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Archive 2013 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning
  
 
alatoo60
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Hello, everyone,

I am planning a short trip to Utah, driving one-way to Salt Lake City and flying back to Phoenix.
Total time - 4 days, leaving on Friday April 26, returning Monday, April 29.
Itinerary... that's where the problem is.
There are so many places I want to visit, but it's impossible to cover everything, so I am asking for the board's precious advice.

Here are the locations of interest:

The vicinity of Tuba City
Petrified Forest NP*
Canyon de Chelly
Mesa Verde NP*
Monument Valley
Canyonlands NP
Arches NP
Dead Horse Point SP*
Fisher Towers*
Goblin Valley SP*

* - never visited before

Will be very grateful if you point out some other photogenic locations around this area.
Also - I am still recovering after knee surgery, but already started going on short hikes, 1-2 miles.
Thinking about going to False Kiva - from what I read, it is not too challenging, and I am not afraid of heights.

Here are few pictures from my previous trip to Moab, in January 2010:

1. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8230/8591978222_8b8db2197d_b.jpg

2. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8099/8590877383_452d24dbc4_b.jpg

3 .http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8090/8591978902_97e2f9ccf7_b.jpg

Thanks,

Sasha.



Mar 26, 2013 at 11:05 PM
AndrewThomas
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Hi Sasha, we just came through part of this area.....about 16 miles south east from Tuba City is Coal Mine Canyon, not many people visit here, but great formations to play around with.
We also visited Petrified last year....be aware that Petrified is one of the few national parks that closes at sunset (to stop people stealing the petrified logs, I believe) but you can still have access at the north of the park to some nice overlooks of the Painted Desert section that are great at sunset.
About 4 years ago we visited Mesa Verde and did the special Photographers Tour late in the day (not sure if they still offer it). We were lucky to be the only ones there (apart from the ranger_ so we had the place to ourselves.) Its a long drive from the highway into the park, so remember that, as you have a lot of places to visit on your list! And Goblin is quite a drive as well off the highway, but a great smaller, park and a fun place to visit
Let me know if I can help with anything more specific
cheers Andrew



Mar 26, 2013 at 11:42 PM
alatoo60
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Andrew,
thank you very much for the info - these are things that's very important to know.
Yes, there are canyons near Tuba City, I've been there before, and I want to visit one of them again so badly, I even see it in my dreams



Mar 26, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Charlie Shugart
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Sasha- all the places you mentioned are terrific! But they are all in eastern Utah (except Tuba City).
In western Utah you could visit upper Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona. Then nearby Glen Canyon Dam. Then on to Zion and then Bryce. And then to SLC.
A few days isn't enough time- but you know that .
Still, if the light helps out, you could score big in those days.
Charlie



Mar 26, 2013 at 11:59 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Hey Sasha,

You have a great list of locations to visit. Just having been to Goblin Valley I can tell you it's a cool location to see. For me, like an upcoming trip I am planning, I have drawn a crude map, and laid out all the locations I want to visit with the mileage between them and the roads between them. That is really helping me to decide what to see and what order to see them in.

Also, how much time do you want to spend in each place? Also, remember that for most of these locations they are best in either sunset or sunrise, not that you can't shoot them or see them midday, but the best time to shoot them is early or late. So with 4 days does that give you 3 sunsets and 3 sunrises? That would give you a total of 6 places to key on.

Suggestion for Day 1 -
Leave early (3am) and get to Petrified Forest for Sunrise. The light gets very harsh there quick, so midday shots will not look good... even 9am shots will look harsh.
Drive to Tuba City - Shoot the afternoon and sunset in the canyon you are dreaming of.

And that's a start....

Jim



Mar 27, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Sasha,

Break out the chain saw! With only 4 days, I think you're gonna need to start chopping! A simple connect-the-dots route yields 27 (at least) hours sitting in the car - you won't have time to do much of anything besides drive...

How about this route?

Blue Canyon, just east of Tuba City.

Monument or Valley of the Gods.

Mokee Dugway switchbacks. Camp at Muley Point?

Road Canyon see http://www.panoramio.com/photo/13716328?source=wapi&referrer=kh.google.com While the hike distance is fairly short, I suspect this will involve a few hundred feet of vertical climbing, something your knee might not appreciate. http://www.naturalbornhikers.com/trails/fallenroofruin.html

I'm quite fond of Hwy 95 as a N-S byway. There are numerous pretty canyons along the way, many fairly easy to reach. Leprechaun Canyon is a personal favorite. It's an easy ~3/4 mile hike from the road. Bypass the first narrows by scrambling up the ledge on the right side of the canyon. (I found the reverse butt-scoot to be the most effective, if least dignified technique.) http://www.americansouthwest.net/slot_canyons/north_wash/canyon_three.html

Natural Bridges SP has some nice short hikes and several very nice arches. The park is sort of a mini-Arches.

The section of Fry Canyon directly under the bridge is easy to reach, and may be quite pretty (or it may be a mud hole.) Anasazi Ruins and another slot section about a mile downstream.

Goblin Valley is very neat, and there are more slot canyons nearby. Little Wild Horse and Bell are the easiest, AFAIK.

On to Moab, Fisher Towers, etc....

Even this minimal schedule should keep you plenty busy. Look for a PM with a whole pile of placemarks-of-possible-interest.

Will you be camping or do you prefer a proper shower each day?

