need info on utah hiking/exploring - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Duncan, BC, Canada.
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Default need info on utah hiking/exploring

Hi:

I need some input, Im considering on seeing the Arches, Canyon lands,Capital Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks. I would like to car camp along the way,possibly over two weeks,is it enough time to get a over view of the areas.?

Where would be the best area to actually start the tour from? which would allow me to see historic places of interest,as well the unique geology,petroglyphs.Also best times of year to visit, when its not to hot.
or very busy.
Is there places where i can hire guides for tours/and or for hiking?

(web sites available for those regions)?

Your suggestions would be appreciated
Thanks
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:27 PM
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Best time of year is probably May or October, not too hot, not too cold at night. But really, go when you can get time off!

The areas are actually pretty far apart, so if you're okay with a fair bit of driving, you could see everything as a road trip tour. My personal opinion is that you could might want to spend some time in each...say 2 days in Bryce (Red Canyon near Bryce is cool too because you're allowed to ride. Bryce is restricted to walking), 2 for Zion, 2 days for Arches, and as for the Canyonlands, well, that could easily eat up all 2 weeks depending on what types of activities you want to do. There's loads of hiking and biking opportunities.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:57 PM
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Will generally second what guntis said, with 2 comments:

1) 2nd half of May might already be a bit late for optimal spring time (too hot already, depends where you want to go)
2) 2 days for any area is short in my book; I prefer to see an area properly, even if that means I need to leave some of them for next time. This is personal preference however and might not be true for everyone.

ZION is great. You can car-camp in Zion Canyon Campground in Springdale, then (free) park shuttle in/out. Number of outstanding hikes. Walter's Wiggles - Angel Landing to this day stands as one of best easy scrambles I ever did.


From Zion it is day-drive south to GC. If you go in May, North Rim might be open. It is much more appealing than tourist overrun and overdeveloped South Rim
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 11:24 PM
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We visited at the end of March in 2011. Perhaps a touch early in the season but we were happy with our timing.

Here are our trip reports which may give you some ideas. Looking back at them makes me want to pack up the car and head down there again.
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=38904
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=38915
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=38925
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=38926
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 06:59 AM
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We visited Utah in May 2010. You can see photos of our hikes at http://mattclay.zenfolio.com/utah The region is definitely spectacular!

I will mention one thing about camping though... We've always camped in a tent and love it, but we hated it in Utah. At least when we were there the wind was always blowing - not strong, but enough to blow the dust/sand around - and this got in our tent via the mesh and so we spent most of the time sleeping in sand and/or sandpaper. The wind also meant that fires were impractical (we like to cook on the campfire) and any meal in a frying pan had loads of sand in it. I'd recommend considering at least some nights in motels. Ones like Super 8 are only $40/night down there.

We'll be back one day for sure, but no tenting for us.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 07:48 AM
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I've visited Arches, Canyonlands and Capital Reef before. In my opinion, I'd rather just concentrate on one or two particular areas and each time I went, I tried to cover almost all the trails. Out of the 3 parks, I preferred Capital Reef since it sees the least amount of people and it has its own uniqueness. Like others have mentioned, I prefer to visit in May.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 10:56 AM
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I did the Southeast side from Moab down to the four corners in a week back in Sep 93. This included the drive from Vancouver and back too. We stopped at Arches, Dead Horse Point, Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, Natural Bridges and Capitol Reef on the way back. We saw a lot but missed many things due to shortage of time. Mesa Verde and Arches were my favorites. We car camped - both at campgrounds and out in the desert. In September it wasn't busy. It was hot but not crazy hot. The whole area is great. Have fun.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 02:49 PM
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ive always wanted to visit Utah, except you can't get hard liquor or full strength beer there
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
 
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Thank you every one for all of your suggestions and past trip reports. I can see why i need more time than just two weeks, has given me lots to think about.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 08:28 PM
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I have made numerous trips to the Southwest, our best picks can be found here (just ignore the California ones, but click the links under each to take you to more info about the specific parks):

http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/Southwest.htm

In all honesty there is a lifetime of sights to see down there. I've done the long swooping trip with a little bit of everything and the return trips to concentrate on specific areas. It all depends on what you want to see, the length of hikes you want to do, and how many other people you are willing to put up with.

Arches, Bryce and Zion can be very crowded, but my favourite areas are Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, Capital Reef, Escalante and parts of Zion. I've gone at all different times of the year (including July!) and my October trip was the best (less crowds, lower water levels, nice temps and some fall colour believe it or not!).

Camping is great on the BLM land, just pull up on any side road and you're good to go! No reservations needed, no neighbours - awesome camping!

If you have any specific questions about any of the areas we'd be happy to answer your questions. As always Kathy and Craig Copelands guidebook - From Here to Wow Utah Canyon Country is a great resource.

Here's some links to my Flickr photos as well if you feel like a little window shopping:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/489378...7628735636207/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/489378...7627310776447/


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post #11 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 09:39 PM
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Don't miss Goblin Valley
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by truespirit

Thank you every one for all of your suggestions and past trip reports. I can see why i need more time than just two weeks, has given me lots to think about.

You could certainly use more than two weeks but don't decide to not go if you only have a week!

I think we had 9 to 11 days (one work week + two weekends and then maybe a stat day + one extra weekday.) We didn't try to see everything but it was well worth it and we'll be back for the rest.

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 10:50 PM
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It's just really hard to find a place in the Southwest where you'd end up disappointed.

And every place just beckons to be explored.

My only recommendation would be to go down there, don't set a rigid schedule but leave time to wander and pause and bask:



You'll likely go back anyways, so don't regret missing anything.

Head to the Four Corners, eat lots of chile, and carry a light-colored umbrella cause they really help during the really hot days.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by guntis

Best time of year is probably May or October, not too hot, not too cold at night. But really, go when you can get time off!
April as good as May, or are you missing out on something going earlier?
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
 
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No, im flexable on when i go,now im rethinking on spending more time there. Thanks again every one for all of your input and great advice.

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