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moab itinerary

Sedona, Arizona
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moab itinerary

We are planning three days in Oct in Moab, starting up on Sunday from Flagstaff. We will do Arches and Canyonlands, and it looks like Dead Horse before moving on to Santa Fe. My question is should we also do Capital Reef or is there something else we should squeeze in. I have somewhat limited walking issues, so a 6 mile hike is totally out of the question, and most of our trip will have to be driving. Thank you for any help.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: moab itinerary

Another great drive in Moab would be driving along the Colorado River corridor up past Fisher Towers or down Potash Road, where the leaves will be changing into fall colors. Another option is taking a jeep safari. If you arrive earlier in the month, you could probably do a float trip down the Colorado River. Being on the water is a fantastic way to experience the red rock.

Capitol Reef is really the opposite direction from Santa Fe. I would consider Monument Valley on the way to Moab and/or Mesa Verde on the way to Santa Fe. You can drive scenic loops through both and stop at fantastic lookout points. The MV loop is a dirt road and depending on the conditions and your vehicle, you may have pay for a guided tour, which would be much more informative anyway.

Sedona, Arizona
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2. Re: moab itinerary

Thank you for the info. We have been to Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly, so we were thinking Capital Reef. It is only a two hour drive from Moab, so it isn't too bad, but is it worth seeing. We have been to Bryce and Zion a few times and we go to the Grand Canyon a couple times a year, so if CR is not too different, we could pass on it. The only reason we were even looking at it is because of the tv commercial (I know, a silly way to think about something). But thanks for your help.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: moab itinerary

My question is how much time do you have? Were you trying to see Capitol Reef in the 3 days you'll have for Moab? Because if that is the case I would not recommend it. Even if you are just driving. There is plenty in Moab to keep you busy for 3 days. You'll want a full day for Arches. There are plenty of short walks to the arches and other places of interest even if you don't do a long hike.

There are two sections to Canyonlands. Since you'll be coming from the south be sure to spend half a day on the way to Moab at the Needles Section accessed near Monticello. Then you can spend another half day or so at the Island in the Sky section and Dead Horse Point state park.

That will give you another day. You could do a river trip, or take a jeep/hummer tour (the sunset hummer tour is fun). Or you could drive up the Potash road for some petroglyphs and the Jug Handle Arch, or head up hwy 128 to Red Cliffs to explore the Film Museum and further on up to Fisher Towers.

If on the other hand you could add a day for a total of 4 days, (so you could stay overnight at Torrey) then you could take that third day for the drive to Capitol Reef. There are several places along the way that would be worth a look. The River Museum in Green River tells about the exploration of the Colorado/Green. Goblin State Park is good for an hour or so. Then day to explore Capitol Reef (last half of day arriving and morning of the day you leave).

Capitol Reef is different from the other parks. And I'm glad to see those commercials having an effect :-) However many people do not feel it is in the same ballpark as the others and it is often overlooked. I think that is because they don't spend as much time exploring it. I love it, and find new places to explore every time we go. But I personally don't think you could do it justice as a day trip from Moab.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: moab itinerary

I love Capitol Reef and think it's bypassed in favor of the other parks. It just seems out of the way between Moab and Santa Fe (minimum two hours there and two hours back) and there are closer options to Moab. Another of them would be the Needles District of Canyonlands. Having said that...

Capitol Reef in and of itself is definitely worth seeing. I guess if i had to compare, the main section reminds me more of Zion than the others. But it is still it's own unique area. If you choose to go, you could check out Goblin Valley on the way. Highway 24 is a straight shot through the main section of the park and there are a few places to stop and take photos like the petroglyph wall panels, The Castle, the Fruita Orchards, Sunset Point, etc. If you don't want to take long hikes, there are short and flat ones like the Grand Wash in which you could turn around at any point. The trees will likely be turning colors along the Freemont River corridor as well. It could be quite spectacular. Torrey is great town to get lunch or dinner.

5. Re: moab itinerary

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