Canyons and more canyons Utah and Arizona
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Oct 17, 2012 10:06 AM Last Post By: geo_nerd
Sep 12, 2012 10:35 PM
sTips for the trip and any places which are a must see that I have missed out i'd still love to hear about. I am hoping for some lightening to photograph.
14th Zion Lodge
15th Bryce Lodge
16th ? going to Goblin Valley and just looking for somewhere after that or drive right through to Moab
17 & 18th Moab the first morning I am going through to Mesa Arch for sunrise and the day in Canyonlands. that evening Delicate Arch and not
sure where the next full day but there is plenty to see and a good hike somewhere if it is not too hot.
19 The View Monument Valley
20th Page the only place I haven't booked but there seems to be plenty. early this morning on the way to Page we will go to Antelope Canyons
where we are booked in on a photographic tour. I'm not sure about this but too scared of missing out and so went ahead and booked
at the last minute.
21 Bright Angel South Rim
23rd Las Vegas
Sep 12, 2012 11:57 PM
1Here is one suggested timetable (where you would spend each night):
14 Sep - Zion Lodge
15 Sep - Bryce Canyon Lodge
16 Sep - Hanksville
17 Sep - Moab (Arches NP)
18 Sep - Moab
19 Sep - The View Monument Valley (after Canyonlands NP)
20 Sep - Page (after Monument Valley)
21 Sep - Bright Angel Lodge GCNP
22 Sep - Bright Angel Lodge GCNP
23 Sep - Las Vegas
I think your extra night is best spent at the South Rim (or Tusayan or Williams) - one is not enough, coming from Page and then heading on to Las Vegas. I also think you should stop at Hanksville, after seeing the wonderful country from Bryce Canyon NP eastwards - Escalante, Capitol Reef. And see Goblin Valley SP early morning prior to driving through to Moab for two nights.
Sep 13, 2012 12:37 AM
2I know it's too late to change much, but IMO you are going awfully fast...
You could spend at least 3 days (to 2+ weeks) at each of your stops, making short side trips to nearby points of interest. Here are a few 'must see' destinations that you'll be blasting past... http://goo.gl/maps/4fcyY
If you're remotely serious about the photography, consider this a preliminary visit at most. Take notes and start thinking about a return trip when you can spend more time in each area.
Suggest you visit 'Lower Antelope' for a few hours before taking the (11am?) Photo Tour of 'Upper.' Bring a tripod and they will let you off the leash for 2 hours, free to roam and shoot at your own pace, without a guide to herd you along. (Bring your finest cowbell for the Upper stampede!) Work your way down to the climb-out ladder then, instead of exiting the canyon, reverse course and shoot your way back up to the entry point. The light will have changed and you'll see all manner of new possibilities.
Sep 13, 2012 5:54 AM
3For photography and out-of-the-way; about 20 miles out of Cedar City on highway 58 heading west you will notice an open area on the north side of the road that appears to be an abandoned mining area. Well, it is. There's a very interesting graveyard from the old mining days (1880s). Graves with old cowboy hats, boots and plastic flowers. Graves documenting the lives of babies, miners and immigrants that died in the mining camp. Old mining equipment lying around.
Sep 13, 2012 9:43 AM
4Agree that this is a rushed schedule, but it will be a great trip. From Bryce, be sure to continue on Hwy 12 through Escalante on your way to Capitol Reef & Hanksville. Ian hinted at that but didn't specifically say what road to take. You will stop often for photo ops on this route. For canyons consider Peekaboo & Spooky down the Hole-in-the-Rock road outside of Escalante, although they are quite a ways down a washboarded gravel road. Grand Wash is another nice one, it is in Capitol Reef with easy access right off of Hwy 24. West of Goblin Valley is Little Wild Horse Canyon.
For driving diversions you could drive a few miles up the Hells Backbone road to the bridge crossing - access is from Hwy 12 just after crossing the Hogsback. The Burr Trail is another great road to drive, you could use that to get to Capitol Reef. It is paved until you get to the NP boundary. In Moab, be sure to drive Hwy 128 along the Colorado River at least up to the Fisher Towers area.
Not sure if I can help you with the lightning - the forecast looks clear and beautiful for the next 10 days, you just missed out on a huge storm that swept through the area. In Zion you may be able to see the aftermath of some flooding.
Have a great trip! If you haven't been to this area before, prepare to have you mind blown.
Sep 13, 2012 10:44 PM
Sep 14, 2012 11:06 AM
6The thing is that something like Egypt3, Zebra, or the Peek-a-Boo/Spooky loop requires over 2 extra hours of driving down/back Hole-in-the-Rock Rd, plus 2~3+ hours to actually do the hike and explore the area a little. Throw in another ~4 hours for a relaxed drive along Hwy12, and you've pretty much shot the whole day. I'd love to suggest driving the Burr Trail Road, hiking Willis Creek, Kodachrome Basin, one of the slots near Goblin, etc., but there is simply no time for such side trips. Visiting Canyonlands as a 2 hour drive-by is kind of a sad joke. 'More' is, in this case, less.
