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04-12-2010, 01:53 PM   #1
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what to do in Utah?

I am thinking about taking a trip out to Utah in the fall probably in November or late October and need some help. I am looking at some condos to rent for a week and one is up in Moab which puts me close to Arches and Canyonland National Parks and the other one is down closer to Zion national park which will get me to Bryce in something like 2 hours and the North rim of the Grand Canyon in something like 1 1/2 hours. My dilema is which one to go for and does anyone know what the standard weather out there would be like around this time? Thanks for any help and opinions you guys have

04-13-2010, 12:33 PM   #2
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so we have no one that lives in Utah on the site? of no one has any experience at the parks that they want to offer ? and I cant believe that no one has an opinion about this one way of another out there
04-14-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
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Hi gokenin,

You are pointing at some of my favorite areas of the country. Moab is probably my personal favorite. But both areas are must see in my opinion. If you've never seen the Grand Canyon I'd probably do that one first, but confirm that the Grand Canyon's North Rim entrance is scheduled to be open the time of year you plan to go. (It closes for winter season.)

Weather-wise, October should be ideal, I wouldn't want to get to late into November when the weather can be more hit or miss.

Zion has some very interesting hiking options. Be sure to take old sneakers for hiking in water (You can hike up-stream inside some slot canyons.) If you are very adventurous, contact some of the tour guides in the area who will take you canyoneering. You basically navigate downstream thru a canyon repelling down waterfalls and stream hiking. The conditions are always changing and you need to be very aware of rain forecasts anywhere in the 30 mile area due to flash flooding potential.

If the Grand Canyon 's North entrance is open then it's a must see when you are in the area.
If you are up for it, you can hike all the way down to the river (about 9 miles from the N. Rim).

Many people find Bryce to be their favorite of all the Parks due to it's distinctive vistas/formations and is certainly very photogenic.

Now for the North:

As I said, Moab is my favorite. Arches NP is a photographer's dream with all it's unusual rock formations. It also has great options if you are into off-road biking (easy to find rentals in town.) Canyonlands NP gives me just enough of a glimpse of the canyon formations that I can get by without running down to Bryce/Zion/GC.

If you do opt for Moab, try to make a visit to both the North and South entrances of Canyonlands (about 150 miles apart and they don't connect unless you have 4WD and about a week).

The north area is called Islands in the Sky and you get great overviews from the top of the plateau. The southern entrance is at the bottom and is ground zero for off-road cycling.

Some of my Moab photos: (These barely scratch the surface.)

http://www.tpaz.net/moab

Regards,
-tom
04-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info I am leaning towards a place down in St George which would give me access to Zion and a little drive up to Bryce and the North rim of the Grand Canyon so just have to try and hammer it all down

04-14-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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I spent many years in Southern and Northern Utah and, while it all has scenic areas, my favorite place is Zion. Lots of interesting hikes like Hidden Canyon, Angel's Landing (if you dare), and the Zion narrows are spectacular. That time of year the crowds should thin out, too. Also, Cedar Breaks Nation Monument, up Cedar City canyon is gorgeous, similar to Bryce, except you look DOWN on it, from a high rim. If you do go to Moab and Arches, don't miss the Fiery Furnace trail - you have to go in with a ranger on a regular tour because it's so easy to get lost in the maze of slot canyons. Oh, and the Kolob Canyons section of Zion is well worth the trip, especially if you leave the road and hike up one of the canyons - our favorite was the last one on the left. I never cared much for St. George itself, it's become too crowded with retirees and out-of-staters, but it is handy to most of the things to see in Southern Utah.

Last edited by YarPcola; 04-15-2010 at 05:15 AM.
04-14-2010, 05:11 PM   #6
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I was only there once but really enjoyed Moab. It has a nice feeling in the community and a great brew pub (or it used to). And of course the rock formations are incredible. Bryce and other parks were of course also spectacular. Some day I must go back with my Pentax -- I am envious!
04-14-2010, 05:27 PM   #7
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I saw the Mormon Tabernacle Choir the last time I was in SLC. They may shoot you if you pull out a camera.
04-14-2010, 05:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I was only there once but really enjoyed Moab. It has a nice feeling in the community and a great brew pub (or it used to). And of course the rock formations are incredible. Bryce and other parks were of course also spectacular. Some day I must go back with my Pentax -- I am envious!
Certain times of year there are 4x4 motor sports events at Moab that offer a chance for some excellent action shots and sponsor models (as in female not vehicles).

