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Monument Valley vs Capitol Reef itinerary

Bethel Park...
2 posts
1 review
Monument Valley vs Capitol Reef itinerary

My family ( 4 of us) will be doing a loop in Utah over Memorial Day. We are flying into SLC, spending 4 nights in Moab, then driving to Monument Valley...onto Page for a night, 2 nights in Zion, one in Bryce. We have 2 more nights "open". I was either thinking of spending a night each in Monument Valley / Capitol Reef area or... just do the iconic drive through Monument Valley and 2 nights in Capitol Reef area. Capitol Reef is such a large area that I am wondering if one night will be enough vs spending the extra time in Monument Valley and probably scheduling a back country tour. Any advice would be helpful.

So Cal
Level Contributor
11,779 posts
75 reviews
1. Re: Monument Valley vs Capitol Reef itinerary

I think that if you're not spending a night in Monument Valley, you're really short-changing the experience. It's magical at sunset and sunrise.

(Might be tough to get a room at this point.)

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
5,190 posts
33 reviews
2. Re: Monument Valley vs Capitol Reef itinerary

What will you be doing on the vacation and how active will you be? This will matter in how much time to spend in each area. 2 nights in Zion and 1 night in Page is pretty quick. And 4 nights in Moab might be one too many if you aren't going on the river, biking, or doing a lot of hiking. As to your question...

Capitol Reef is much larger and likely has more to do and see, though nothing as iconic as the Monument Valley Mittens. I can spend 4-5 days in Capitol Reef and not run out of hiking options and new places to explore, and I've been there several times.

If you spent two nights in Capitol Reef, you could also use the first day to explore Scenic Byway 12, like hiking Calf Creek Falls. Then you would still have a full day in Capitol Reef.

If you stay one night in C.R, that would likely give you only a half day to explore the park and you'd simply drive Byway 12 rather than making stops. Some folks are fine with that.

You're going to miss out on something somewhere. Not sure there is a right or wrong answer. So I would just choose what looks most appealing to you. The only other option is to add extra time to the vacation.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
66,597 posts
249 reviews
3. Re: Monument Valley vs Capitol Reef itinerary

I agree that Monument Valley deserves an overnight stay.

Bethel Park...
2 posts
1 review
4. Re: Monument Valley vs Capitol Reef itinerary

Thanks for the response. We have 3 full days in Moab. We will probably spend a day on the river, a day at Arches and probably a mix of other stuff. I do have a room reserved at the View. I just started to second guess my original itinerary. I may try to extend a day or maybe an extra day in Zion and do a future trip to Capitol Reef / Grand Escalante.

Level Contributor
1,185 posts
98 reviews
5. Re: Monument Valley vs Capitol Reef itinerary

I would want the overnight in Monument Valley. Try to get a room at The View, it's really stunning.

Kalispell, Montana
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Santa Fe, Sedona
Level Contributor
11,043 posts
773 reviews
6. Re: Monument Valley vs Capitol Reef itinerary

One night for sure in MV with a Navajo Spirit back country tour if you can...cancellations do occur at the hotels...keep trying. The View and its cabins or even Gouldings Lodge work. Gouldings is located nicely but also not right at the famous Mittens areas like the View.

Then a day added for driving to scenic Capital Reef after Bryce Canyon. We were really surprised at how beautiful and interesting Capital Reef is. The scenic #12 Red Rock Byway between Bryce and Capital Reef is beautiful. You can stay there or near Torrey. We visited CR and then drove on to overnight in Richfield.

I would try to extend if you can. You are so close.

7. Re: Monument Valley vs Capitol Reef itinerary

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