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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 1/4/2015 6:02:39 AM EST
So my wife wants to stop flying to the Caribbean this year and start going back to our road trip days. She has a goal to see every National Park before we die. The Southwest seems to be a great place to knock a few out. I am planning 14 days in September. Trip is currently planned as follows:

Atlanta, GA to Farmington NM.

Farmington NM to Moab, UT- Arches and Canyonlands- seems to be a good bit to do in Moab- Hell's Revenge looked interesting.

Moab to Torrey- Capitol Reef- Does not seem to be much to do here. It looks like this National Park was an after thought.

Torrey to Tropic- Bryce Canyon- Im not sure if this a drive through or if I should consider more time.

Tropic to Springdale- Zion- This is the main place we want to go. My understanding is it has an interesting hike up a river into some high walled areas. Up for more ideas here also

Springdale to Flagstaff AZ- with a stop to look over the Grand Canyon. Not really interested in spending much time here, but I am up for ideas.''

Flagstaff AZ to Carlsbad NM- Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mtns- not sure how long the caverns actually are, but I imagine the Guadalupe Mtns are a drive by and wave park. Probably stop at Roswell. Any interesting places to see? Old military testing sites etc?

Carlsbad NM to San Antionio Tx- Just because we talked about living there in past, but have never seen the area.

San Antionio Tx to New Orleans- Well its New Orleans, I have been once before Katrina, but wife has not been. Questioning if I really want to even go now.


Let me know if anyone has completed the Southern Utah circuit before. I would also be interested if anyone has experience with outdoor places in Moab. Also recommend any places to stay in Moab, Torrey, Tropic, Springdale.

Thanks in advance

Eric

Link Posted: 1/4/2015 10:52:07 AM EST
What level of hikes are you planning? Meaning, are you & the wife in shape go get-em hikers or the mall mosey sort?

I absolutely love Zions, but only spent 3 days there! Camp overnight if you can (September may still be busy, I mean BUSY!) If you want to camp, see about reservations for a campsite NOW. Or stay in a lodge, again, book it SOON. Then take the bus up to ANGELS LANDING and get cracking at that one, then come down, have a bite of lunch that you packed and then bus up & do OBSERVATION POINT. Remember to refill your water. That is a good days worth of hiking and some INCREDIBLE views & experiences!

My wife and I are in between go get-em's & mall mosey variety. It was a hump for a day, but, sitting back at the campsite after both of those, I earned my beers!

We also fit in the 'water falls' meh - its a stupid easy hike with plenty of mouth breathers and not nearly as impressive as ANGELS LANDING or OBSERVATION POINT

I haven't been out in MOAB.

~Will
Link Posted: 1/4/2015 2:51:42 PM EST
If you are looking into the Capitol Reef area, look up Calf Creek Falls and campground.

Also not far from there are some slot canyons, Peek-a-boo and Spooky. You hike these back to back.

In September, these aren't to busy, especially mid week due to schools being back in session.

Calf creek is an easy hike. The slot canyons are more difficult on the way out of the main wash due to it being a long, sometimes steep climb.
Bring plenty of water. Shade is limited on the way out. Also, if there is any chance of rain, stay out of the slot canyons as well as the main wash.
Link Posted: 1/4/2015 4:00:23 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Donith:
If you are looking into the Capitol Reef area, look up Calf Creek Falls and campground.

Also not far from there are some slot canyons, Peek-a-boo and Spooky. You hike these back to back.

In September, these aren't to busy, especially mid week due to schools being back in session.

Calf creek is an easy hike. The slot canyons are more difficult on the way out of the main wash due to it being a long, sometimes steep climb.
Bring plenty of water. Shade is limited on the way out. Also, if there is any chance of rain, stay out of the slot canyons as well as the main wash.
View Quote



The upper falls has an amazing swimming hole.
Link Posted: 1/4/2015 11:58:56 PM EST
14 days in Capitol Reef alone would be time well spent.

You are ambitious in your scope.

I think you are thinking of the Narrows in Zion. Definitely worth a visit.
Link Posted: 1/5/2015 10:01:39 PM EST
Current driving plan...

http://mapq.st/1DrVZXH
Link Posted: 1/6/2015 3:58:35 AM EST
Rent a RZR XP from Highpoint Hummer in Moab. Hell's Revenge is INCREDIBLE, along with Fins & Things and Canyonlands.
Link Posted: 1/6/2015 4:11:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/6/2015 4:15:18 AM EST by an_hero]
I did a similar road trip last summer: South Alabama to the Pacific and back. I spent three weeks in the road and had a blast. We camped at several National Parks and visited a few more. Get the yearly visitor's pass to save on entrance fees. Do not miss the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The Kaibab forest is all-around amazing. I saw American bison, mule deer, elk, and wild goats. And you can check out Monument Valley on the drive from the North Rim to Flagstaff. Also there's some cool roadside attractions on the way from I40 up to the South Rim, specifically a Flintstones themed gift shop and diner that looks like something from the 50's.

