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Old 03-05-2019, 08:12 PM   #1
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Pre-Planning Utah Big 5 And Then Some

I've started planning a Sept/Oct trip from Tennessee out to southern Utah. Planning to hit the Big 5, North Rim, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, and a bunch of other spots. Just starting to look at the route and the obvious north and south routes are I-40 and I-70. Planning on 8 - 10 weeks. Estimating anywhere from 3 - 7 days at each National Park. Will be towing and plan to move to minimize long day trips in the road.

So I'm looking for advice on a route. I know, been asked a bunch of times and I've done some searching. Read lots of good posts, especially from Busskipper and twogypsies. Is there a logical, easier route for motorhomes to travel taking into consideration grades, tunnels, good/bad roads, etc. Maybe start from the southern side working my way west and turn north and east to Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef and then to the Moab area and then back to Tennessee? Maybe the reverse? I don't necessarily want to stay on interstates. Would like to see the country as much as possible. This thread has been helpful and has the type of info I'm looking for

Touring Utah National Parks-help with route, please!

We're very flexible and plan to stop and see things along the way out and back. I figure getting a general route for the big 5 would be a good starting point for the rest of the route planning.

Thanks in advance for any input you can provide.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kxbronco View Post
I've started planning a Sept/Oct trip from Tennessee out to southern Utah.

The two Best travel Months of the Year - BUT - you have already Hinted that 10 weeks could be in the schedule - So lets plan on at least 10.

Planning to hit the Big 5,

North Rim,
Monument Valley,
Mesa Verde,
and a bunch of other spots
.

This is the focus - BUT - there is so much more that will be along the way and we have at least 10 weeks

Just starting to look at the route and the obvious north and south routes are I-40 and I-70.

From Tennessee you should see I-70 but I suggest getting to Hannibal and RT 36 to Colorado/Golden.

Planning on 8 - 10 weeks.

-- At least 70 Days!--

Estimating anywhere from 3 - 7 days at each National Park.

Five (5) parks so 15 to 35 days - this will work but I'd include a few side trips along the way - and
- you have also proposed Mesa Verde and the North Rim - so we are eating into the time pretty heavy now.

Thinking you need to look at the Parks and the activities you are looking to enjoy. Need to get a really good handle on these Parks before you get the plan


Will be towing and plan to move to minimize long day trips in the road.

SO you have learned to try to be in or as close as possible to the Park you are visiting - Smart - understand that weekends might still require a reservation in the most popular locations but that the Weeks should be Yours with the exception of Zion - Lots of day trips from Vegas so it gets a lot of traffic till

So I'm looking for advice on a route.

Elevation will be Key - Bryce and the North Rim along with any Passes you may venture across in Colorado. I'd try to keep that in mind for the Big Plan.

I know, been asked a bunch of times and I've done some searching. Read lots of good posts, especially from Busskipper and twogypsies.

Is there a logical, easier route for motorhomes to travel taking into consideration grades, tunnels, good/bad roads, etc.

I've driven my Signature Coach on all the routes you will be looking at, I'm Confidant that you will be fine on them Too.

Maybe start from the southern side working my way west and turn north and east to Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef and then to the Moab area and then back to Tennessee?



Maybe the reverse?

----

I don't necessarily want to stay on interstates.

Rt 36 is just one of many non Interstate Highways I'd suggest

Would like to see the country as much as possible.

Focus is the Southwest and Utah - But with you being so close to Colorado and the Late September Aspen I'd make every effort to be in the mountains to be part of the color - https://lynn.smugmug.com/Travel/Colo...pens/i-tsVRkXg

This thread has been helpful and has the type of info I'm looking for

Trying to - as best I can.

Touring Utah National Parks-help with route, please!

We're very flexible and plan to stop and see things along the way out and back.

The Utah part of the trip can be done in many, many different ways/route so being flexible id GOOD.

I figure getting a general route for the big 5 would be a good starting point for the rest of the route planning.

As you said you are Flexible, so the route around the Parks is not that critical - Lots of Eye Candy on many of the Side Routes you will likely take. then when thinking about heading home in November, I'd try to leave out of the Southern part of Arizona - say Canyon de Chelly as you head home.

Thanks in advance for any input you can provide.
Think about breaking this down into more workable parts - Route out and days traveling and time just getting there - The drive Home - The Utah Part - a Touch of Colorado - Possible side trips - Page - Antelope Canyon - Lake Powell ......

Might help if you mention how long you might drive on the Long route Out and Back - some do it in 3-5 days some in 7-10 all these days are eating ino the Big Trip......So keep that in Mind.

This will be fun to watch as you trip develops.

Hope this helps,
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:48 AM   #3
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Think about breaking this down into more workable parts - Route out and days traveling and time just getting there - The drive Home - The Utah Part - a Touch of Colorado - Possible side trips - Page - Antelope Canyon - Lake Powell ......

Might help if you mention how long you might drive on the Long route Out and Back - some do it in 3-5 days some in 7-10 all these days are eating ino the Big Trip......So keep that in Mind.

This will be fun to watch as you trip develops.

Hope this helps,
Thanks for the reply Busskipper. Definitely need to break it down into manageable pieces. Let's focus on getting out there first.

Between the DW and I driving we can do approx. 650 miles a day max assuming no traffic delays/problems. I assume you would suggest going out on the more northerly route. I had already looked out your RT 36 suggestion and that sounds good to me. I do have a question about that. I would most likely be going thru St. Louis. Is there any specific reason to hit RT 36 in Hannibal, MO or would it make sense to hit RT 36 a little further west? Are there any "must sees" along this route?
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kxbronco View Post
Thanks for the reply Busskipper. Definitely need to break it down into manageable pieces. Let's focus on getting out there first.

