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Moab to SLC via Vernal

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Galt, California
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Moab to SLC via Vernal

Our plan is to leave Moab in the A.M. visiting Arches and possibly Dead Horse Pt. and end up in Vernal. Which route, through Price, or via Grand Junction? Is the time the same? Which is more scenic, but not too many twists in the road? With the Grand kids it would be good to be able to get out of the car every couple of hours to see/do something. Is there a lunch stop along the way or should we picnic? Next day, visit Dino. Monument and Museum in Vernal then head toward SLC, We need an overnight along the way I think. Please help with a route and an overnight stop. I'm thinking about 2 hrs.+/- from Vernal would be good. We will be traveling with 2 teens (17 & 12) in mid June. The next day we need to be in Tooele (about an hour from SLC, I'm told) by noon. If the overnight is in Park city, would there be time for an activity, perhaps a gondola ride or ......?

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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1. Re: Moab to SLC via Vernal

Either route will have segments that are significantly twisty-turny, no way to avoid that.

The route through Green River, Price, Duchesne, Roosevelt is a touch shorter. All of that route is dead straight except for the stretch of 191 from north of Price to Duchesne which is significantly twisty turn and goes over one easy mountain pass. Extremely scenic route cruising between the Book Cliffs and San Rafael Swell. Powell Museum in Green River is worth a stop as is Ray's Tavern there for a hamburger for lunch. Near Price is the Cleveland Lloyd dinosaur quarry but you'll see more of that and better at Dinosaur. This route also gives you a ton of potential stops.

The Grand Junction route actually heads north just before Fruita (which is a nice stop). That route is more a ridgeline drive and quite scenic. I feel it's a tougher road than the twisty stretch above. You have virtually no towns on this route save Fruita, Rangely and Dinosaur.

Between the two I would recommend the Price routing.

Vernal back to Park City is pretty easy. If you need to make a quick exit the next day stay at Newpark Resort or something else out at Kimball's Junction by I-80. Newpark gives you tons to do for the kids including great pizza restaurant Maxwell's in the hotel and tons of other choices in walking distance. You're right across the street from the Utah Olympic Park with zip line rides, alpine coaster, etc. From there it's just over an hour to Tooele. Leave PC mid-morning and you'll miss all the SLC traffic.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Moab to SLC via Vernal

I personally have felt no need to take either road again, nothing real scenic. We drove them just to see what they were like, (plus my grandparents homesteaded on 139 south of Rangely, so wanted to explore that area).

Google says the route via Fruita to Rangley is actually about 50 miles shorter to the National Monument and should get you to the monument more directly. I'd probably do that way and take hwy 128 out of Moab. Just be sure to get gas in Fruita and food.

Edited: 8:01 pm, May 20, 2013
Galt, California
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3. Re: Moab to SLC via Vernal

Thank you so much! We're booked and all set for that part of the trip. Another question if you don't mind. From Murray to Rubys @ Bryce, Is there an alternative to the bound to be boring Hwy 15? I saw Hwy 28 which connects to Hwy 89. I don't want to add needless hours to the trip, but if this is as beautiful as I remember Hwy 89 by Logan & Bear Lake it might be a good plan. Obviously the sights won't be the same as No. Utah, but there might be something worth seeing. What do you think?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: Moab to SLC via Vernal

If you have time highway 89 south from hwy 6 is the heart of Utah. It is a slower road, goes through the small central Utah towns and can be a very enjoyable drive. Not as scenic as Logan Canyon. On the other hand it can just get old since you'll be behind long lines of traffic with a tractor in front going very slowly for example. (no it doesn't happen all the time, but it is a country road and will be a slower drive.) http://www.utahheritage.com/

I-15, while not as scenic as some of the other areas of Utah is not boring to me. Traveling it all the time I enjoy each area and feel like it is an old friend.

If you would rather spend your time at Bryce then I would take I-15 to hwy 20 to 89 to 12.

Galt, California
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5. Re: Moab to SLC via Vernal

Thanks! I think I'm done! Looking forward to a great adventure in Utah. See you soon!

6. Re: Moab to SLC via Vernal

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