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Utah National Parks

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Shweta Reddy

Introduction

With 5 beautiful National Parks in Utah, its a rewarding road trip. You can make this trip as active or relaxed as you want. This road trip itinerary includes some of the highlights in each National Park.

Trip starts at Las Vegas and ends at Colorado Springs / Denver.

Itinerary

Day 1

Las Vegas

car icon Las Vegas to Kanab

Depending on when you get to Vegas, you can spend sometime gambling and drive to Kanab for the night.

Drive time : 3.5 hrs approx.

Optional Extra Day:

Drive to the North Rim of Grand Canyon or Kaibab the nearest town, to hike the Grand Canyon next morning. When you think of Grand Canyon, you imagine the beautiful expanse of canyons with Colorado river flowing between them. You don't get to see that for the most part when you start from North Rim. You don't hike from North Rim for the views, you hike for the trill of it. Drive to Kanab at the end of the day.


Day 2

Kanab

Bryce Canyon

It's a short drive to Bryce Canyon National park. Bryce Canyon is famous for its Hoodoos, you can read more about at NSP website.

Drive Time: 1.5hrs

For a leisure day you can drive to all the view points at the Park, especially the sunset point overlooking the amphitheater at sunset. Hike the rim trail from Sunset point to Sunrise point along the amphitheater.

If have more time and or an extra day and up for some challenge, the Peek-A-Boo Loop is highly recommended. Tower Bridge and Fairyland loop are good options too.

Kanab Hotels

It's a small town with hotels from every recognizable hotel chain.

Vacation rental is also a good option since you will be staying here for a while.


Day 3

Kanab

Slot Canyons and the Wave

The Wave is a colorful sandstone rock formation. Due to it's fragile nature, a daily lottery system is used to give out ten next–day permits in person at the Kanab visitor center. I recommend making the short trip every morning you spend in Kanab and putting your name in the lucky draw.

On the other hand the Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in the world is in the same area needs no permit. The Wire Pass Trail is a easy hike to get the taste of the slot canyon.

Kanab Hotels

Same as day 2.


Day 4

Kanab

Zion

It's a short 30-40mins drive to Zion National Park. Parking is limited inside Zion, and commonly filled up by mid-morning. To avoid parking hassles, park in the town of Springdale and ride the free town shuttle to the park. The only way to get around in the park is the free park shuttle system.

The best hike is the Narrows which is walking through the river along the canyon. It's a full day strenuous hike and very much weather dependent.

Angel's Landing is another trilling hike.

Kanab Hotels

Same as day 2.


Day 5

kanab

Glen Canyon - Lake Powell

Take a break form the red canyons and head to the most scenic lake. Rent a boat and get around Lake Powell and its narrow canyons. Tubing is also allowed in this lake. You can rent boats at the marina.

Drive Time : 1 hr one way

Kanab Hotels

Same as day 2.


Day 6

Kanab

Moab Hotels

Given it's proximity to Canyonlands and Arches there are many hotels to choose from for all budget types.

car icon Long Drive

The goal of the day is to drive from Kanab to Moab via various landmarks for scenic relief. Below is the list of landmarks.

  1. Coral Pink Sand Dunes
  2. Scenic Byway US Route 89
  3. Capital Reef National Park

Drive Time: Approx. 7hrs


Day 7

Moab

Dead Horse Point

Its a short 30min drive to a beautiful view of Colorado river.

Canyonlands

Drive to Canyonlands National Park and Mesa Arch which you will recognize from various wallpapers. Take a bug spray or a netted hat as there are many bugs at Mesa Arch making is hard to stand still for a picture. You can drive to couple of other overlooks on the same road and there are short trails along the way.

Moab Hotels

Same as day 6.


Day 8

Moab

Arches

Drive to Arches National Park for a day of hiking and scenic driving.

Hike the 3 miles trail to Delicate Arch and drive through the scenic road in the park that can take up several hours.

Moab Hotels

Same as day 6.


Day 9

On the Road

car icon Drive to Airport

Drive to the airport in Colorado Springs or Denver.

Drive Time: Approx. 6 hrs


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