You guys better set the alarm at 4:30 and have the coffee ready to go! No sitting around for hours stuffing your face, either! :)
Oct 14, 2012 2:38 AM
7back home again in new Zealand and just to say thanks so much for all the information and help for our trip. it was fantastic better than I ever imagined. Yes it was hectic but that was fine. I did get up at 4.30am a few mornings - to get the sunrise at Mesa Arch for example. Well worth the trip and the early start although probably not necessary that early but I was scared of being too late. So we spent the day at Canyonlands until after Sunset.
Stayed at Hanksville at the Whispering Sands Motel. this was a great recommendation in the middle of nowhere. Probably though Goblin Valley was a bit of a disappointment . After Bryce with the most amazing sunset and sunrise and a 4 hour hike down into the canyon we were still reeling from the spectacle of this place. It was a lot easier to get away from the crowds than I had thought. We only had to go a short distance off the main tracks and there were very few people.
Moab was a great base for Arches and Delicate Arch even though there were a lot of people was beautiful at sunset.
We stayed at Marble Canyon instead of Page and did lots of exploring around there it wasn't crowded and we enjoyed meeting a few locals.
Our big splurge was The View Hotel in Monument Valley for my husband's birthday. Great location and we just stayed put and had an early drink so didn't go down through the valley. We had done enough driving that day, loved what we saw and where we tramped and were ready to relax with a drink for a change and not worry about driving.
Went to Upper Antelope Canyon on the photographic trip and enjoyed having the way kept clear for photos. We had two hours in there and that was great. Yes at tiomes it did get crowded and next time we would just go to Lower Antelope now that I have seen the light beams. Sometimes you just have to do something yourself to find out what it is all about.The colour was amazing I really thought everything was photoshopped to hell but was pleased to see that wasn't the case. Just one thing about Navejo Country we didn't know that they are in a different time zone. So we got up and left really early from Monument Valley and then were over an hour earlier than the earliest meeting time. Wish they had told us when we phoned the day before a sleep in for once would have been good.
Having been hereI cannot wait to go back and look at some of the different places that you have all suggested.There really is so much to explore. We found the roads very easy to drive and even the unsealed roads were in great condition compared with some of our back country roads here in NZ. All of the help was appreciated and I could put a few photos up if anyone wants to see them.
Oct 14, 2012 10:53 PM
8Hey thanks for the info, I am headed down that way next month so it's great to hear what other people liked and didn't. I'm definitely planning and doing a lot of photography down there as well. If you've got a link to a few pictures I'd like to have a look, especially of Antelope Canyon since it will be a difficult one for me to visit and I'd like to know what all the fuss is about. Thanks!
Oct 16, 2012 1:05 AM
Hi there I have just put a few photos onto flckr. I hope I did it properly. There were 2 guys with our group to the Upper Antelope Canyon, for what it is worth they said - "They came to the upper to see the light beams. Another time they would only go to the lower canyon, there was a lot more time to set up your camera, not the crowds, the colour was as good. " These photos are as is I haven't had time to do any manipulations, yes I know the purists will say why put them up but i am off again tomorrow for a few weeks and it may be too late for you.
Oct 16, 2012 11:23 AM
Oct 16, 2012 9:04 PM
11wow those antelope canyon pictures are amazing! I like the mesa arch before sunrise too.
Mobility isn't a problem, but I have a dog issue. I would need go as early as possible or find a shady spot for her or something? Might not even be possible but my schedule is flexible so I'll probably just make the call when I'm down there if it is a good idea or a bad idea!
Oct 17, 2012 1:14 AM
12Hi bc Steve thanks for the comments. yes a dog may be difficult but certainly in lots of parks dogs seem to be allowed. Maybe by November it won't be too hot . An email or phone call now would let you know what you could do. Maybe the driver of the vehicle (who didn't seem to go into the slot canyon) might be able to be persuaded to look after him.
Oct 17, 2012 10:06 AM
13I don't think dogs are allowed in either section of Jackalope. Lower is sufficiently vertical that a dog would need lots of help with the many stairs. If you want to take the pooch with you, head for one of the many slot canyons in Grand Staircase Nat. Monument. There are several within an hour's drive of Page.
One local option is Waterholes Canyon, only about 10 minutes down the road from Antelope. It's significantly less narrow and spectacular, but does have some pretty sections. You may have the place all to yourself! http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=waterholes%20canyon
It's on Navajo land, so you'll need to get a permit at Lechee. (Small white building at center. http://goo.gl/maps/WIpvk )
(4 star Hotel)
From US$199.00 per night
(2 star Hotel)
From US$118.90 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$118.90 per night