey. You may want to send him a private message to get his input. My husband and I are in Torrey now and plan on driving Cathedral Valley tomorrow before heading back to SLC. I can give you o e person’s first hand experience afterwards. We aren’t doing a tour because we have our own high clearance vehicle.

There are a couple of basically flat hikes/walks in Capitol Reef. One is the trail along the Fremont River near the Fruita Campground. I don’t remember the name. The other is Grand Wash from the highway 24 trailhead as far as the Narrows. The walk is on a dry river bed that’s gravely and sandy. It’s basically flat. You can go as far as your Mom is comfortable and then turn around. Any hiking you do in June, be on the trails by about 8:30 or 9. The Grand Wash Trail is shaded in the late afternoon and early evening.

It’s a 3.5 hour drive from Torrey to SLC, no stops. Do book a hotel in downtown SLC. There will be more options for hotels and dining. If you get in to SLC by about 6:30 or so, you can have dinner and walk thru Temple Square. You’ll be about 15 minutes from the airport.

BRONXVILLE
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7. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

@Connie B., thanks for your suggestions on the Cathedral Valley Tour & PMing a guide who does it regularly. Also I appreciate the advice on getting a downtown hotel room.

Our dates for Torrey are Oct. 27, arriving after stops at Goblin Valley State Park & possibly Little Wild Horse Canyon.

We check into Austin's Chuckwagon Motel for 2 nights

Oct. 28: Torrey: The day that I'm debating over. I'll ask the guide for Cathedral Valley Tours, as you suggested. The Pink Jeep Tour jolting was for a shorter period of time -- I mention that because my mother really liked the Broken Arrow Tour.

Oct. 29: Torrey departure. We have the morning and part of the afternoon before departing for SLC. This is when we'd walk on the flat trails you mentioned, visit Fruita and do the scenic drive. I would not wish to rush through that. If Cathedral Valley is too difficult, we'll do these activities that day instead, spread out over two days.

Edited: 10 June 2018, 18:53
Park City, Utah
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8. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

Sherri, I did the Cathedral Valley drive a few years ago in my own Jeep, a Grand Cherokee, so not quite as bouncy as a Wrangler. Honestly, it was disappointing to me. The scenery was spectacular in a couple of areas, but the rest was boring. It was a very long slow ride. Not something I would care to do again.

I think the scenery is more amazing overall in the main parts of Capitol Reef. Some of it can be seen easily with the short easy hikes and some requires the longer hikes. Again, that is my opinion. Others think Cathedral Valley is more impressive.

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9. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

Reporting back about Cathedral Valley, after talking to the ranger at the visitor center and getting her honest opinion about Cathedral Valley and then reading a brochure about it that had pictures of a few sites, we decided to skip it.

BRONXVILLE
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10. Re: Questions About Moab & Torrey at the End of October

Thanks, all, for commenting on Cathedral Valley. Sounds as if we are better off spending our full day enjoying the main part of Capitol Reef. We will not be hurried, and if we want to spend more time, we will be able to do so in the morning before heading out for SLC.

In SLC, I'm not that interested in the Temple or Temple Square, but I am interested in Antelope Island State Park. I will figure out a way to get there either on the day of our arrival or on the day before our departure. I think we will just miss the bison roundup, which will happen while we are in Moab & Capitol Reef.

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