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Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

Washington DC...
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Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

Hi,

I'm planning a road trip to Utah and would greatly appreciate to get some advices for our itinerary. Two of us are planning to go there in September/October. Our dates can be flexible but we prefer to go there on late September. Can anyone advice if that's a good time to go?

Also, below is our itinerary and please let us know if it sounds doable.

*Fly to Vegas on Saturday night.

Sun: Vegas - Zion

Drive around the park and do some easy hikes

Stay near Zion.

Mon: Zion

Hike Angel's Landing

Stay near Zion

Tues: Bryce

Drive to Bryce in the morning.

Drive around and do some easy hikes

Stay near Bryce

Wed:Moab

Drive to Moab and find some activities to do there.

Stay in Moab

Thurs: Moab -

Go visit Arches National Park

Stay in Moab

Fri:

Drive towards Page Via Monument Valley

Stay at The View if possible

Saturday: Page

Go Visit Antelope Canyon and Horse Shoes Bend

And then drive to Grand Canyon South Rim

Stay at Grand Canyon South Rim

Sunday:

Continue to visit Grand Canyon South Rim during day time and drive back to Vegas before sunset

We would also like to go visit Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National parks so that we can visit all the Might Five, but feel like there's not enough time to put them in. But please let us know if we can have those included as well. Many many thanks!

Edited: 13 June 2018, 08:57
11 replies to this topic
Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

There's a better way to do this trip, but you won't get to Moab (Arches/Canyonlands) or Capitol Reef.

Sunday - Las Vegas to South Rim Grand Canyon. Overnight. This gets the long drive out of the way first.

Monday - Grand Canyoln

Tuesday - Drive to Monument Valley. Overnight

Wednesday - Drive to Page AZ (Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend) Overnight

Thursday - Drive to Bryce Canyon NP. Overnight

Friday - Bryce AM. Drive to Springdale UT. (Zion) Overnight

Saturday - Zion

Sunday - Zion most of the day. Return to Las Vegas.

If you want to add Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef, you need three more nights, minimum.

You don't just "drive around Zion". To access the main Zion canyon where Angel's Landing trailhead and other popular hikes are located, you will be required to use the free shuttle system. Also, don't stay "near Zion" or "near Bryce". You want to be as close to these parks as possible. For Zion, that means in the town of Springdale. For Bryce, that's either at the lodge inside the park or at one of the Best Western Ruby's Inn properties.

Late September is a great time to visit the area. You must have advance reservations at all these destinations and don't be surprised if you find getting them a challenge. It's still prime tourist season. Don't get on the plane from DC without having hotel reservations for every single night.

Purchase an America the Beautiful Annual Pass at your first national park entry. It costs $80. Entry to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion is $35 each if you pay individually.

Edited: 13 June 2018, 10:12
Sedona, AZ
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2. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

Connie’s advice is spot on. You don’t have enough time to include Moab. I always take 2 days to get there from Bryce, and then Moab needs 3-4 nights on its own. Drop it as suggested by Connie.

But the first thing you MUST do is book hotel reservations at ALL of your proposed stops. Sept/Oct is a very busy season and you might already be too late for the best places to stay.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

Thank you SO SO much for the suggestions. They are very helpful. Yes I completely agree I should stay as close to the parks as possible. The reason why I put the word 'near' is because I'm not sure the availabilities for the hotels at this point. Once I figure out the itinerary I'll surely book the rooms ASAP. I personally have been to Arches before and it's truly phenomenon. It would be amazing if we can have it included in our trip. Do you think by adding one or two nights would that give us enough time to be there? We are currently thinking about spending two nights in Vegas and fly back on that Tuesday. But willing to consider to trade it for including Arches in the trip if it's not too rush. Many thanks again!

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

Thank you for your reply. I totally understand that we have a limited time to include all those places in our trip. I went to Moab couple years ago and truly love the vibe in the small town, not to mention the phenomenal Arches. I will definitely book the rooms as soon as I have the itinerary confirmed!

Sedona, AZ
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5. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

Start your hotel search immediately. Where and when you go will likely be determined by where you can find lodging.

If you include Moab, you should probably drop Zions and Bryce. Less is more.

utah
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6. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

I'll echo the others that you are trying to do way too much for the time you have - the full "grand circle" loop you are doing, is a 14 day trip - you can rush it into 11, but any less and you are missing out. Moab is great, but you are shortchanging your whole trip to drive all the way there. A possible "consolation prize" is Valley of Fire near Vegas which has some similarities to Arches. However, this time of year it's very hot so you have to do it very early AM.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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7. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

About adding Moab/Arches, and you may as well add Canyonlands since you will be right there, read this from my post #1:

<<<If you want to add Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef, you need three more nights, minimum.>>>

So figure out what your priorities are and adjust your trip accordingly. You could drop a night from Las Vegas, from the Grand Canyon and drop either Page or Monument Valley. But it would still be a rushed trip.

Washington DC...
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8. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. Although we'd love to go visit Arches, we certainly don't want to be to rushed and miss out the essentials of each place. So we'll skip Arches this time. Just one quick question, for the Tuesday's itinerary, are there enough things to do at Monument Valley for an entire day? It is definitely on top of my visit list and I've heard a lot of good reviews about The View. I'm just not sure if we should start heading there early that day or should we spend the morning time in Grand Canyon and drive there in the afternoon.

utah
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9. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

When leaving the Grand Canyon heading towards Monument Valley there are a few viewpoints of the Grand Canyon you should plan a couple hours total to stop at on the way to Monument Valley. By the time you do that, drive, check in and out of hotels, and do a tour at Monument Valley, and relax to enjoy the sunset you will have a full day.

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10. Re: Utah 8 day road trip itinerary

You want enough time at Monument Valley to view the sunset/sunrise and perhaps do a back country tour. The back country tour can be done on the evening of your arrival or the next morning before driving to Page.

On the day you transition from the Grand Canyon, you can spend most of that day at the Grand Canyon. Just allow enough drive time from the EAST entrance to Monument Valley to get there well before sunset. It's about a 3.5 hour drive with minimal stops.

If a tour of either Antelope Canyon is on your list, it's strongly suggested that you make advance tour reservations. The tours are hugely popular. You could do a tour on the afternoon you come in from MV or the next morning before driving to Bryce.

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