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Old 02-04-2020, 12:34 PM   #1
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Time of year to visit 5 National Parks in Utah

We are wanting to head from Virginia to Utah and are trying to figure if it is better to head out in mid May or wait until beginning of sept ....leaning toward Sept at this point....
Any thoughts would be appeciated. We will be traveling in 36 ft Journey with toad
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:48 PM   #2
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I'll be interested in the answers/suggestions!
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Old 02-04-2020, 01:10 PM   #3
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September would probably have fewer crowds and maybe the weather would have cooled off some, especially mid month or later. However if you got out there in the middle of May the schools haven't started summer vacation but the temps could already be hot. I did see something about Yellowstone which said YNP in September is one of their busiest months. But YNP is a special case. You can find the visitation by month and the average weather online if you look, the weather will be on the parks nps website not sure about the visitation but google will know.
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Old 02-04-2020, 01:29 PM   #4
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I visited the 5 Utah NPs as well as North Rim Grand Canyon in September 2018. The weather was great. There were still crowds in the parks but it was tolerable. The RV parks I stayed at were full or nearly full. I had made reservations about 6 months in advance. If you want to get into NP campgrounds our Utah SP campgrounds, reservations may need to be made further in advance. If you are a wing it type, you may find places but maybe not your first choices. There are some boondocking options but I did not explore them. I headed to Albuquerque for the balloon festival and advance reservations definitely needed for that. It was a fantastic trip. I stopped in the Black Hills in SD in the way out from NJ and that area is fantastic as well!
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Old 02-04-2020, 01:36 PM   #5
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See the following: https://www.google.com/search?q=moab...hrome&ie=UTF-8

I live in neighboring Colorado and my empirical observation is that it is hotter in that part of the world in September than in May. It is high elevation desert so depend on relatively large day to day variations at any time.

Schools will be in session during both months so will probably not impact your visit. However, people eager to get to Utah's 4 wheel drive trails may be larger in May than in Sept.

I don't think you need to worry too much either month. Have a great time.
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Old 02-04-2020, 04:17 PM   #6
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I will be there in May.
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:58 PM   #7
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We did southern UT and the Grand Canyon in mid October (Goose necks state park, Monument Valley, Lake Powell / Page (Antelope Canyon, half day float trip), and Grand Canyon south rim. We had great weather mostly highs in the 60's to low 70's, lows in the 40's, though we got lucky. Just a few days earlier some of these places saw lows of 12-15F and highs in the low 30's, and on the drive home we took the southern route, running from the arctic blast, and had lows of 17F in eastern AZ one night.
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:51 PM   #8
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Is April too early to do Utah? Planning to try it this spring?
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabassmaster View Post
We are wanting to head from Virginia to Utah and are trying to figure

if it is better to head out in mid May or wait until

beginning of sept ....

leaning toward Sept at this point....
Any thoughts would be appeciated. We will be traveling in 36 ft Journey with toad
September will definitely be better, need to check for rally’s and others activities that might conflict.

We have been usually gone in the Winter as it is open and the weather can be great.

Next question you need to answer is how long will you take to see the 5 parks and hundreds of other sights you will encounter? - Hoping you have at least 5-6 weeks!

One year when the kids were in college we flew them to Vegas and did Zion and Bryce just before Christmas - sunny with shorts and T shirts for Angels Landing then the next day we drove into Bryce in a Snow storm - 6” sure made the hoo doo’s look great with the snow on them as the sunset.

So if you can avoid the crowds - hard to pick a bad time!

Best of Luck,
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:15 AM   #10
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Is April too early to do Utah? Planning to try it this spring?
We went to Moab on a 4 wheel drive trip in April of 2018. Had great weather. Just be prepared for days where it is not! High altitude desert weather can turn very quickly with 30° temps and wind to mid 90's over a few day span.

Don't let that stop you! Utah parks are great places to visit.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:23 PM   #11
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We did a fabulous "loop" from WA State last mid to late April. It was FABULOUS! However, it was VERY crowded and Zion was quite the
zoo. We had visited Zion and Bryce before but this was insane.

The Grand Canyon was crowded but we made reservations in advance
and loved our site at the Mather CG. No hook ups but a lovely big spot
waking up to elk in the morning having breakfast with us.
We stayed about 20 minutes east of Bryce at the Kodachrome Basin CG, a bit east of Bryce and drove into Bryce. That CG is really neat with all of the formations. In the 70's, 80's, and 90's Zion and Bryce were not like this. It was crazy and that is in APRIL! Yikes. But all worth it.

Sedona was also a part of this trip and it was more than I imagined it would be.
Have a great trip!
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