Between the DW and I driving we can do approx. 650 miles a day max assuming no traffic delays/problems. I assume you would suggest going out on the more northerly route. I had already looked out your RT 36 suggestion and that sounds good to me. I do have a question about that. I would most likely be going thru St. Louis. Is there any specific reason to hit RT 36 in Hannibal, MO or would it make sense to hit RT 36 a little further west? Are there any "must sees" along this route?
Looking at your location a little closer - pretty sure I-70 will be fine - or you might look at RT 50 as an alternate route - IMHO it's mostly Corn and Wheat as you cross the plains - might get lucky with a neat reservoir or River for the night, with a Sunset View.

I'd also look at say 400-450 mile days, maybe one long driving day, arriving in Colorado after three days - September, early can still be warm across the plains but it is the beginning of Fall in the Mountains, so it will be nice to have a few cooler days before catching Utah, where it is likely still warm in the afternoon.

You could look at getting into https://rec.cityofgolden.net/wbwsc/w...aceparameter=3 or Tiger Run in Breck or One of the few in Leadville - Couple in town and one out towards Torquoise Lake.

I took the liberty of heading down to Mesa Verde next but all this is to be determined

Map - https://binged.it/2tTUTXG

Look over to see if it might work.

I always try to include Dino NM on any trip to Utah - just a thought.

Also would try to Coordinate a return to the Mountains, for the last week of September, to catch the Aspen turning Gold.

Will wait to see if others have a stop or two on the way to the SouthWest.

Best of Luck,
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for the additional input Busskipper. I took a quick look at the map and it looks interesting. I will do an in depth look over the next couple of days and get back to you with more questions. Thanks again.

If anyone has other suggestions, they will be much appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:47 PM   #6
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Utah Big 5 +

Fun trip and the parks are great. Unless you can really hike(we can't)you probably don't need 3-5 days at most of the Big 5. We" truck hike" as much as we can and saw a lot in 2 days in each except at Moab where we stayed 4 days to see a fun town and nearby parks.. Portal Rv park in Moab was nice and friendly.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:42 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input Tooth Doc. We're not big hikers, but we do enjoy getting out on some of the trails. We haven't yet identified the hikes we want to do except for Angels Landing in Zion. We also plan to have some down time and not go after it solid day after day.

Busskipper, I haven't forgotten to get back to you and the map you provided. Life has thrown me a couple curves this week. I will get back to it shortly.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:00 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input Tooth Doc. We're not big hikers, but we do enjoy getting out on some of the trails. We haven't yet identified the hikes we want to do except for Angels Landing in Zion. We also plan to have some down time and not go after it solid day after day.

Busskipper, I haven't forgotten to get back to you and the map you provided. Life has thrown me a couple curves this week. I will get back to it shortly.


If your not ďbig hikersĒ, you may want to rethink Angels Landing. Thatís a pretty intense hike. May want to reconsider and try other hikes in the park: Many Pools, Canyon Overlook, The Narrows.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:25 PM   #9
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If your not “big hikers”, you may want to rethink Angels Landing. That’s a pretty intense hike. May want to reconsider and try other hikes in the park: Many Pools, Canyon Overlook, The Narrows.
^^^^^^This is true ^^^^^^- BUT- the big but here is, if you do get a good night's sleep and are well rested, this is IMHO one of the Best and Most rewarding Hikes I have Ever Taken. Standing on top of the World is hard to Beat. (Note here When I did it it was Winter - just before Christmas - 65 degrees and I was in Pretty Good Shape)

Just some food for thought,

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Old 03-14-2019, 08:05 AM   #10
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^^^^^^This is true ^^^^^^- BUT- the big but here is, if you do get a good night's sleep and are well rested, this is IMHO one of the Best and Most rewarding Hikes I have Ever Taken. Standing on top of the World is hard to Beat. (Note here When I did it it was Winter - just before Christmas - 65 degrees and I was in Pretty Good Shape)

Just some food for thought,



For me it wasnít about being in shape. Iím afraid of heights so the last section up the knife edge ridge would terrify me. I watched some YouTube videos of the hike and decided the trail wasnít for me. Iím sure the vistas are grand and would like to be up there.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:14 AM   #11
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For me it wasnít about being in shape. Iím afraid of heights so the last section up the knife edge ridge would terrify me. I watched some YouTube videos of the hike and decided the trail wasnít for me. Iím sure the vistas are grand and would like to be up there.
How true that is - Doing it with the Two Son's - shaking the chain made it even more Memorable - ........ We have done this sort of thing often. Note here DW stopped at the last little bit to the top - she as others, said that was far enough for her. She read a book and had lunch as we finished the Hike.

And not being/having any issue with heights helps

As with any of these great Adventures, being as knowledgeable as possible certainly Helps also, so Youtube would help.

Stay in your Comfort Zone - these things are for the Memories and IMHO they should all be Good not Bad.

JMHO,
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:25 PM   #12
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Busskipper - you would love the trail to the peak at Guadalupe Nat'l Park, TX. Look for our signature in the book at the top!
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:25 PM   #13
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Busskipper - you would love the trail to the peak at Guadalupe Nat'l Park, TX. Look for our signature in the book at the top!
For those who don't know - https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&....0.R6fvj2xCFqw

Beautiful!
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:21 AM   #14
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Thanks for the input on Angels Landing. The DW and I are already working to strengthen our hiking legs. I'm not particularly fond of heights so I see it as a challenge with a big reward.
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