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Suggestions for my next trips west

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Amy, Jul 13, 2018 at 8:28 AM.

  1. Amy

    Amy Well-Known Member

    I am doing a trip in May to Utah/Arizona. I know when I am leaving and am ending with one night in the park at the Grand Canyon North Rim and one Bryce Canyon Park. I plan on flying in and out of SLC. I have been to Bryce and GC and have done a day drive from Bryce up to Capitol Reef and touching Grand Staircase-Escalante. I realize this seems way early to be planning but it’s the only way to get rooms inside these parks.

    I’m thinking of basing myself in Moab for several days, then a couple in Page on my way to the Grand Canyon. I’m making a list of all the state parks, National parks and monuments or other places of interest trying to figure out what makes the most sense.

    What suggestions do you have for places to see and which towns make most sense for stops? I do hike but since I am by myself and have a terrible sense of direction, I keep myself to straight forward hikes and/or ones where I know there will be other people. I like drives. (Last December I did a road trip from Albuquerque to Joshua Tree.)

    I would like to do Glacier in September. Am I crazy to try to do Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier in ten days? Those parks also require planning months in advance.
     
  2. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Great call on going to the North Rim. I went a couple of times when I lived in Flagstaff, and even from there, it was nearly a three-hour drive. So worth it. I don't think I've ever been to a more quiet place. Did a bunch of biking on forest roads and just enjoyed being so far away from civilization. It was awe inspiring.

    It's been close to 15 years, but I did a vacation where I spent a few days in Moab, did a bunch of biking, visited Arches, etc. Then I looped over to Durango/Ouray in southwest Colorado and did more of the same. Even if you don't do the Colorado side excursion, you'll hit Monument Valley on the way back from Moab to Page, which is one of America's great drives.

    Don't really have much in the way of specific recommendations since it's been so long since I've been, but a Moab/Durango mini-vacation was amazing and I'd wholeheartedly recommend it if you're into outdoorsy things.
     
  3. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    Best piece of driving advice I can give you about the Grand Canyon area -- If the map says it isn't a road, believe the map. Many of the routes through reservation land look like nice shortcuts, but they will only bring heartache, misery and long walks. ;)

    We did Grand Teton and Yellowstone in a leisurely week. Great hotel at Teton Mountain Lodge (tetonlodge.com), and we found a decent room in West Yellowstone that allowed easy access to the park. The extra leg to Glacier is doable, but might make things a bit too drivey in 10 days.
     
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

  5. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Do you plan to rent a four wheel drive and go off road a bit? If so, I can put you in touch with someone very familiar with both UT and AZ.
     
  6. Slacker

    Slacker Well-Known Member

    I want Opie to see the Grand Tetons.
    I mean, he's worked so dang hard already. :)
     
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Monument Valley is worth it. If you have time try and make it there at sunrise or sunset. The Four Corners monument is okay, and worth a stop if it's on the way. I got sidetracked on a Navajo "road" spent 45 minutes going through washes, over hills etc. Wouldn't have been surprised if I came across a stagecoach - never so happy to see asphalt. My sister hit Antelope Canyon - it's a must.
     
    Tweener and SpeedTchr like this.
  8. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    You must have read the same map I did :D Driving a shitty low-slung sedan on one of those goat tracks was a very bad idea. Ran into a guy on horseback who asked if we were lost, and then laughed his ass off before he rode away.
     
  9. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    If I had been the horseman, I would have asked:

    “You ain’t from around here, are you?”
     
    SpeedTchr likes this.
  10. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Oh, I forgot, Amy might have me blocked. Still, I hope she somehow sees my question and offer of advice. Someone else might have to quote my posts.

    I have a friend who custom MacGyvers her off road vehicle. Impressive. Even has solar panels, fridge. Great for the apocalypse.
     
  11. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    He muttered something about "shit for brains" and I couldn't argue.
     
    Vombatus likes this.
  12. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Re: Glacier in September. Best time of year to visit — fewer crowds, fewer bugs, perfect weather.

    Going-to-the-Sun Road is usually open through the end of September, and if you really want to enjoy the spectacular ride, get a ticket with Red Bus Tours: In-Park Transportation: Red Bus Tours | Glacier National Park Lodges

    Riding the "Jammers" is the way to go, especially if it's not raining and roof is open.

    I would leave a full day for Going to the Sun Road (from west to east, then back), and one or two other days for hiking/exploring other parts of the park. Flathead Lake, just south of Kalispell, is great for swimming, kayak, standup paddleboard, etc., although I've never tried any of those in September. Water might be a bit cooler.

    You are wise to plan ahead!
     
    SpeedTchr likes this.
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