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Southern Utah Itinerary - Arches, Canyonlands, MV & Page

Mumbai, India
9 posts
Southern Utah Itinerary - Arches, Canyonlands, MV & Page

We are visiting Utah during first week of April (1-6). 2 Adults and 1 teen. This is our itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in SLC at 2pm and drive to Moab. Night stay in Moab

Day 2: Arches NP (Delicate Arch + Mesa Arch hikes). Night stay in Moab

Day 3: Canyonlands NP (still tbd on specifics) - leave at about 3pm and drive to Monument Valley. Catch the MM13 on the drive there or come back the next morning. Night Stay in Monument Valley

Day 4: 9am back country tour. Post lunch drive to Page. Sunset at Horseshoe bend. Night stay in Page

Day 5: 10:30am Lower Antelope Canyon tour. Post lunch, Glen Canyon Dam and then drive back to SLC (I89-I70W-I15N). Night stay in SLC

Day 6: Return flight at 2pm from SLC.

Questions:

1. Is this too rushed or doable?

2. Should we cut short Canyonlands in favor of leaving earlier on Day 3 (post lunch) and get to MV earlier and/or is there something else we can do along the way?

Thanks,

-Roo

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
Level Contributor
20,137 posts
36 reviews
1. Re: Southern Utah Itinerary - Arches, Canyonlands, MV & Page

Question 1: Is this trip too rushed? Answer: Yes, most definitely, it's very rushed.

Question 2: Should we cut short Canyonlands in favor of leaving earlier on Day 3 (post lunch) and get to MV earlier and/or is there something else we can do along the way? If anything, you need more time in Moab, not less time.

Let's take a look at the day by day plan -

Day 1: With a 2 pm arrival in SLC, it will be about 3 or 3:30 before you are on the road with luggage and rental car. The thing that is working in your favor this day is that it's a Saturday and the traffic leaving SLC shouldn't be too bad. It's a 4 hour drive from SLC to Moab. That's without any stops whatsoever. I would assume that you'll want at least a food break and quick rest break. You'll be arriving in Moab at sundown.

Day 2: This is probably OK. Be advised there is road construction in Arches this year. This will impact traffic on roads and parking within the park.

Day 3: Most on the forum would recommend another night in Moab to give adequate time in Canyonlands. Do you have hotel reservations at Monument Valley?

Day 4: Skip going to Horseshoe Bend for sunset. The sun will be in your eyes. The Bend will be in shadow. What you should really do this day is to get in to Page early enough to do an Antelope Canyon tour the same day. Horseshoe Bend is best viewed late morning. It would be better to go there on the morning of day 5.

Day 5: Go to Horseshoe Bend about 9:30 or so. It will take you about 1.5 hours depending on your pace. You'll drive over Glen Canyon Dam as you head out of Page on 89. A tour really isn't a must do and since you have at least a 6.5 drive, with no stops, back to SLC, I recommend you just do a look/see and photo op there.

I don't know if you're looking for the fast route back to SLC or a scenic route. Here's what I recommend instead of the route you have.

Scenic: 89 north to Richfield. I-70 east to highway 6 at Aurora, Utah. Highway 6 west to Spanish Fork, Utah. I-15 north to SLC.

Fastest: 89 to Highway 20 west just north of Panquitch. Highway 20 to I-15. I-15 to SLC.

Mumbai, India
9 posts
2. Re: Southern Utah Itinerary - Arches, Canyonlands, MV & Page

Thanks Connie. I do have reservations at Gouldings lodge in MV and thinking of switching to the View for the night.

Will doing the back country tour at MV in the morning leave us enough time to get to Page and do an antelope canyon tour the same day?

Not really looking for the fastest route back to SLC, but would like to get onto I5 before it gets dark. We'll go the Aurora route you suggested instead.

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
Level Contributor
7,051 posts
131 reviews
3. Re: Southern Utah Itinerary - Arches, Canyonlands, MV & Page

Simple mistake, but note Mesa Arch is in Canyonlands Island in the Sky district. In Arches, besides the hike up to Delicate, look for the Windows section, and Devil's Garden to Landscape Arch.

In Canyonlands IITS, Mesa Arch, Green River Overlook, Shafer Overlook, and Grandview Overlook. If you still have time, drive over to Dead Horse Point state park and view the gooseneck at the end of the road.

Classic sunset destination at Page is Wahweap Overlook, west of Page on US89. Horseshoe Bend is best seen when the sun is higher in the sky(shadows)

You would not want to backtrack for MM13 at Monument Valley. See it as you drive past, or don't. You will have enough time in the valley if you do the backcountry tour.

Coming into Page, you might as well stop at Lower Antelope kiosk, and see if there will be a tour available at the end of the day. Should be one around 4pm. You would be driving by it anyways getting into Page from Monument Valley. Olijato to Antelope Canyon wash is about two hours drive. Note that the time in Monument Valley will be an hour ahead of the time in Page, due to DST

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
Level Contributor
20,137 posts
36 reviews
4. Re: Southern Utah Itinerary - Arches, Canyonlands, MV & Page

If you take the route via Aurora, you could make a slight detour east of Aurora to Salina UT and have dinner at Mom's Cafe in Salina. Mom's isn't anything fancy - just good homestyle American food with excellent homemade pies.

And correction, that's highway 50, not highway 6. I should have had my Utah map out earlier.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
Level Contributor
20,137 posts
36 reviews
5. Re: Southern Utah Itinerary - Arches, Canyonlands, MV & Page

If you can't get a Lower Antelope Canyon tour on the afternoon you arrive from MV, then do it the next morning and skip Horseshoe Bend. Or depending on when you actually get in to Page, you could drive out to Horseshoe Bend straight away In the afternoon. The lighting on the Bend won't be perfect., but may be acceptable. Just don't go for sunset. With your rushed time frame, you may have a sacrifice something to allow time for a priority activity.

Mumbai, India
9 posts
6. Re: Southern Utah Itinerary - Arches, Canyonlands, MV & Page

This is super useful - thanks much for the replies Connie/Widmarsh.

7. Re: Southern Utah Itinerary - Arches, Canyonlands, MV & Page

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