Recommendation Needed > XC Trip from VA to Bryce, Zion, Moab and Arches (1 Viewer)

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Hi Folks! I'll be taking my 2013 200 series on a cross country trip to Utah to visit Bryce, Zion, Moab and Arches this summer! I'm 100% excited for the hikes, light overlanding, and to see some amazing views which I heard are legendary!

Reason for my post - I wanted to see if any Utah locals / Overland experts here had recommendations for places to stay within the Southern Utah area. Ideally, I'd want to book an AirBnb for a month that's close to grocery stories, gas and basic necessities with reasonable driving distances to those major parks.

Your help would be greatly appreciated as I plan this trip - Thank You.

Here she is for reference!

20210313_234051 (1).jpg
 

RET2

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Not sure if staying in one location would be desirable as the distances between sights can be huge. For example there's one stretch of I-70 just west of Green River where there isn't any services for 120 miles. I would suggest perhaps 2 locations?
 
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Not sure if staying in one location would be desirable as the distances between sights can be huge. For example there's one stretch of I-70 just west of Green River where there isn't any services for 120 miles. I would suggest perhaps 2 locations?
Thanks - that would work as well!

Do you have 2 cities you'd recommend?

I see Zion and Bryce are located West while Arches / Moab are on the eastern side of Utah
 
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If you're trying to visit all those places you're going to need to move around. Zion/Bryce aren't too far from each other (maybe 60-90 minutes?) but Moab to Zion is solidly 5 hours one way

Google maps is your friend for distances/drive times.

If you're in Moab be sure to hit the two accessible Canyonlands sections - Needles and Island in the Sky
 

RET2

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If you're trying to visit all those places you're going to need to move around. Zion/Bryce aren't too far from each other (maybe 60-90 minutes?) but Moab to Zion is solidly 5 hours one way

Google maps is your friend for distances/drive times.

If you're in Moab be sure to hit the two accessible Canyonlands sections - Needles and Island in the Sky
Island in the Sky is not to be missed as is Arches.
 
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If you're trying to visit all those places you're going to need to move around. Zion/Bryce aren't too far from each other (maybe 60-90 minutes?) but Moab to Zion is solidly 5 hours one way

Google maps is your friend for distances/drive times.

If you're in Moab be sure to hit the two accessible Canyonlands sections - Needles and Island in the Sky
We're planning on having to make the drive out to Moab if needed however, I feel Zion and Bryce would be prioritiy (per my girlfriend's preference). Moab would be more for my taste.

Any cities you'd recommend closer to Zion / Bryce to stay in?
 

Zjohnsonua

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I'd say pick a region for a week, then move on to another. Everyone has different travel habits, but this one works for me.

The Heritage museum is in SLC, which is a long ways from both Moab and Zion/St. George (Zion's supporting city). Once you start digging you're going to find so much to check out that it will be overwhelming. And then you'll get there and find your own interests. Plan your 1st week and then be flexible.
 

RET2

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Thanks - that would work as well!

Do you have 2 cities you'd recommend?

I see Zion and Bryce are located West while Arches / Moab are on the eastern side of Utah
FYI Zion and to some extent Bryce is a complete Zoo after 9 or 10 in the morning and a good amount of Zion prohibits private vehicles so parking is at a premium. There is so much to see between the two areas you named as well such as Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, Moki Dugway, Natural Bridges etc.. Google the Big 5 in Utah, it will be informative and drive you crazy. Ha ha.
 

Zjohnsonua

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Zion as a zoo is an understatement. I went in the off season and it was dead. Had the whole place to ourselves so to speak. AWESOME. Went back in August a couple years later. Bus lines were worse than Disney...and that was at 0630. We took a little drive through the one road they leave open and said we'll come back again in the off season.

Don't get me wrong, Zion is legit, but so is the rest of the 4 corners area. Don't miss out on the rest of the area just to get in a hike down the Narrows...
 
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Hi Folks! I'll be taking my 2013 200 series on a cross country trip to Utah to visit Bryce, Zion, Moab and Arches this summer! I'm 100% excited for the hikes, light overlanding, and to see some amazing views which I heard are legendary!

Reason for my post - I wanted to see if any Utah locals / Overland experts here had recommendations for places to stay within the Southern Utah area. Ideally, I'd want to book an AirBnb for a month that's close to grocery stories, gas and basic necessities with reasonable driving distances to those major parks.

Your help would be greatly appreciated as I plan this trip - Thank You.

Here she is for reference!

View attachment 2646140

im planning the same this summer, so timely thread for me to follow.

