Grand Circle, Utah
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jan 18, 2013 1:51 PM Last Post By: ianw6705
Jan 18, 2013 3:17 AM
Grand Circle, UtahWe are hiring an RV (small one) for 10 days from Las Vegas in the latter half of May. What route does anyone recommend. Certainly Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon. but is it worth driving North from Bryce via routes 12,24 and 95 to get to Monument Valley eventually or is it better to drive back south from Bryce to Wahweep at Lake Powell and take in Monument Valley from there and back to Grand Canyon and Las Vegas? how worthwhile is trip to Lake Powell given that boat trips there are expensive. Many thanks for replies.
Jan 18, 2013 4:12 AM
1Welcome to the TT...If The 10 days do not include time in Vegas... You have time to continue on to Moab, if the excess miles charges don't exceed the transport budget... By all means drive the 12/24/95 loop drive. Visit at Natural Bridges& then continue direct,to Mexican Hat on the 261...Stop by Goosenecks State Park. In the AM aim for sunrise at M. Vy, then, Avoiding Lake "fowell" & Page, continue direct to the South Rim GCNP on the 160/89/64...Leaving the Canyon return to LV by driving the "Old" Rt.66.Seligman/kingman & a stop(tour) of Boulder Dam...Happy trails... carracar
Jan 18, 2013 5:34 AM
2i agree mostly with carracar ...if you have ten days actually on the road, then I would head out counter-clockwise:
● Hoover Dam
● Grand Canyon NP South Rim
● Navajo NM, Monument Valley, Moki Dugway, Goosenecks SP. etc
● Canyonlands NP (not my favourite)
● Arches NP (Moab - and outstanding)
● Capitol Reef NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Zion NP (also outstanding)
● Valley of Fire SP (off I-15), and back to Las Vegas
A busy trip, but doable in ten days - although book your accomm.
Jan 18, 2013 5:47 AM
3Zion has never impressed me... just more red rock also some truckers use it as a cut through route...
Bryce is a bizarre red rock anomaly set remotely in the middle of some nice Utah farm land...worth seeing never really crowded...
The Grand Canyon is super and not to be missed...lots of Navajo Culture there...
I like Lee's Ferry...for its remoteness...its was the last place to cross the Colorado River before the Grand Canyon... and was the hide out of John D Lee who was responsible for the historic Mountain Meadows Massacre...
Death Valley is worth seeing if you are in Vegas...its a day trip...
The Grand Canyon is actually quite high in altitude...so snow closes the roads around the north rim...that might be something to ask about as you travel even in May...
Jan 18, 2013 7:18 AM
4Everyone is certainly entitled to an opinion, but I feel pretty safe saying #3's assessment of Bryce and Zion is in the minority. I think ZIon is absolutely spectacular, a jewel in the park system. Entering the park via the Zion Tunnel from the east offers one of the most surprising and breathtaking vistas you'll encounter anywhere in your travels - reason enough to do your route in reverse. Zion doesn't make a very good trucker bypass, b/c the tunnel has vehicle size restrictions such than even a large RV requires one-way traffic and an escort (to say nothing of a semi-truck). The truck bypass is actually south through Colorado City. Anyway. Byrce is a small park, but also quite spectacular, and very user-friendly (the best parts are all accessible via a half-day hike). The campground there is nice, if you're lucky you can get a spot right next to the rim, and it will be significantly cooler than other locations (much higher elevation).
Do be sure to detour out to Goosenecks State Park, one of the best views you'll see. There is free camping available nearby at Valley of the Gods, or inexpensive camping on the banks of the San Juan River, at Sand Island Campground near Bluff.
There is a great campground, and great hiking at Canyonlands Needles District. This is the best part of Canyonlands for hiking, buy far - and it is quite excellent, even a short walk will be very rewarding. The more popular Island in the Sky district is more about sweeping views, which you'll see plenty of. A quicker detour to Dead Horse Point State Park will offer similar views, and can stand in for a trip to Island in the Sky.
FWIW, I like the drive on 89A past the Vermillion Cliffs much better than the road through Page. Wahweap is a good campground, but if you are not taking a boat trip then there really isn't much to see at Lake Powell. Lees Ferry has a campground too, and there is good hiking in the area. In either case, passing through this way only makes sense if you're going to opt for the North Rim rather than the South Rim of grand Canyon.
Jan 18, 2013 1:51 PM
6Zion has never impressed me... just more red rock also some truckers use it as a cut through route.
While everyone is entitled to an opinion in a free country, the flip-side is that everyone is liable to be criticised, and even ridiculed. I think it's nuts to try and disparage Zion NP by claiming it is a truckers' cut-through ... and it is simply untrue for the reasons Flagstuff lists,
And it is a bunch of red rocks in the same way that the Grand Canyon is just a hole in the ground or Yellowstone is just a clump of hot steam spots.
And I also don't think you need to go to Page and Lake Powell given your time limits.
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