Advice on seeing the Grand Canyon and Moab

ClarindaA's

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Jun 3, 2002
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My wife and Inare flying into Denver, renting a car and driving to the Grand Canyon, then working our way back through Utah into Denver. Any advice on scheduling what to do, what we should and shouldn’t do?
 
Feb 9, 2013
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Not sure yet, we thought alot going to Moab and Zion first, then hitting the canyon. However. We don’t want to be tapping out on hiking the canyon, sonwe right we should hit it first
I ask because the easiest drive is Denver to Moab and south to GC. When means if you want to see the GC first you’ll be driving through places you’ll then hit on the way back.

The drive from Denver to Moab is great. When you get into Utah on I70, make sure to sure to take Hwy 128 shortcut from I70 to Moab. It’s an awesome little two-lane road that runs along the Colorado River with high cliffs on both sides.

Don’t know what’s open or not in Moab after the recent flood, but Arches NP is great. We took a four wheeler tour once that was a lot of fun. There are cool petroglyph sites that’s easy to see not far from Moab if you are interested in that stuff (I am). Obviously the mountain biking.

Going south from Moab it’s mostly desert/rocks/high plains scenery, which I love but some don’t. You’ll pass through some small towns and then drop into Arizona. Make sure you see Monument Valley- you’ll recognize it from old Westerns and Forrest Gump’s running scene.

GC is really cool. I loved it. You can take a shuttle to the far end and walk back along the rim. Probably hot now so take water. You can get back on the shuttle whenever you want. If you’re not staying in the park itself try to get there early because it’s amazing before and after the crowds.
 
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artradley

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Apr 26, 2013
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I ask because the easiest drive is Denver to Moab and south to GC. When means if you want to see the GC first you’ll be driving through places you’ll then hit on the way back.

The drive from Denver to Moab is great. When you get into Utah on I70, make sure to sure to take Hwy 128 shortcut from I70 to Moab. It’s an awesome little two-lane road that runs along the Colorado River with high cliffs on both sides.

Don’t know what’s open or not in Moab after the recent flood, but Arches NP is great. We took a four wheeler tour once that was a lot of fun. There are cool petroglyph sites that’s easy to see not far from Moab if you are interested in that stuff (I am). Obviously the mountain biking.

Going south from Moab it’s mostly desert/rocks/high plains scenery, which I love but some don’t. You’ll pass through some small towns and then drop into Arizona. Make sure you see Monument Valley- you’ll recognize it from old Westerns and Forrest Gump’s running scene.

GC is really cool. I loved it. You can take a shuttle to the far end and walk back along the rim. Probably hot now so take water. You can get back on the shuttle whenever you want. If you’re not staying in the park itself try to get there early because it’s amazing before and after the crowds.

It’s been forty years since I was at the GC, so most of my advice would be outdated. However, one thing that is still true is that the best pictures are taken just as the sun is rising. The colors will be bright and vivid, compared to later in the day when the bright sun dulls them.
 

NLHawkeye88

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Nov 3, 2014
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Loved Moab and the National Parks there. Desert Bistro is fantastic, get a reservation there.

Springdale was meh, although Zion itself is easily one of my favorite National Parks. The brew pub just outside the park entrance was enjoyable though. Hopefully doing the Narrows?

I know there are timed passes I think now for Ángels Landing? When we went it was just a mess. People who had no business going up it and just clogging the chain railing.
 

h-hawk

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It can be hard to find motel rooms near the Grand Canyon as much of the land in the area is a reservation for which you need reservations:)
 

LuciousBDragon

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Aug 31, 2017
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The American Southwest
My wife and Inare flying into Denver, renting a car and driving to the Grand Canyon, then working our way back through Utah into Denver. Any advice on scheduling what to do, what we should and shouldn’t do?
Between Utah and Arizona I would simply encourage you to take as many backroads as possible. The best views are off the main roads often. That being said, stay off the Indian Res’s less you want to see despair.

Spend some time around Page, AZ where Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon are. Plan ahead though because crowding even post-COVID could make it hard to get into during peak times.

Southern Utah outside Zion to the East have some nice little towns to stop for a beer or slice of pie (Mt. Carmel, UT). Try to take the tunnel in or out of Zion. Definitely spend a night in Flagstaff so you can enjoy some good beer. Downtown has a college town vibe. Williams, AZ is another good place to spend a few minutes before heading up towards the south rim visitors center. Old Route 66 town.

Bottom line - make sure your wife gives you plenty of brain and your trip will be wonderful.
 

BioHawk

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Sep 21, 2005
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Bryce is great as well as Zion if you find your way that way, although Zion requires reservations. Depending on the time of year you go though. If it is the fall before Christmas, it shouldn't be too tough to get them. We actually like Bryce better than Zion, but both are places you should see at least once.
 

JRHawk2003

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Jul 9, 2003
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Montrose
Canyonlands is close to Moab and not as busy as Arches. Arches has some neat stuff, its more of a drive around and see sites than Canyonlands. Hiked Canyonlands earlier this Summer. Awesome place.
 
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Colonoscopy

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Canyonlands is close to Moab and not as busy as Arches. Arches has some neat stuff, its more of a drive around and see sites than Canyonlands. Hiked Canyonlands earlier this Summer. Awesome place.
Canyonlands, as well as dead-horse point, are not to be missed if you're Moab.
 
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Colonoscopy

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If you got off the beaten path from one of the trails in Canyonlands, it could be the end of you. No joke. Cairns matter.
Depends which area. I'm think Island in the sky up by Moab. You're surrounded by a steep drop into canyons... harder to get lost. The Maze? Definitely.
 

JRHawk2003

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Montrose
Depends which area. I'm think Island in the sky up by Moab. You're surrounded by a steep drop into canyons... harder to get lost. The Maze? Definitely.

I hiked Glacier, and this hike was much more challenging because of the sun and heat. Combine it with the altitude and its a doozy. Yes, we did Island in the Sky. Would love to do the Maze simply to visit the petroglyphs.
 

hexumhawk

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Sep 24, 2003
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You cant tell what it is until it is too late.
MOABAFAM.JPG
 

BondHawk

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I always like to just take off and hike Bluejohn Canyon by myself with a limited water supply and just a few snacks, try to do it at least once a year. Also, don't tell anyone you are going there before you leave.