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Old 02-12-2020, 12:12 PM   #1
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PA to Utah in early May

Hi All, Starting to plan a trip to go see the national parks in Utah thinking 1st 2nd week of May then whichever way the wind blows from there (no time restrictions https://www.irv2.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif). Thinking of heading north maybe Yellowstone, Tetons....

From what I read about the weather, it seems like it should be fairly nice, but I would like to get some feed back from those who did it. Also what are the Must See sights?

Any Recommendations for what routes to travel (originating in PA) for sights on the way to Utah?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:39 PM   #2
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Yellowstone and other high altitude northern parks could likely still be snowed in or at least have snow on the ground that early in the year. Probably a good time to visit Zion, Arches, Canyonland, Capital Reef, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and Bryce Canyon. Bryce is high altitude so it's possible that there could be snow on the ground there. The others should be cool but getting hotter. There are many other spots to visit in that same area to name a few: Kodachrome SP, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Rainbow Bridge, Pipestem, Moki Dugway, Monument Valley, Hovenweep and many more. This before school is out so the crowds may be reduced.


As the hottest and busiest parks I'd go to Zion and Arches as early as possible. Arches is so busy that they have shut the gates several times recently. Zion is almost as bad and they've banned cars in the park.


If those aren't enough to keep you occupied you can head for YNP, Tetons and Glacier in later June.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:56 PM   #3
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You'll be fine in May in the Utah parks. Wait until the end of May or into June for Yellowstone, etc. The national park web sites usually give a weather history. Of course, we all know we can't count on the weather. Your trip is very doable.

As to what route to take from PA.... it just depends what you want to see on your way and where your first big destination will be.

We like staying in the parks themselves for the best overall experience and less driving.

Here's Arches Nat'l Park web site and you can see the weather history. These web sites have lots of good information in them so scour them thoroughly... things to do, camping, special alerts, road information, etc.

https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/weather.htm
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:58 PM   #4
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You'll be fine in May in the Utah parks. Wait until the end of May or into June for Yellowstone, etc.
We live in Arizona and go to the Utah parks every year and I wanted to point out that we have seen snow at Bryce Canyon National Park towards the end of May and at Cedar Breaks National Monument in August, so you need to check the weather before you arrive unless you enjoy cold weather camping.

Zion National Park and the parks around Moab (Arches and Canyonlands) as well as at Torrey (Capitol Reef National Park) should be safe in late May but when you get above about 6500-7000 feet you can run into very nasty weather during the summer. Cedar Breaks National Monument was as cold as I have ever been since I used to live in Alaska, and that was during the summer.

As far as things to see, I would recommend Bryce National Park, Arches, the drive over the Grand Escalante Staircase, Zion National Park and two state parks - Kodachrome Basin and Goblin Valley. The scenery in southern Utah is some of the most beautiful that I have ever seen anywhere.
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 7mtn View Post
Hi All, Starting to plan a trip to go see the national parks in Utah thinking 1st 2nd week of May then whichever way the wind blows from there (no time restrictions https://www.irv2.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif). Thinking of heading north maybe Yellowstone, Tetons....

From what I read about the weather, it seems like it should be fairly nice, but I would like to get some feed back from those who did it. Also what are the Must See sights?

Any Recommendations for what routes to travel (originating in PA) for sights on the way to Utah?

Thanks in advance...
Moab info might help - Insight on events and things to see and in the area do https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...d/29448394.cfm

Route - Head to Hannibal and take RT 36 to Denver - Good road, gets you off the Interstate and away from most of the Trucks and Traffic - IMHO - less boring and just makes the drive a little more interesting.

When you get to Denver - try to make the drive through some time between 10 and 2 - Might Avoid the TRAFFIC - I suggest you get off on Exit 265 - RT 58 to RT 6 out of Golden into the Mountains along Clear Creek to Idaho Springs and I-70 then through the Tunnel to RT 91 - on to Leadville - maybe stop or just head out on RT 24 to Minturn and Back to I-70 - gives you a little touch of Colorado again - taking you past Camp Hale and the Green Bridge at Red Cliff before Minturn and I-70 on to Glenwood Springs with the Over-Under Highway into the side of the mountain right next to the Colorado River Stop just before Glenwood Springs - If inclined - maybe head down to Aspen and catch Maroon Bells before heading on to Grand Junction and the Colorado Monument.

Now into Utah and exit 214 to RT 128 following the Colorado River into Moab.

There you go, we've got you there, what's next?

Hope this helps,
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:55 PM   #6
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We live in Arizona and go to the Utah parks every year and I wanted to point out that we have seen snow at Bryce Canyon National Park towards the end of May and at Cedar Breaks National Monument in August, so you need to check the weather before you arrive unless you enjoy cold weather camping.
Exactly. Weather can't be predicted. That's why I suggested that the OP check the weather history of the parks to get an idea. Here is Bryce's:

https://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/weather.htm

Cedar Breaks is at 10,000 elevation so it's good to check park elevations, also. The campground doesn't open until mid-June because of the elevation.

https://www.nps.gov/cebr/planyourvisit/hours.htm

It can snow at any time in Yellowstone all summer long!
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:51 AM   #7
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One more comment on the weather - We often travel in Utah in the winter and it is only Rarely that we have been Lucky enough to Catch Snow in the Parks.

This is in the Winter - ...... - so just saying while it may Snow in the Summer, it is Rare, unless it is at a higher elevation, and even there it is Rare.

So be prepared for any and everything but don't let it alter your plans.

JMHO,
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:00 PM   #8
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Two nice sate parks to visit if you can. Deadhorse State Park is just west of Arches and a great campground. Make sure you go out to the overlook.
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Also Gooseneck State Park. You can camp almost right on the edge.
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Then there is Monument Valley.
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Can't spend enought time in Utah.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:21 PM   #9
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Two nice sate parks to visit if you can. Deadhorse State Park is just west of Arches and a great campground. Make sure you go out to the overlook.
Attachment 275081

Also Gooseneck State Park. You can camp almost right on the edge.
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Then there is Monument Valley.
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Can't spend enought time in Utah.
Both great suggestions, but you need to make reservations at Deadhorse State Park (if you can get in at all) and while Gooseneck provides a beautiful view it does not provide much in the way of amenities.

Still, southern Utah contains more beautiful stuff to see than just about anywhere else. We go pretty much every year, at least once. Can't say enough good about what there is to see.
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