-Greg

Edited on Mar 27, 2013 at 12:53 AM · View previous versions



Mar 27, 2013 at 12:31 AM
alatoo60
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Charlie, thank you!
I had two, uh, actually three possible scenarios for a spring trip - to Moab/Salt Lake City, to Page/Vegas, and to LA/SF through Yosemite. I even made reservation for Vegas early in March. But then I started to think: I just drove through California last fall, and went to Page/Vegas last spring, but I rarely if ever get a chance to visit Moab. This tipped the scale, so today, I changed reservation to Salt Lake City



Mar 27, 2013 at 12:34 AM
stanparker
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Just a heads up regarding Blue Canyon: My group got thrown off the grounds there by a Hopi ranger. He said one can get a permit at Hopi Headquarters (I forget the name of the place) about 50 miles down the road from Tuba City. I had been in the canyon the day before and saw no one.

For what it's worth, I would concentrate my time in Moab, because there are so many things to see there, including some good, but relatively short, hikes.



Mar 27, 2013 at 01:20 AM
Cloudbow
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Hi Sasha. I didn't know you had knee surgery. Been away from the forums for a while. Glad to hear that you are recovering and starting to hike again!

That photo you posted above of Monument Valley is awesome! What a grand sky!

Bev



Mar 27, 2013 at 05:07 AM
 

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alatoo60
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Jim, thanks for the advice. I need to find out about permit to Blue Canyon - as Stan Parker says, the rules may be different now. I was there two years ago, with Navajo permit, just in case.
Usually, when I decide on locations, I create an Excel table with all destinations, driving times, sunsets, sunrises etc., after that all I need is to stick to the schedule (and a bit of luck for a good weather



Mar 27, 2013 at 05:26 AM
alatoo60
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Greg, thank you! It will take me days to absorb all information you provided!
Fallen Roof sounds very interesting, and I will try to fit it in if possible.
Yes, four days is not enough, but still better than nothing.



Mar 27, 2013 at 05:34 AM
alatoo60
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Bev, thank you for kind words! I can't wait to get up to speed.



Mar 27, 2013 at 05:37 AM
ckcarr
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Moab car show is in town that weekend. Town will be packed as it's the best car show in the west. It's like American Graffiti. You will NOT be able to go from North to South side of town in the evening very easy from dusk until around 10:00 pm. If you like cars you will love it, if not then you should steer away.


Mar 27, 2013 at 01:50 PM
alatoo60
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Craig, thanks for letting me know. I think it's awesome,
I love cars, it will give me something to do during the day.



Mar 27, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Croce
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Sasha, out of Tuba City you are probably thinking Coal Mine and/or Blue Canyon. Blue is my favorite but you can't just drive in any longer. They are stringently enforcing guide only entry and I understand they are assessing heavy penalties. I have no idea what their guides are charging and I know a lot of them are working out of 2nd Mesa so they must be going into the canyon from the south rather than accessing out of Tonalea up on Hwy 160. Inquiring here may be helpful.

Hopi Cultural Preservation Office (CPO)
P.O. Box 123
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039
(928) 734-3619



Mar 29, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


One more thought. The full moon falls on the 25th of April. If, over the next two days, you can reach a nice westward looking viewpoint in the pre-dawn hours, you'll have the full moon setting in the ESE just as the sun rises behind you. With the right atmospheric conditions, this could work out very nicely. Maybe good ol' Horseshoe Bend, or one of a zillion other potential locations.

Have you narrowed down your route? Where ya goin?



Apr 15, 2013 at 10:40 PM
alatoo60
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Croce, thank you for the advice and warning. I think I will skip Blue this time, even if I'd really like to go there. Two years ago I got there by south route all by myself without a problem. While I absolutely agree that the environment is very fragile and the canyon needs to be protected, the appetites of the Hopi guides are somewhat overwhelming.

Greg, I think I figured the route, now need the weather to cooperate. Wish I had someone with similar interest to join me, it's going to be a fun trip - and on a budget side, as there is a deal for one-way rental from Hertz. Here is the link to the itinerary. It does not reveal everything, but gives an idea.

I do remember about full moon, and in fact, I already have an excel spreadsheet with all distances, times, coordinates, angles etc outlined (do it for each trip). I keep watching the weather - few days ago, the forecast was cloudy for all four days of my trip. Now it is "brilliant sunshine"

Can't wait, really excited



Apr 18, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Arizona to Utah - need help w/planning


Sounds fun! I take it you'll be flying back?

I'm actually sorta glad the Hopi have limited visitation to Blue. It looks like a wonderful, unique area that has become rather popular over the last few years. The formations don't look terribly fragile, but hordes of tourists can destroy anything...

I'll be leaving a few days earlier, Monday most likely. Apart from escaping the mesquite pollen for a few weeks, I'll be camping and exploring a few more of the canyons and hoodoo forests on my placemark list. I've got a hot date with the Moon on the 24th, and high hopes for a nice view from the western rim of Buckskin, a few hundred feet north of Wire Pass. There's a notch in a monstrous cliff to the east (West Clark Bench) that the moon will nestle in just as the sun sets behind, hopefully providing enough pretty light on the foreground to allow a single exposure shot of the scene. An ICON in the making??

After that, I'm just gonna roam the southern third of the state, probably getting as far NE as Goblin Valley. May aim for Bisti on the way back.



Apr 18, 2013 at 05:12 AM





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