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Archive 2013 · Zion, Bryce Canon and Arches Park suggestions
  
 
photogeek72
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p.1 #1 · Zion, Bryce Canon and Arches Park suggestions


Hi everyone,
On April 1 my friend is traveling to Zion, Bryce Canon and possibly Arches National park. She's planning to spend about a week in that area (she lives in South Florida)

She'd like to focus on landscapes and panoramas. Can anyone familiar with these parks and the area recommend which of the three may be best for her? She can't really hike for more than 2 or 3 miles and the area must be relatively smooth, so the locations should be relatively easy to access from her car. Would going to Arches be worth it considering she's coming from the south west where Bryce and Zion are?

Thank you for all your suggestions and ideas.

Andres Leon




Mar 15, 2013 at 11:06 PM
stanparker
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p.1 #2 · Zion, Bryce Canon and Arches Park suggestions


The best way to visit these parks involves extensive hiking. That said, a few days in Zion will allow lots of time for the main canyon and some of the shorter hikes. Driving east of Zion will provide good scenery and possibly some bighorn sheep. I enjoy the Kolob Terrace Rd late in the day. It starts about 12-13 miles west of Zion, going north off Route 9. Other places one can drive to include Grafton (small ghost village, where part of Butch Cassidy was filmed) and Kolob Canyons, north on I-15 a few miles.

Bryce Canyon overlooks can be seen in a day (by shuttle). More days may be needed to get great sunrises/sunsets. There will likely be significant snow still, due to the altitude.

I personally would not drive as far as Arches with her time constraints, but would concentrate on scenery along Highway 12, one of the most scenic roads in the country. There is good hiking around both Escalante and Boulder, but lots can be done by car. Hole In The Rock Rd has lots of good stuff, but is a little rough for a sedan. Devil's Garden, only 14-15 miles down the road may be worth it. Burr Trail, a paved road out of Boulder is definitely worth it.

I believe this will fill her week, but if not, keep going to Highway 24 and turn right to Capitol Reef NP. More time, keep going.

Tell her to Google these places to get more details. It's really a "can't miss".

Edited on Mar 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM · View previous versions



Mar 16, 2013 at 12:57 AM
Greg Campbell
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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



Mar 16, 2013 at 03:02 AM
photogeek72
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p.1 #4 · Zion, Bryce Canon and Arches Park suggestions


Wow! Thank you both, so much for your thorough suggestions and feedback. I will pass these on to her!

Again, thank you!

Andres Leon



Mar 16, 2013 at 04:32 AM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #5 · Zion, Bryce Canon and Arches Park suggestions


Search the forum too. Utah is a popular place...


Mar 16, 2013 at 05:32 AM





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