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Old 09-10-2019, 08:47 AM   #1
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Parks in southern Utah



In late October, my wife is attending a retreat at The Ghost Ranch, north of Santa Fe and west of Taos, in northern New Mexico. So, ONE, I have four days to kill with day trips. Any ideas?

Second, we'll have a couple of weeks to hit some of the parks and monuments around southern Utah: Mesa Verde, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyon Lands, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. OBVIOUSLY we cannot see them all and I'm not inclined to stand in line for days. Plus, many appear to mostly have similar sites. And I am not able to hike. Any suggestions not to miss, and why? (I realize I'm asking a lot but the internet has much info and it conflicts, that I trust you guys). Thanks, Ed
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:48 PM   #2
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That late in the season I would skip Bryce and Capitol Reef. They are both at a high elevation and will be cold. I would stay around the 4 corners for several days, stop in Blanding and go to Moab for Canyonlands, Deadhorse SP and Arches. Drive the 128.
Mesa Verde
Hovenweep
Goosenecks SP
Monument Valley
Valley of the Gods
Natural Bridges
Train to Silverton out of Durango
Many others

Day trip to Chaco Culture NHP will amaze you.

I have been to all of these places and spent way more than 2 weeks enjoying them and the area around them.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:17 AM   #3
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Parks in southern Utah

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Originally Posted by dav7158 View Post




In late October, my wife is attending a retreat at The Ghost Ranch, north of Santa Fe and west of Taos, in northern New Mexico. So, ONE, I have four days to kill with day trips. Any ideas?



Second, we'll have a couple of weeks to hit some of the parks and monuments around southern Utah: Mesa Verde, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyon Lands, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. OBVIOUSLY we cannot see them all and I'm not inclined to stand in line for days. Plus, many appear to mostly have similar sites. And I am not able to hike. Any suggestions not to miss, and why? (I realize I'm asking a lot but the internet has much info and it conflicts, that I trust you guys). Thanks, Ed


Bryce Canyon is beautiful year round and the shuttle bus will take you to all the great overlooks. Easy walking distance from the stops to the overlook.

The Grand Canyon North Rim (no shuttles) is also close to Bryce and Zion. If your short of time I’d choose Bryce over Zion.

We just returned from three weeks visiting Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon South and North Rims, Zion, Bryce and Arches National Parks. Here’s a few pictures of Bryce.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:21 AM   #4
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Here’s another picture to show you how different the areas are in Bryce.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:26 PM   #5
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The shuttles at Zion and Bryce are great. We are at Arches now and no shuttles, to bad. The crowds at both Zion and Bryce are not bad at all as I was hoping for this time in September. At Arches there still is a lot of people here so parking in crazy. We get around on scooters and that helps a lot. But the hikes to see the arches not bad.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:39 PM   #6
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We have stayed at Zion River RV Park several times just outside the south entrance to Zion NP. One of the nicest RV parks you will find. Zion will be uncrowded and full of autumn colors in mid-late October. From the RV park easy day trips to North Rim of Grand Canyon one full day, then Bryce Canyon NP and Cedar Breaks Nat. Monument another full day. Check the weather before heading out. Early snows can occur in October and may close some of the roads or parks early.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:17 PM   #7
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Bryce Canyon is so beautiful it’s my favorite spot. It is so worth checking out.
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