Day 1- I am wondering if you wouldn't be better off staying somewhere close to downtown SLC that first night. The reason I say for that is because you'll be hitting commuter traffic which seems to start ever earlier. Your drive to Provo might take longer than it should. I'm assuming you are thinking of staying there to get a little bit further down the road for the next day. But if you head out in the morning you'll be going against the main traffic flow so it would be faster.
Another idea would be to stay in downtown SLC for the afternoon/evening- go to dinner, check out Temple Square, or City Creek and/or Gateway malls- and then about 7 pm (after the traffic will have died down) head south to the hotel in Provo. Traffic is bad on I-15 south usually between 4 to 6 pm
I'd keep both nights at Bryce, since your first day will be short. Use it to stop at Red Canyon first (you'll pass it on the way to Bryce). Then check out the main amphitheater in Bryce.
Day 2- Take your time this day, drive the scenic drive, take a short hike down into the hoodoos, check out the ranger programs, enjoy the changing light on the hoodoos. if you have extra time drive down to Kodachrome State Park and take a look there.
Day 3- Enjoy the drive up hwy 12. You'd have time for a stop at Kiva Koffehouse, and a drive on the Burr trail out of Boulder (go about 15 miles to the end of Long Canyon ) as well as a stop at the Anasazi State museum there. I expect you'd still have time for Capitol Reef's main historic area that day.
Day 4- Take the scenic drive to Capitol Gorge (in Capitol Reef) for a nice easy hike. Then on the way to Moab you would stop at Goblin Valley along the way. I would also take the turn into Canyonlands before you actually get to Moab. You should have about a half day to see both the main views in Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands, as well as Dead Horse Point. I like sunset from there, though you might not want to drive into Moab in the dark.
Day 5- Your full day in Moab use for Arches. Most of the hikes are fairly short. Visit the Windows and Devil's Garden. Go at least to Landscape arch in the Devil's Garden area. If you don't take the full day there you can use that time for either of two scenic drives. One along hwy 128 heading north east along the Colorado River at least as far as Fisher Towers, or one along the Potash road heading southwest along the Colorado river to the Jug Handle Arch. Otherwise save these for your second stopover in Moab. You could also plan for a sunset hummer tour into the backcountry.
Day 6- Since you'll be going both direction here you can take kind a loop. I'd take 191 south. You could do a trip into see the Needles section of Canyonlands. While much of it requires long hikes or 4x4 I still think it is an amazing place. You could spend half a day there. Then stop in Bluff for the historic Fort, and Twin Rocks Trading Post. Then enjoy your visit at Monument Valley... hopefully planning a back country tour there.
Day 7- On your way back to Moab I would take 261 from just past Mexican Hat. Take the detour to Goosenecks State Park (it won't take you long to visit,,, just a quick look at that amazing view). Then head up Moki Dugway (google it first so you know what you are getting into- but better heading north- be sure to stop at the top for the photo). Maybe a stop at Natural Bridges NM- plan 2 hours there. There are some ancient ruins along the way you could hike into see at Butler Wash (short hike). Also an interesting comparative to Anasazi SP at Edge of the Cedars in Blanding.
Day 8- take another look at Arches, drive the other scenic road that you didn't see yet (or both) along the river before heading north to SLC.
And sunset in Moab late October will be about 6:30 pm (I'm not sure when daylight savings kicks in which may account for the difference between me and Ohiohicks. I get my sunrise info from the USNO- they say it is still daylight savings time)
Edited: 6:04 pm, August 24, 2013