Suggestions for Zion/Escalante
I'm going to be roadtripping from the Seattle area down to SW Utah from about March 16-23rd with my girlfriend. This will only leave us 2-3 days time in the in the area, but that's the best we can do with our time off. We're thinking about Zion and Escalante as destinations.
Suggestions for must sees in these spots?
This is not a photo only trip, but my girlfriend is pretty patient with photographic tendencies.
We're both up for relatively strenuous hiking, but we won't have any special canyoneering gear. We also won't have a big budget, so we'll be guiding ourselves.
Any suggestions for (free hopefully) car camping sites near these parks or near Salt Lake City?
I lived for half a year on the other side of the Colorado Plateau, so I have a general feel for the region, but I've never visited Zion. I'm pretty excited to get back to this area albeit briefly.
Thanks in advance!
1. Get a National Parks Pass. That will save you money.
2. Zion NP
3. Bryce NP
4. Cedars Breaks NP - nothing to do with cedars by the way, but they have bristlecone pines - among the oldest living tree - oldest in Inyo National Forest north of Death Valley
5. Captial Reef NP
6. Valley of the Goblins - a state park $5 but really worth the visit - search for this in the internet
7. Arches NP
8. Canyonlands NP - Island in the Sky, Newspaper Rock, ...
9. Dead Horse Point - a state park $5 *
10. Valley of the Gods
11. Monument Valley
12. Navajo National Monument
13. Grand Canyon NP - south rim
14. Grand Canyon NP - north rim
*If you have an offroad vehicle there is an easy dirt road that will take you from Moab past the Thema and Louise Point across from Dead Horse point and below the state park. Then into Canyonlands the back way. [You will pay for Canyonland when you leave unless you followed #1. Email or PM me for the directions.
This can be done in less than a week if you are not hiking. Expand to fill time. Figure one roll plus of 36 exposure 35mm per day without pushing too hard on your girlfriend.
Blue Spruce Motel in Panguich is good and inexpensive.
Red Stone Inn in Moab is good and inexpensive.
There's a little campground right before the west entrance of Zion, about a mile or so before. Hot showers and the town is right there. Since your time is limited I'd take a nice drive into the park (I think you can drive into the valley this time of year) and just get a feel for it. Lots of little turnouts to park at and then walk around. There's also a campground just inside the west entrance.
Maybe the next day or so head out on the park road east and check it out.
Zion is a world unto it's own..
Matt's Photo Site
"I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin
The subway is a real nice hike. The slick rtock IS slick when wet. I broke my foot there. If I go again I will take a big pair of sweat socks to turn inside out and put them over my boots if needed like fly fishing felt boots. The old movie set in Paria canyon is cool. Antalope is real close too. Stever is right. GET A PASS.
Originally Posted by vet173
Would you also take a pair of crutches? My bad. Sorry, I just could not resist taking that cheap shot.
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Thanks for all the ideas everyone!
I actually just got back. Fabulous trip - whirlwind, but fabulous.
The park pass is definitely well worth it (doesn't hurt that I already had one).
Based on my trip I would recommend the following to anyone else considering such a trip:
Taylor Creek Canyon in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion: Beautiful hike ending at the rather humblind double arch alcove. The crowds were not bad compared to the rest of the park.
Lower Calf Creek Falls hike in near Escalante: another great canyon hike complete with native American ruins, rock art, and finishing with a waterfall.
Hidden canyon in Zion was also a cool short hike. It has a pretty steep ascent along with some stretches of trail that are cut into the cliff face maybe 700-1000 feet up, with chain handrails for the timid. It ends in an easily explorable (though not quite as photogenic as others) slot canyon.
All of these are dayhikable, less than 6 miles round trip.
The drive to Grosvenor Arch and Burr Trail loop were also great.
I wish that we had the time or preparation to get into the narrows or to the subway in Zion, but the water was cold and deep, and it kept us away.
Hopefully I'll have some images to share soon - and hopefully I wasn't too dumbfounded to make a good composition.