a VirtualTourist member
We are first time travelers to the Arizona and Utah parks and taking an RV in July/August with the children (9 and 12).
After doing Zion, North Rim GC and Bryce for 2 nights each, we have 4 nights left before returning the RV to Las Vegas the last morning. I am tempted to dash from Bryce to see Arches and then swing back to Vegas for the RV drop. Is this feasible and worth it or will we be racing around? If recommended, how should we plan the trip? Should we drive straight from Bryce to Arches? stop over in Lake Powell? What is the best way from Arches back to Vegas?
It will be a fair amount of driving but we have done this drive before and it is possible. Arches is set up to tour by car so you could have a good time there in a brief time slot.
I would not waste time on Lake Powell if you are pressed for time. There is no place like Arches so I say go for it.
Thanks very much. How long will it take from Bryce to Arches in an RV? 6 hours? And from Arches to Las Vegas how much time? Where should we stop over?
According to Google, its 6 hours between Arches and Zion (it wouldn't let me do Bryce, sorry). I have been to both parks, but they are on opposite parts of the state, so I think its quite a drive. Also note that most of that is rugged territory. Arches is a great park, but it is also a park that you could spend at least 2 days at. I was there in early July and it was quite hot during the day and most people went out in the mornings and evenings and stayed inside during mid-day. That may be something you want to take into account. When I googled Arches to Las Vegas it was 7-11 hours. That just seems a like a lot more driving than actually spending time in the locations.
Although I love both parks, considering your already packed itinerary, I'd probably suggest instead doing another vacation that links Arches and Mesa Verde and some of the Green River area by Lake Powell.
The city of Moab abuts Zion so you can stay there. It has a supermarket a cute small main street and a few fast food restaurants, so that should be fine. Lake Powell is more for those who want to like to do riverboating and river activities.
Why not stay and spend a few more days around the Flagstaff area and take a more leisurely drive back to Las Vegas? There are some great lesser known national monuments nearby: Walnut Canyon, Wupataki, Montezuma's castle, Sunset Crater. Consider getting the national parks pass and these national monuments should also be part of that pass. On the way back to Vegas, why not visit Sedona, the City of Williams and drive a bit of Route 66 or go to Laughlin?
(Sorry for the long post, but I love to vacation in this area!)
It can be a great trip but a lot of driving from Las Vegas. You could do Vegas to Springdale,UT (2 1/2 hours)with many motels next to Zion. From Zion to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is Bryce is next door but the drive is about 2 hours and you could stay at Ruby's which is inside Bryce. I would visit Bryce on the drive from Zion in the morning and arrive at Ruby's for night. One day visiting Bryce could be sufficient if you only want to stay on the rim view spots. Bryce to Arches in Moab, Ut is about a 4 hour drive. Moab to the
To continue correctly, Zion to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and then back to Bryce is a lot of backtracking but it is about 3 1/2 hour drive with about 1 1/2 hour of backtracking. After Bryce to Arches (Moab) 4 hours and back to Las Vegas would be Hwy 70 to Hwy 15, that is about 6 hours drive. Of course, I have done it only be car, so it might be a little longer for an RV and I don't the RV campgrounds only motels, so the Main thing is that it is doable and well worth seeing Arches, and I don't think you would be racing around with a total of 10 days of travel time.
I love Arches, It is a very unique part of the world. I'm on the fence on this one, because it will be a long two day drive there and back therefore giving you only two days there. While that is enough time for Arches there is much more to the Moab area than that. You have Island in the sky portion of Canyonands and Dead Horse Point SP, you have rafting down the river, biking or jeeping the slick rock and other areas that aren't listed on a park map such as Fisher Towers or Corona Arch.....It is a long way to drive and only get a taste. And you can fill several days of things to see and do along the way.
So, instead, may I suggest you stop in Escalante (day 1) and taking a guided tour of the slot canyons Peekaboo and Spooky, (they are down a dirt road you couldn't take the rv on)- see if they could stop at Devils Garden there. And/ or hike the Escalante State Park and Calf Creek Falls (great to cool off in during the summer heat), Then a drive down the Burr trail to the end of Long Canyon (about 15 miles) and a tour of Anasazi SP in Boulder. Then tour Capitol Reef the great forgotten Utah natl Park (Day 2). There are several arches (hickman bridge, Cassidy arch to start), Capitol Gorge, the Fruita historic district. Then drive to Goblin Valley, and over to Little WIld Horse slot canyon. Camp in Green River at the State park, tour the river runner hall of fame in the John Powell Museum (day 3) and the next day (day 4) enjoy the drive west on I-70 through the san rafael swell. Be sure to stop at all the turnoffs just west of Green River.
It will be about a 6 hr drive to LV. A nice stop would be the Kolob section of Zion (keep your entrance receipt and/ or use your America the Beautiful pass).
Segolily is giving you some great advice here. The details are accurate and well thought out. Just a great reply. I recomend you really look it over.
Thank you so much - this has helped tremendously. After all the comments we decided to leave Arches for another vacation (too much driving with the children) and do more between Zion, Bryce and the North rim, as suggested.
If anyone can also suggest a simple forested area with a camp ground I would love to know about it. Maybe Dixie national forest? Also, does anyone know of any place in the area where there is fishing?
Thanks again very much!
There are both forest and state park campgrounds all around the area you are talking about. But I hope you don't expect to see everything from one area. You'd spend way too much time driving back and forth.
Duck Creek on hwy 14 and/or Navaho Lake both have fishing and camping. Panguitch Lake on 143 has fishing and camping. A beautiful forest campground is Red Canyon on Hwy 12.