In the beginning of May I want to take a 2-week trip to Utah to spend a couple days in the 5 national parks there (Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, & Zion).
My plan is to drive there and camp somewhere near the parks, then drive in each day and do some hiking before driving out and finding a new campsite.
I planned a couple days at each park, plus a couple 'free days' in case I want to stay somewhere a little longer.
I have all the car-camping gear, clothing, and so on. Plan to eat normal camping-style food, with a resupply at the midway point.
Anyone have any experience doing this type of trip in this area, or any experience with these parks?
What are some cool things that I shouldn't miss?
What are some unusual items you wish you had brought with you?
Any /out/ QT living somewhere between Atlanta and Denver want to join me?
First and foremost I'd like to give you an early welcome to this beautiful state.
>Cool things I shouldn't miss
San Rafael Swell
Kennecott Copper Mine (not exactly /out/)
calf creek falls
>Items to bring/things to remember
it gets cold at night all year
rural people will not hesitate to rob you
above is especially true if you're dark/metropolitan
not everyone is Mormon
watch out for snakes, bobcats and bears depending on location
police are strict out here, more so in rural environments
check the weather and don't die in a flash flood
national parks are good for sightseeing but find elsewhere to camp
natives are trash people, don't talk to them.
Have fun in this great state anon
Thanks, this is exactly the info I was looking for, I appreciate it!
When you say that rural people will not hesitate to rob me, does that mean like at gunpoint and steal all my money or plunder my camp/break my car windows when I'm not around?
If you're wanting to do any of the really fun hikes in Zion, you'll probably want to plan a year in advance; all the good trails require reservations. Also, it's a technical park in a lot of places, so make sure you pick a trail to your skill level.
I was hit by a semi down in Utah and some of those boys with beards got me out of my truck and took me back to their community. Fed me, clothed me. One of the older dames even bathed me before taking me bwck to town. Great people, I probably owe them my life.
this guy is just projecting his insecurities and clearly has little to no experience being in Utah, particularly rural Utah. It's Utahn you fuck.
Either or, I've had my car broken into a few times at trail heads closer to the Wasatch Front, I've heard of it happening in popular tourist areas further south. People do occasionally get robbed out in the wild, people who aren't mormon in rural areas are commonly plagued by alcoholism and addiction to cheap methamphetamine, coped with our strong gun culture and lack of recreation in some places creates trouble. This is especially true if you're an outsider.
That being said, chances are it won't happen to you, but keep aware.
Also, if you get a chance try some of our peaches and honey, funeral potatoes too on the off chance you get offered some by a nice LDS family.
I'm not really trying to do anything technical. Just some day hikes is fine. I'd like to go up Angel's Landing in Zion, of course. Hopefully going early May, middle of the week, kind of early in the morning will help me dodge some of the crowds. But since you mention it, what are some of these really fun hikes in Zion that you would have to reserve in advance?
I like driving, and the scenery out there is so awesome that I just can't get enough of it. Driving lets me see a bunch of things, and I can stop and get out whenever I want. I plan on doing a minimum of 5 miles hike/day.
I agree 2 weeks is kind of cutting it close to fit in all 5 parks but I have a shitload of vacation and I could tack another week on if I felt like it.
The real goal is to get a feel for the parks and then come back in a year or two and spend a week or two in one park.
The past couple years have been good for me, as far as /out/ trips go, but I'm ready to get more serious and this type of trip feels like a good next step for me personally.
I'm from Atlanta, pretty big guy (4U), blue collar, normal enough I guess. Don't usually have any problems with anybody but will probably pack heat just in case,
>I'm from Atlanta, pretty big guy (4U), blue collar
you'll fit in just fine my friend
If you can tack on another week I would consider taking a small river trip into account, there are plenty of guides that aren't too expensive in Southern Utah and it's a great experience if you've never done one before.
Check out some of the local brews we have here too, Moab Brewery makes excellent beer and has great food.
Fuck man, I'm excited for you to come see this great state. You kind of lose your appreciation for this place being from here, it's great to have people visit.
I'm excited as hell too, I wanted to make this trip last September but I couldn't get 2 weeks off so I took 1 week and went to Maine. It is definitely happening this spring.
I spent a few days in Monument Valley as a kid, and last year I spent a day or two in SLC when I took my mom to Yellowstone. Utah always seemed like a great place to hang /out/ so I want to take some real time to explore and see what's going on. I'm hoping to avoid crowds and normies but the brewery in Moab sounds enticing.
