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Road Trip Advice: Arches national park, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Zion, Vegas
A friend from London and myself are looking for road trip advice..
Arches national park
Anyone been to any of these places before?
I have done a road trip really similar to this 2 times and honestly its one of the best road trips you can take. Mine are slightly different but also quite similar. If you can fit Bryce Canyon in there you won't regret it. The north rim of the grand canyon is less eventful than expected and really expensive to stay at unless you are camping. If you want any advice at all do not be afraid to message me.
Arches is perfect if your strapped for time and just want to see some cool stuff just off the road on your way through town. But if your looking for some adventure and you like to camp, I would highly recommend Canyon lands instead.
I would agree with Bryce Canyon as it is a one of a kind destination and there is nothing else like it on earth. Same thing goes for Goblin Valley and it is on the way as well. It's a state park and its only $8 to get in instead of the $25/30 that you would be paying per National park.
Monument Valley and Valley of the Gods for sure, but these are much much further south and tucked into the south east corner of Utah so they would be out of you're way, but worth it if you have the time.
Something closer on you're route and also free would be the slot canyons in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument area. Peek-a-boo and Spooky Gulch are two amazing and totally different slot canyons and they're located right next to each other down hole in the rock road.
I haven't been to Zion yet but I've heard nothing but great things. The Grand Canyon is another place that is really just good to drive through and see it for a day. North Rim is mostly closed off in the winter so you would have to go to the more heavily trafficked south rim. I would say if your thinking about going to more then 3 National parks it would be worth it to just buy the $80 National parks pass that gets you access to all of them.
Good luck with your trip! Hope this helped.
for what you mentioned...
arches: incredible. if you can, get a permit to explore fiery furnace. (first come first serve). if not, check out delicate arch and devils garden.
aside from arches, i would head to canyonlands national park while you are in the moab area. the grand viewpoint is a super cool overview of everything that funnels into lake powell (#fillmeadefirst) and eventually the grand canyon. needles district of canyonlands and indian creek are my favorite spots in this area. look into the joint trail loop for an incredible 12 mile hike, which could easily be done in 1 or even 2 days if you have backpacking gear.
monument valley: super cool, but not much potential for exploring past the view points on the side of the road. nonetheless, it is en route from moab area to grand canyon, so you will see it anyways.
grand canyon: incredible, must check out at least for the views. hiking can be BRUTAL. especially if you try to go all the way down to the river. i'd advise checking out hermit springs! a shorter hike with some water (which is hard to find in the grand).
zion: another must do. the main canyon is so huge. check out angels landing for a cool view point, or ask rangers for some easy slot canyons to explore (subway, etc.)
vegas: gotta gamble a little, am i right? if its not for you, go into the MGM and put 20 on black in roulette, at least to say you did it. while your in town, drive 15 minutes west to the red rocks scenic drive (costs 10 bucks or something), and go for a short hike to the base of these 2000 foot sandstone mountains. soooo cool and everyone seems to not notice them from vegas
side note, if you rock climb at all... go climbing!!! these areas are all a climbing mecca!
other spots to add.
escalante, spooky and peek-a-boo slot canyons(as mentioned above).
capitol reef nat'l park is a really cool drive (also one of the only free natl parks in the US)
^^all three are off scenic highway 12 so it would be an easy link up with zion as well
i've been through these parts a ton so PM with questions.
other notes, utah cops are dicks so don't fuck around. (rule of thumb: only break one law at a time lol)
also, invest in a big water jug. like walmart sells 20 liter water storage things for 10 bucks. buy one and fill it in every town you pass so you can spend time camping without worrying about water.
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