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Driving through Utah - best stops?

Hawaii
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Driving through Utah - best stops?

We are road tripping through Utah from Vegas, on our way to Grand Junction. Could you suggest a few stopping points or scenic drives that we can take on this route? We will be staying one night in Cedar City, then the next day back on the road to Grand Junction. We have two children, ages 5, 9. Have thought of stopping off in Moab for lunch/dinner, depending on how long it takes to get there. Thanks in advance for your advice!

Dallas, TX
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1. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

I just visited southeast Utah earlier this month (Jan 8-11, 2006). I went through Moab, monument Valley, Natural Bridges park, and Capitol Reef.

Moab is of course just off I-70 and a very scenic area. However, many (perhaps most) of the businesses and restaurants are closed for the season until reopening (in spring, I presume). There was a pizza place open and at least one other restaurant open. One of the bigger places (Sliprock cafe) was closed. Most of the stores were closed for the season or on reduced hours. I didn't see anything specifically geared for kids, but I wasn't on the lookout.

Arches National park is very scenic with numerous stops and points of interest within easy walking distance of the road. Dead Horse Point is a great view (like a mini-grand canyon) but the drive to it is substantially longer off 191.

As for Capitol Reef Park, to me it seemed to be nothing too special - just a good example of the terrain that is typical in the area. I went into the grand wash trail and it was nice but nothing extraordinary like you find at Arches.

Highway 95 from Natural Bridges to Hanksville was very scenic, but not on your alignment. I think you really need to go northbound on it at this time of year to see the rich colors; looking south, you just see silhouettes.

salt lake city
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2. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

Do stop and see Arches. Moab is just a little city outside the park. It's worth the time to drive through the main part of the park and get out a bit. It's quite amazing. IF your kids like Dinosaurs-the quarry and museum up north (abut 80 miles off your route on 1-40 in Dinosaur is also very interesting for kids). I think it's the biggest in the world. http://www.dinoland.com/mus.html#dnmq

salt lake city
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3. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

Also- the museum right in the city of Vernal is great for kids that age.

dinoland.com/utah-natural-history-museum.html

There's a museum at Cove Fort on 1-15 you might check out. Takes an hour to breeze through. It's about 2 miles past the 1-70 turnoff going n from Cedar City.

Watford, United...
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4. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

I am afraid you will not have the time to do or see much if you are starting from Cedar City and need to be in Grand Junction that evening. You haven't said when you will be in the region but it's 346 miles by interstate between the two towns and the delights of Bryce, Highway 12, Capital Reef and the many other wonderous sights in the area mean that you should allow at least a week not a day!

A diversion off I-70 to Moab would be just about all you would have time for and as others have said, there isn't much open this time of year and the town itself (although the setting is great) lacks charm. The entrance to Arches is on the road into Moab but there are no eating places within the park and just a Visitors Centre with no food at the entrance.

From Vegas there is more to see with The Valley of Fire SP just off the road out of LV and Snow Canyon SP near St George. Or you might want to consider an early start from Vegas and heading to Springdale to explore the wonderful Zion NP in the afternoon and then pushing on to Grand Junction on day two.

Hawaii
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5. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

Thanks for all your great suggestions, some of these areas I had not heard about. I should have mentioned that we will be traveling in June and also arriving in Cedar City in early morning. We hope to tour Bryce/Zion that day, then spend the night and head out for Grand Junciton the next day. Sounds like Arches is a must see, so will definately stop there. We might have to save the Dinasour area for our return trip, since that is a little more North than we want to go on this leg of the trip, but looks like a great stop for the kids (my son is really into the Dinasour thing). I had heard about Hwy 12, sounds beautiful, do you think we will have enough time to take that route as we head over to Grand Junction?

Endless Mountains...
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6. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

Yes, if you have 72 hrs in your day.

Zion and Bryce in 1 day..............

I think you should do a little more realistic planning.

salt lake city
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7. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

I think it depends on traffic but there really isn't a much better alternative to get you to Grand Junction from Bryce anyway. Might as well enjoy the drive best you can. You'll want to leave early though so you get the most out of the Arches area. Have lunch in Green River before you go or stop there and get a picnic to bring in. Going into Moab city requires back tracking and you don't have time for that. There are petroglyphs you might want to check out also around the ARches area right off the roads. I know you don't have a lot of time.

www.billandcori.com/moab/petroglyphs.htm ARe you sure you want to try and see both Zion and Bryce parks in one day? That's really a lot with little kids. I would just do Bryce and really enjoy yourself a day there. There's plenty to do there and the parks will be crowded so getting from one to the other may not be as easy as it looks on the map.

Hawaii
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8. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

Thanks for your helpful reply saphfirebluez. I think we will follow your suggestions on the route. Also, didn't realize the unpracticality of visiting Bryce and Zion on the same day, so Bryce might be the better option for us. I know we don't have a lot of time, just didn't want to miss anything if we were driving right by it.

salt lake city
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9. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

You won't really be right by Zion anyway. You just have to come back for another trip! Here's something you could quickly see on your way up to Green River on 12. When you get on 24 going north-look for the signs to Goblin Valley. The area right around the main entrance to the park is really nice-no long hiking necessary. Great for kids. Weird rock formations. They'll love it and you will, too. It's one of my favorites and never crowded cuz it's so out of the way. americansouthwest.net/utah/…state_park.html

Hawaii
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10. Re: Driving through Utah - best stops?

Oh, very cool! Thanks for the tip on Goblin Valley! Yes, I think I will definately have to take another trip out to Utah to stay and sightsee a lot more. I'm just glad that we will be able to see a bit of it on our way through. I have never been there before and also have not road tripped as an adult. We are very excited! Thanks again for the valuable information!