For what it's worth, I currently live two hours from New Orleans and I don't even go there. I can understand why it would appeal to someone who had never been but after coming from Utah/AZ you'll probably think NO is disgusting.

Originally Posted By EricWestGA:
Current driving plan...

http://mapq.st/1DrVZXH
View Quote

If I were you, I'd skip NO and drive back through the Rockies. Skipping Colorado would be a bummer.
Link Posted: 1/6/2015 7:47:55 AM EST
A couple spots you haven't listed but would be worth considering are Mesa Verde NP between Cortez and Durango in Colorado. It can be viewed easily be driving and making just a couple stops to get out at an overlook. The ruins are pretty amazing. And Four Corners is in that area too. It is the only place in the country where the borders of four states meet. Not anything real amazing to see, but kind of a neat point of interest. Hovenweep National Monument is in the southeast corner of Utah as well. It has some more ruins, but I think Mesa Verde trumps it in scale alone. I would say of the three Mesa Verde is the top of the list and considering how far you are coming, worth making the effort to see.

Mesa Verde NP

Hovenweep NM

Four Corners

As for Moab, a lot of people miss out on the Needles District of Canyonlands. Here is some info on it:

Needles
Link Posted: 1/6/2015 10:31:42 AM EST
As far as Colorado goes, in 2010 my wife and I drove Atlanta to Amarillo then went north to CO Springs over the mountains to Grand Junction. From Grand Junction we went to Yellowstone/Tetons. On the way back down we went from Grand Junction to Mesa Verde on the Million Dollar Hwy. This is why we are not going to CO this time. She wants to get her National Park Pins for her wall map. Though I think we missed Rocky Mtn NP to be honest.
Link Posted: 1/6/2015 9:05:22 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By EricWestGA:
As far as Colorado goes, in 2010 my wife and I drove Atlanta to Amarillo then went north to CO Springs over the mountains to Grand Junction. From Grand Junction we went to Yellowstone/Tetons. On the way back down we went from Grand Junction to Mesa Verde on the Million Dollar Hwy. This is why we are not going to CO this time. She wants to get her National Park Pins for her wall map. Though I think we missed Rocky Mtn NP to be honest.
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Makes sense, then the only thing the other replies didn't cover that I would recommend is the Needles District. Newspaper Rock is on the road into Needles and is worth stopping to look at.

Newspaper Rock
Link Posted: 1/9/2015 11:28:18 AM EST
This is a great thread!

I know there is a lot of Utah that I haven't seen & experienced, so this is a great reminder to GET OUT & DO IT!

~Will
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 3:33:33 AM EST
The Bryce area is becoming a pain in my ass. Lodging is either overprice or limited.
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 10:05:33 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By EricWestGA:
The Bryce area is becoming a pain in my ass. Lodging is either overprice or limited.
View Quote


Look at Panguitch/Tropic/Canonville, much cheaper and still close.
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 6:18:42 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By oldno7:


Look at Panguitch/Tropic/Canonville, much cheaper and still close.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By oldno7:
Originally Posted By EricWestGA:
The Bryce area is becoming a pain in my ass. Lodging is either overprice or limited.


Look at Panguitch/Tropic/Canonville, much cheaper and still close.



We ended up booking a Tipi at Ruby's in Bryce. Its kind of funny never thought I would have to "book" a Tipi. Though I found out I can get a free upgrade to a Wigwam with my Chase Turquoise Card.
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 6:24:19 AM EST
Thanks guys, I finished up the last of the booking yesterday.

Place called Morris's Last Resort Cabin outside of Moab.
Rock Rim Motel in Torrey
Ruby's Campground in Bryce
Cable Mountain Lodge in Springdale
Sky Ranch, Sedona AZ
Carlsbad KOA NM
Drury Plaza River Walk San Antonio Tx


I am tired from the planning at this point.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 9:55:39 PM EST
IM sent
Link Posted: 1/21/2015 12:16:00 AM EST
Just a friendly fyi, and camping around sound will be slammed and I mean jam packed. You'll need to reserve the minute they let you. Most do 6 months in advance. I also agree panguitch/hatch area if you want cheaper but close to Bryce. Cable mountain is great in Zions. Just be warned, you WILL want to move here so be warned. I live twenty minutes from Zions.
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