04-14-2010, 05:55 PM   #9
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Drive to Utah.
Get out of your car and take pictures.
It's almost that easy. The state is a veritable cornucopia of photographic opportunities, though for me, all the good stuff in in the southern parts..
04-14-2010, 05:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gokenin Quote
Thanks for the info I am leaning towards a place down in St George which would give me access to Zion and a little drive up to Bryce and the North rim of the Grand Canyon so just have to try and hammer it all down
While St. George is not far from Zion, it is not exactly close either (about an hour's drive). When I was down that direction, I bit the bullet and booked at the Zion National Park Lodge inside the park. You can't get much closer than that and the price is not much different than what you would pay at the tourist strip just outside the park.

At Bryce, I booked at Ruby's Inn just outside the park boundary. The room was very reasonably priced as was the attached restaurant.

Another thing to consider in regards to staying in St. George...Bryce is further away than it seems. With the short days of autumn, does it make sense to spend four hours just getting there and back? Ditto +2 regarding the North Rim Grand Canyon from St. George.

In defense of St. George...It is a fine town and a reasonable destination in its own right. It is just not quite as handy to Zion and Bryce as Moab is to its parks.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-14-2010 at 06:04 PM.
04-14-2010, 06:02 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Drive to Utah.
Get out of your car and take pictures.
It's almost that easy. The state is a veritable cornucopia of photographic opportunities, though for me, all the good stuff in in the southern parts..
This is absolutely true. With every turn of the road it just gets better and better. I was there about 4 years ago and did a BIG circle through Zion, Bryce, Grand Staircase Escalante, Capitol Reef, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Hopi land, and Grand Canyon. By the time I left to return home I had a strong desire to convert to Mormonism and move there. Truly! What is in the parks is incredible and what is outside the parks is almost as good.

Steve
04-15-2010, 11:29 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Drive to Utah.
Get out of your car and take pictures.
It's almost that easy. The state is a veritable cornucopia of photographic opportunities, though for me, all the good stuff in in the southern parts..
would have no problem with that but Utah is a good haul from Massachusetts driving, so its either going to be flying or if i am daring I may take the Amtrack out there but that means I would have to go to either Provo or Salt Lake City in order to go by trail so still in the planning stages here. Thanks again for the hints and suggestions here so far
04-16-2010, 07:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
At Bryce, I booked at Ruby's Inn just outside the park boundary. The room was very reasonably priced as was the attached restaurant.

Another thing to consider in regards to staying in St. George...Bryce is further away than it seems. With the short days of autumn, does it make sense to spend four hours just getting there and back? Ditto +2 regarding the North Rim Grand Canyon from St. George.
Another good place to stay if you want to visit Bryce Canyon is Kodachrome Basin State Park, which is quite nice as well.
It's about an hour to Bryce.
Kodachrome's accommodation is a campground, not a hotel, which might not be to everyone's taste.
04-16-2010, 08:03 AM   #14
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You could go to Monument Valley and film a Western with a K-x and enter it into the Independent Film Festival (and hopefully not get cancer). That would be funny give all of the quirky stuff being filmed with Canon dSLRs at the moment.

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04-16-2010, 08:32 AM   #15
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Zion is awesome.
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Places%20Generally/Las%20Vega...sTopPhotog.jpg

The Zion Park motel in the middle of Springville was reasonably priced, within walking distance to everything in town, and has the shuttle bus stop a block away (no cars allowed in much of the park).
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Places%20Generally/Las%20Vega...nParkMotel.jpg


Bryce Cyn is awesome :-)
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Places%20Generally/Las%20Vega...avTrPeople.jpg

The Bryce Cyan Pines motel/restaurant is couple miles west on the main hwy. I had a little individual cabin for the same price as a regular room.
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Places%20Generally/Las%20Vega...PinesMotel.jpg

I would wear good hiking shoes instead of old tennis shoes however, if you plan on hiking around.
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