What I have noticed in my research is the huge temp swings between locations. Bryce Canyon seems to have the temps most conducive to camping I’m the summer. I would also say have A plan B based on weather.

Found this video to be a helpful guide: with time series links so you can skip around.
 

sdnative

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FYI Zion and to some extent Bryce is a complete Zoo after 9 or 10 in the morning and a good amount of Zion prohibits private vehicles so parking is at a premium.
Zion as a zoo is an understatement. I went in the off season and it was dead. Had the whole place to ourselves so to speak. AWESOME. Went back in August a couple years later. Bus lines were worse than Disney...and that was at 0630. We took a little drive through the one road they leave open and said we'll come back again in the off season.

Don't get me wrong, Zion is legit, but so is the rest of the 4 corners area. Don't miss out on the rest of the area just to get in a hike down the Narrows...

We are also planning on visiting Zion. What is the best strategy for visiting Zion this time of year on a weekday? Park somewhere like Springdale and take the shuttle? I just worry about leaving the truck somewhere unattended and risk getting broken into.
 
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OP- If you are set on AirBnBs, you're pretty much looking at St. George or Moab. I also echo what others have mentioned about these places being pretty far apart, and to consider staying in more than one location. Especially since you have a month.

Also, don't underestimate the heat. Most of these areas (with the exception of Bryce, which is higher) are hotter than Hades in the summer, and most hikes have zero shade. As in, I would plan any hikes/bike rides/outdoor activities for very early morning or early evening only. Spend mid-day having a siesta or going for a drive. This can also help avoid crowds.
 

LBridges

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Wife & I tried to visit Zion in early June 2018. Couldn't even find a spot to park. We opted out as that almost certainly meant the trails, etc would be crowded and greatly diminish the experience. Cost me a lot of money as the wife decided we should go to Las Vegas TO MAKE UP FOR THE DISAPPOINTMENT (not sure about the logic there, but...).

I would think it's even worse in today's environment, what with Covid induced cabin fever.
 
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We're planning on having to make the drive out to Moab if needed however, I feel Zion and Bryce would be prioritiy (per my girlfriend's preference). Moab would be more for my taste.

Any cities you'd recommend closer to Zion / Bryce to stay in?
Not really. We stayed in an RV park half way between them.
 
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Wife & I tried to visit Zion in early June 2018. Couldn't even find a spot to park. We opted out as that almost certainly meant the trails, etc would be crowded and greatly diminish the experience. Cost me a lot of money as the wife decided we should go to Las Vegas TO MAKE UP FOR THE DISAPPOINTMENT (not sure about the logic there, but...).

I would think it's even worse in today's environment, what with Covid induced cabin fever.
We were there summer 2017. If you go to Zion you have to do remote parking in town and take the shuttle. It's beautiful but a madhouse.
 
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Kanab is a great town to stay in and use as a hub. You could spend a couple weeks here and visit something cool everyday. I am a little biased since I live here. Zion is great but busy. Things you might consider w/i a 100 mile of Kanab. White pockets, peek-a-boo slot canyon, North Rim of Grand Canyon (Crazy Jug Point, Toroweap, Point Sublime), Hog Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Navajo Lake, Duck Creek Village, etc... You could also attend the lottery for "The Wave" that takes place daily at the Kanab Center. Message me if you would like. 👍
 

liv2bike

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Lots of good ideas up above. If you want a place that kind of splits the difference between Zion and Bryce, consider Glendale, UT (Kane county). You'll be about 1 hr from Bryce and 20 minutes from Zion (via the east entrance). We went down in January and Zion was already a zoo. Everything was full and parking lots shut by 0700 in the morning. You could still drive through the park but absolutely no where to park. We bailed. Not worth it. This summer is going to be INSANE. I was just down in Virgin racing my mountain bike last weekend. Just on the edge of Zion. It's already started. Never seen it so busy for mid-April. You honestly may want to just plan on a windshield tour. It's going to be out of control. If you want to stay closer to Zion, look at Virgin, Hurricane or La Verkin.

Bryce is also going to be a zoo. I'd consider more remote locales and state parks. Consider the Grand Staircase and Canyonlands. Lots of BLM and you guys will be able some peace and quiet if that's your thing.

Lots of stuff in Moab. Arches is amazing. There are some backdoor entrances if you'd like to explore and get off the beaten path.

If you're not doing any camping, book reservations now. Like I said, it's already started down there. I'm afraid the crowds are going to be overwhelming this summer. But it's a beautiful part of the world and if you are willing to get creative and study some recreational maps, you can see some awesome stuff where a lot of people won't go.

Cheers,
Guy
 

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