a VirtualTourist member from Falmouth
How long does it take to drive from Moab to the Springdale/Zion area? What is the best route? Please suggest any stops along the way. Thanks!
Do you want the quick way or the scenic way? Are you planning to only take one day? or do you have time to stop along the way? There are two National Parks, one National Monument, and three (at least) state parks between Moab and Springdale. You could spend a week just in that area. SO, if you want to ignore all the middle wonder of Utah, then travel I-70 to I-15 to Springdale, it will take about 5 hours (the only thing worth mentioning would be the Kolob section of Zions just past Cedar City,,,I'd take a drive through- probably an hour).
However if you have time in your itinerary then turn south on Hwy 24. First stop would be Goblin State Park, just off the hwy. Then you would want to stop in Capitol Reef NP and at least explore the Fremont river valley with the orchards and the school house and the barn and visitors center. If you have longer then take a hike to Hickman Bridge, longer still go south to Capitol Gorge and walk through it, It is marvelous country.
Then you could stop in Torrey and explore that artsy town. Turn left there onto Hwy 12. This is rated one of "America's scenic Byways". You will go over Boulder mt before coming to Boulder town. Where you will find a state park I forgot about,,,the Anasazi State Park. There is a pueblo and kiva and great information about ancient inhabitants. You could take a side trip from Boulder onto the Burr Trail with it's gorgeous scenery. After that head on over the wild, wild rock to Escalante. Before you get there you will pass the trailhead to Calf Creek Falls. It is a 6mile RT level trail. Then you can visit the Escalante Visitors Center for the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Stopping a short while later you will get to the turn off for Kodachrome SP. After that you will be heading to Bryce Canyon NP.
Bryce is a wonderland of coral, pink, orange hoodoos, sandstone spires, seemingly unending.
And then you can head to Zion/ Springdale. I'd say you need at least three days for the trip.
I'd be glad to answer any other questions you might have.
Thanks so much! We definitely want the scenic route.
But need to make in one big long day, so we'll have to pick the highlights. We think we'll see some of Capitol Reef and hopefully Escalante. If the highway was 5 hours, can we do scenic 24 & 12 in about 12 hours? 8am until 8pm say?
Once we arrive in Springdale, we'll get to see Zion and go back to Bryce.
We plan to drive on first Monday after July 4th.
Just driving it is 380 miles,,,,about 8 hours driving. So that gives you some time in Capitol reef, Take a couple hours to look at the petroglyphs and school house, and drive down to Capitol Gorge and take a short walk, it will be worth it. Then you can stop along the road to Escalante for the amazing views. Otherwise just keep driving. You'll see a glimpse of many hidden treasures, but I guess you'll have to come back for the rest. It will be a nicer drive than the freeway, even if it is longer.
We did this drive just last week. We left Moab at about 7ish and got to Springdale 4.30-ish going the 'scenic way' i.e. avoiding the interstate for all but the bit from the Moab junction to just past Green River. To be fair we have been through most of the parks before so didn't stop everywhere we might have wanted to. But we did stop in Green River and Torrey for coffee then drove through Grand Staircase Escalante on the scenic byway which is just the most amazing experience stopping lots of times to take photos. The sight just fills your eyes and stays with you for a long time after. Then down past Bryce and into Zion park. Its a lovely drive and was very quiet when we did it - on a Monday. V little traffic to slow you down.