Just be careful with water and youre pretty much good. I was in moab last summer for a few weeks and I thought two liters a day would last me but with all the hiking and running around in 110 degree weather made me need at least an extra liter a day. Have fun man post pictures when you get back
> mfw Natural Bridges National Monument gets no respect
Hey OP. I've lived in Southern Utah for a bit and have spent way too much time in Bryce, Zion, and Capital Reef.
How far are you willing to hike in a day (that would be comfortable). Would you be willing to get wet during a hike? Do you do canyoneering or rock climb?
If you're looking to beat the crowds, your best bet is to actually do backpacking in or around Zion. While Zion is very well known throughout the world, Kolob Canyon (which is a short distance NorthWest) from Zion, is a more hidden. The best part about Kolob Canyon is that the pass you buy there lasts for a week and it also includes entrance to Zion. So, if you get a ticket to Zion or Kolob, you have a ticket to both.
If you'd be willing to spend an entire week just dedicated to this region, you could take the trail from Lee Pass in Kolob all the way to Angel's Landing in Zions. The big issue is the amount of time and getting back to your vehicle after the hike.
Another possibility is to attempt the West Rim Trail. In order to get here you would drive through Kolob Terrace Road. Usually they would require that you have a permit (which are only around 5$), but there's a low chance of anyone checking on you, especially in the park. But you're shorting the funds that the park has to work with.
So, this hike is about a full day and will probably be one of the longer hikes you'll find in the park. However, you'll experience something that a minority of the visitors of Zion experience, which is descending into Zion from above. You'll be able to end at one of Zion's most popular hiking trail (Angel's Landing). I would recommend that you finish the last portion to the very top of Angel's if you still have daylight by the time you get there or if there's a full moon out. If you get to Angel's at an early enough time, you'll run into the big crowds.
You'll need to find a way back to you're vehicle, but they offer "taxi" rides back up the Terrace... or you can hopefully snag a camping spot in the Park.
In this picture I marked the more popular and less-strenuous hikes in Zion, with orange. The trails that I believe really give you the most bang for your time in Zion are the ones circled in red. All the ones circled in red are generally done in a short time relative to a backpacking trip, barring The Narrows.
Angel's Landing: Beautiful view, steep hiking, very crowded. The average for this trail is around 4 hours. You can easily sub 2 hours this thing if you're relativity fit. I wouldn't recommend jogging down, tore my feet up trying to beat my dad's hiking record for the trail.
Observation Point: Beautiful view, high elevation gain, but a bit of a longer trek than most of the other trails in the park.
Hidden Canyon: This is my personal favorite. You won't get much of a view, but the whole hike is incredibly fun. Once you get to a point in the trail, you'll have to start scrambling up "obstacles" to go further. If you fuck up on the obstacles you can break some bones or get drenched in cold water. There is a limit to the canyon unless you have climbing gear. There's a 30 foot rock face that usually denotes the end of it. I have ran into a mountain goat in this canyon, so watch for wildlife and try not to start shit with them.
The Narrows: I can't do this hike justice. Read about it. If you plan on doing a two-day hike from the top of it, into the park, you'll need to reserve a camping spot a good 3 months in advance. This canyon can flash during a storm, you can die here. If you only have a limited of time in Zion, you can just hike from the bottom (from Riverside Walk) and goes as far as you can. There's a definite turn-around spot for those who come from the bottom. You will get wet and that wetness will depend on how far you walk into the Narrows. There will be points where you'll be swimming.
A fun little area that is located right by Hurricane (along the way to Zion, from the West), is Sand Hollow State Park. It's $10 per day and has many camping spots (that require an extra fee). The rocky terrain is really neat, but the real reason me and my friends make trips out there is to cliff jump. Circled in red is the area you would walk to, to experience the jumps. Depending on the level of the water the jumps will range from 5 ft to 30 ft. These places get pretty crowded more towards the summer, but you'll see people of all ages going.
This place also hosts great water for swimming and boating. There are also some dunes to the South that you could quad on. If you had a free day on your trip and you decide to come with friends, I would recommend hitting up this park for a bit. Especially for cliff jumping. It'll probably be one of the more memorable days of the trip.
It's like Utards don't want to acknowledge it!
>rural people will not hesitate to rob you above is especially true if you're dark/metropolitan
Rural Mormons have been nothing but kind to me. You have a point about Indians, though.