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Road tripping/scouting Utah, What Are Must Do/See?

Original Post
Ed Schaefer · · Centennial, CO · Joined May 2014 · Points: 35

Hey all, I'm going to the Shelf Road Craggin classic this coming weekend in CO and then have the week off before the Moab Craggin Classic so I decided I should road trip around a big and see some stuff I haven't before, and figure out what stuff I'd like to come back to in the future.

I've only been to Utah once before and it was Moab area. We had time to check out Arches and Dead Horse Point, but that was it, so I'd really like to see some more stuff. I've heard lots of amazing things, but I'm not sure what I should definitely see along the way.

My current idea is to:

Drive from Shelf to the N. Rim of the Grand Canyon (Sunday or Monday, depending if I make the whole drive in a day or stop half way)

Then hit Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef on my way to Moab (Monday/Tuesday)

Set up base camp somewhere near Moab and then was thinking Canyonlands, maybe 1 day for Island in the Sky district and 1 day for The Needles district (Wednesday/Thursday/Friday).

In Zion I was thinking to try to get eyes on North Guardian Angel, Lady Mountain, and Aries Butte, but looking at the map I think that might be 1-3 full days just in Zion to check out any of those let alone climbing (I'm also not sure if I will have a partner so climbing may be out anyway, my buddy is not sure if he can take the whole week off work yet).

A friend is saying I should skip Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef and just head to Moab, check out Indian Creek, and spend some time in Canyonlands, and try to get to the Maze District. From what I'm reading Maze might be more of a time commitment than I have available.

Would love some suggestions on how to maximize my time in Utah. I think seeing as much as I can would be cool, but I would also like to hike/climb if I can make it happen.

Thanks in advance for the tips and advice!

Jeff Bone · · Layton · Joined May 2015 · Points: 35

I would go with your idea, Zion you can see in mostly 2+ days depending on how much climbing you want to do. Bryce and Capital Reef both take no more than a day. I would recommend some slot canyons on the drive through Escalante, Zebra and peekaboo come to mind. The maze district is okay but for how far out it is and the time committed, I would pass. Enjoy your trip.

Chris Schmidt · · Fruita · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 0

+1 for Escalante, definitely the most underrated / under appreciated part of Utah

Luke Bertelsen · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Feb 2005 · Points: 3,106

Hard to go wrong in Utah.

My 2 cents:

Canyonlands over Arches

As little time in Moab proper as possible - Detour to Maple Canyon?

Kolob Canyon Sport Climbing in Zion for bucket list sport pitches - Namaste and Huecos Rancheros.

Coyote Buttes (the Wave) hike on the slimmest of chances you can get a walk-in permit or have planned ahead and have a spot already.

BigNobody · · all over, mostly Utah · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 10

Utah is over rated and crowded. Head to Arizona for better rock and beer. Sheeps Head, Lemmon ect..

Lothian Buss · · Albany, NY · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 15

Bump because I'm curious.

GaryT Talavera · · Irvine · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 0

Pariah canyon/buckskin gulch is worth seeing as well as the wave. Both places are dependent on no rain in the forecast. From Bryce canyon we drove scenic highway 12 on our way to moab. There is a grill in the middle of nowhere on highway 12 with some great burgers on the menu. Might be in the little town of boulder. If you are not going to climb then take a mtb bike and ride. Take a lot of tubes and maybe even an extra tire. Have fun.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
GaryT wrote:From Bryce canyon we drove scenic highway 12 on our way to moab. There is a grill in the middle of nowhere on highway 12 with some great burgers on the menu. Might be in the little town of boulder.
Yep. Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder.
Oh, if the OP uses that route, the hike in to Lower Calf Creek Falls is well worth it. A few miles south of Boulder. 3 miles (iirc) round trip starting from the Calf Creek campground.
Roy Suggett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 6,560

Check these three near Page AZ…

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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