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| p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Zion, Bryce Canon and Arches Park suggestions |
While there are plenty of short, level hikes, much of Zion is rather vertical. Reaching many of the Grand Panorama viewpoints requires a significant climb.
Bryce has an extensive network of rim trails and shuttle buses that will allow access to most all of the significant viewpoints. The plateau is a mile higher than Zion, and will be significantly cooler (sub-freezing at night). Snow and thoroughly miserable conditions are possible (if not particularly likely) if a storm happens to pass through. Well worth 2~3 days, IMO.
Kodachrome Basin SP is a fine little park, with plenty of short, easy, photogenic hikes. If the backroads are in good shape ( http://www.usa-reporter.com/reporter/GSENM-Road-Condition-Report.pdf ) I'd suggest she explore Cottonwood Canyon Rd. area. Willis Creek is one of the easiest slot canyons on earth to explore. Expect to be walking through an inch or two of water for some of the trip. Other local scenery includes Grosvenor Arch, Hackberry Canyon, Cottonwood Narrows, and the Cockscomb. See http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/ut/grand_staircase-escalante/photos/gsenm_visitor_information.Par.40678.File.dat/07brochurefinal05-02.pdf (42MB file!)
The Petrified Forest in Escalante is worth a visit. As suggested, Hole-in-the-Rock Road is worth a visit, if dry and in good shape. Devil's Garden is quick and easy. Peek-a-Boo and Spooky slot canyons are fun - the hike is short, but does involve several hundred feet of elevation change, as well as some sandy trails to slog through. There are some good dinosaur tracks, and wonky rock formations, not far down Collet Canyon Rd.
Further along Hwy 12, be sure to explore the Escalante river. Spencer Flat Rd. has some neat teepees and hoodoos and superb overlooks along the first few miles. Calf Creek is pretty, even if she doesn't make it to the falls.
BurrTrail Road, leaving Hwy 12 at Boulder, is superb! Be sure to check out the dwarf slot canyon on the left, about 3/4 mile after the road drops into Long Canyon. (You'll know it when it happens!) There's a small waterfall about a mile north of the road in "The Gulch" canyon. It's an easy walk. If she's the adventurous type, and the roads are certified to be in good shape, the drive to Capitol Reef via Burr Trail and Notom roads is off-the-chart scenic. This is all dirt, so don't tell the rental company!
Capitol Reef has lots of scenic, easy walks/hikes. FWIW, I like https://www.capitolreefinn.com/ in Torrey.
Page might be worth a night, particularly if the higher elevation destinations to the north are having a blizzard! Hwy 89 between Kanab and Page is not too terribly far away, and offers some good stuff. Toadstool Hoodoos, Wire Pass and the cattle drive at Antelope Canyon. (Head for the 'Lower' section of Antelope. If you bring a tripod they will turn you loose, without a guide, for 2 hours. This is far preferable to the stampede in 'Upper.') Hit Horseshoe Bend at dawn or sunset, and srtoll along the rim for a while, just to gain a different perspective. There are some neat rock formations just west of the dam that look to be super easy to reach. http://goo.gl/maps/V1Xb6
Edited on Mar 16, 2013 at 05:31 AM · View previous versions