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Itinerary Help.

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Boston...
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Itinerary Help.

Good Evening Experts,

I have finalized the trip to Utah with focus towards Arches & Canyonlands. I fly-in Friday night around 9PM into SLC and fly-out red-eye on Monday. I am thinking of spending first night in SLC(not booked) and then remaining 2 nights in Moab(booked).

Ideally, I would also like to do a day-trip to Monument Valley. Can the experts suggest an itinerary that would help me cover all the 3 places in the 3 Full days I have?

Note - I am fairly a frequent traveller and I am used to spending long days driving & sightseeing, just heading back to hotel to sleep.

-Thanks

Kipling. SK
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1. Re: Itinerary Help.

Sunday would be the obvious day to day trip to MV. One way the drive is just under three hours. At MV, visit the visitor center and the viewing platform at the View hotel. Also recommended is to take a guided tour of the valley floor/road. I haven't done this myself, but I believe you just pick up the next available tour from the parking lot. On the way to/from MV, be sure to detour on the scenic route of SR261/SR95 which includes the impressive moki dugway switchbacks. If you do not happen to take the valley tour at MV, that will leave you with some time to visit some of the sites on the way back to Moab. Including Goosenecks SP and Mulie point near Mexican Hat. Edge of the Cedars in Blanding. Also Newspaper Rock/ Needles District of Canyonlands or Needles Overlook, all south of Moab.

On Saturday, visit Arches, check at the visitor center for an orientation first. Then head in, take a good look at the formations of Park Avenue, then stop to visit the Windows section first, making sure to look for/see Double Arch and the N and S Windows. Head for the end of the scenic park drive next, to Devils Garden. While there, the hike to landscape arch is an easy hike and a must do. Optional is the more challenging terrain beyond Landscape Arch to Double O Arch. Lastly, look for the delicate Arch hike from Wolfe ranch. This 3 mile RT hike is great for sunset, and best for the cooler part/end of the day because it is very exposed.Parking will be tricky, so allow time for that.

Canyonlands IITS and Dead horse Point can be seen on your departure day. In Canyonlands IITS, look for Shafer Trail overlook, Mesa Arch, Grand View Point overlook and/or the one mile hike to another panoramic overlook at Grandview towards the Maze. Also at canyonlands(which I have not done)is the drive up to Upheaval Dome, making sure you stop at the Green River Overlook on the way.

After your trip to Canyonlands IITS, make sure to visit Dead Horse Point, and see a nice gooseneck of the Colorado as it passes below.

Park City, Utah
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2. Re: Itinerary Help.

Good info so far. Given your short time, my two-cents is that you should skip MV. You'll get a lot more out of your 48 hours if you stay put in Moab. For your arrival, if you're a seasoned traveler I would get down the road a ways. You can be in Green River in under three hours, Price in under two. Given your short time, that would give you a great head start Saturday morning. We like the Comfort Inn in Green River.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Itinerary Help.

Yeah Monument Valley seems a stretch for the amount of time you have. Not sure the extra 6 hours of driving will be warranted with what you'd be missing in Moab. You could easily keep busy in Moab for three days. Not the same, but Fisher Towers would be a good place to check out, hike, and watch if people are climbing Ancient Art. Westwater Canyon would be a fun rafting adventure. There are plenty of hikes in Arches. Definitely do the Fiery Furnace and Windows Section like Double Arch as well as what has been mentioned. If you do leave straight from SLC airport, be on notice driving through Spanish Fork Canyon. Deer are frequently around at night.

Edited: 2:49 am, August 06, 2013
Uden, The...
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4. Re: Itinerary Help.

Yes, that will be 6 hours of driving plus the time for the tour and if you go by way of Moki Dugway and Gooseneck SP the drives even will be longer. I'd also stay Moab in your short timeframe.

Boston...
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5. Re: Itinerary Help.

Thanks WidMarshSK, Tumbleweed, Shake801 & Tet for your valuable insight & advice. I have couple of followup questions -

* Is SLC to Green River a scenic drive & will be missing anything driving SLC to Green River in the night?? Maybe I should stop in Orem or Provo??

* How long does it take to see Canyonlands? I am not renting a 4x4 and will not be driving Off-road. I seem to understand Arches but cannot get an handle on Canyonlands!

Ideally, I was thinking of doing Canyonlands on Saturday during the day & then switch over to Arches for Sunset @ Delicate Arch? Is it doable or am I being ambitious?

Uden, The...
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6. Re: Itinerary Help.

Yes, that's a scenic drive. Mountainous stretches though and wildlife on the road can ruin your vacation. I would not want to drive it in the dark but that's just me. re your SLC arriving time I'd stay SLC for the night.

Without hikes you can see a fair bit of Canyonlands Island in the Sky and Dead Horse Point SP in half a day. All paved roads and no need for awd or 4wd. Any car will do. So yes, you can see CL etc and drive over to Arches and do Delicate Arch same day.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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7. Re: Itinerary Help.

Your Saturday plan seems doable, with visiting Canyonlands and then Delicate Arch in the evening. I imagine the parking lot and trail will be crowded. You could breeze through the main view points and do a couple of short hikes in a half day at Canyonlands.

There is some nice scenery going from SLC to Moab. Locals might not think it a particularly spectacular drive, but being from a different part of the country it should provide you with plenty to view. You go though many different climate zones as well, which is interesting to see the transitions and changes. I'd rather have the time in Moab though. I've driven this at night several times, and while it's not my favorite, it's not the end of the world either. But really be aware of animal crossings in Spanish Fork Canyon if you choose to drive at night.

Canyonlands is a park that consists of 3 different sections, which are accessed hours apart. Each section is divided by the Colorado and/or Green Rivers and the rivers actually comprise another section of the park. The rivers come in from different angles and then converge. Think of what an upside down Mercedes symbol would look like. This is the general shape of the rivers and divided areas of Canyonlands. There are no bridges, therefore you can't drive from one district to another.

The upper section is the most frequently visited, due to its proximity to Moab, and is called Island In The Sky. Here, you will be on top of the mesas looking down at the rivers. There are many short day hikes or very long hikes. Not much in between. On the right side is The Needles District, which can also be accessed from Moab, but is a couple of hours south. Lots of world class hiking like Chesler Park and river confluence overlook, maybe the best crack climbing in the world nearby at Indian Creek. The Maze is across the Colorado River from the Needles and occupies the left area. The Maze can only be accessed by dirt roads and you need 4WD. This area includes the spectacular Doll House. If you look at a map of the park it will make more sense. You'll probably only have time for the Island in the Sky section.

Boston...
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8. Re: Itinerary Help.

Thanks Tet & Shake801 for the information. I guess, I will stay close to Salt Lake on Friday night & start the trip early on Saturday. Ideally, if I can finish Canyonlands during the first day, then I can do Arches next day and maybe a 4x4 Safari on final day!

A related question, do we really need hiking shoes for these parks say to check out Delicate arch or Fiery furnace? I am planning to wear my Keen Sandals...

Uden, The...
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9. Re: Itinerary Help.

This question has been asked before on TA:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143011-i6453-k553…

Moab, Utah
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10. Re: Itinerary Help.

Those are short, relatively simple, hikes. Keen sandals would be fine for Delicate Arch but the rangers won't be "keen" on letting you wear sandals for the Fiery furnace.

Have you booked a Fiery Furnace ranger tour? Without a ranger or a guide you can still go if you get a permit but if you've never been before it is nowhere near as good an experience.

Edited: 8:44 am, August 07, 2013