10 Best Utah Road Trips: Unique Itineraries + Maps


Blue car parked on Capitol Reef scenic drive against orange sandstone rocks driving the best Utah road trips

Utah has many unique road trip options, including national parks, state parks and off-road adventures. Spectacular landscapes, bucket list hikes and beautiful photo spots make Utah one of the very best road trip destinations in the world.

In this guide, we’re going to show you 10 original and personally tested Utah road trips based entirely on our own experiences.

Our Utah Road Trip Experience

Photo of a couple hiking in The Wave near Kanab in Utah
Mark and Kristen at The Wave near Kanab in Utah

Why trust us with helping you to plan your Utah road trip?

Because we’ve explored far and wide throughout two separate Utah road trips, first in the fall of 2019 and again in the winter of 2021. We love the region and consider southern Utah to have some of the best road trips in the US.

During both our extended visits to Utah, we’ve hiked the iconic trails, explored the major parks and photographed the unmissable sunrise and sunset spots. Every Utah road trip itinerary in this guide is created from first hand knowledge. Read more about us.

Why Utah?

Wooden barn with towering orange sandstone cliffs behind at Capitol Reef on a Utah road trip
Fruita Barn in Capitol Reef is one of our favorite photo stops in Utah

With so many amazing US road trips available for your next adventure, why would you choose to road trip through Utah?

Here’s what makes Utah such a popular place to visit:

  • Five remarkable national parks
  • Countless other special natural landscapes
  • Year round accessibility
  • Several of the best hikes in the US are in Utah
  • Diverse and adventurous attractions
  • Excellent weather for most of the year
  • Easy logistics with Las Vegas and Salt Lake City airports

Other popular road trip routes in the US have the ocean, big cities, rainforests or rugged mountains. Utah offers dramatic canyons, extraordinary sandstone formations and bucket list hikes.

Choosing Where To Visit

Sand Caves in Kanab one of the best places for Utah road trips
Sand Caves near Kanab in Utah

Utah is home to a diverse range of topography including canyons, sand dunes, mountains and salt flats. The Mighty 5 national parks are the most heavily visited places in Utah, but there are so many other fun and underrated places to see.

So where should you visit on your Utah road trip?

Well, the answer depends on factors like your travel style, how much time you have and how many times you have visited Utah in the past.

  • Are you a hiker? You should prioritize hikes in Zion National Park above all else.
  • Are you a photographer? You should prioritize Arches, Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon.
  • First time in Utah or short on time? You should start with Zion and Bryce Canyon.
  • Already seen the national parks? You should head to the adventure town of Kanab.

We think Utah is a state you can return to time and time again because there’s just so much to do. Even after 2 extensive trips to Utah, our bucket list is still only half full!

Further Reading: The 20 best places to visit in Utah


About Our Itineraries

Driving the best Utah road trips along empty roads with thick clouds in the sky
Our Ford Escape on a road near Arches National Park with awesome cloud formations ahead

Next, we’re going to show you our 10 favorite Utah road trip routes. You’ll find route statistics, a description and a map for each itinerary.

You can click into the interactive maps associated with each itinerary listed below. Simply touch or click the map to activate, then you can move around or zoom in and out.

We’ve tried to be as inclusive as possible in order to accommodate every traveler who wants to see the very best of Utah. Please feel free to leave us a comment at the end of the guide if we haven’t quite covered exactly what you are looking for.

Let’s get into the first itinerary!

1. Utah Mighty 5 National Parks Road Trip

Hiker with a fleece enjoying the view into Zion canyon at sunset
Kristen enjoying the view into Zion canyon at sunset
  • Distance: 389 miles
  • Time: 7 hours 20 minutes
  • Days: 6-8 days
  • Attractions: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches

The Mighty 5 national parks road trip is the ultimate Utah experience. This famous route consists of many of the best US national parks with stops at Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands.

After driving the Mighty 5 we can confidently say that it’s the all-in-one scenic Utah ticket featuring the best hikes, photo spots and landmarks. If you’ve never been to Utah and you want to see all the major highlights, this is the road trip for you.

Utah Mighty 5 Road Trip Map

The Mighty 5 is most commonly driven as an out-and-back loop route from Las Vegas (here are the best things to do in Las Vegas). Use the map above to see how the route begins in Zion, moves to Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef before stopping near Moab for both Arches and Canyonlands.

Returning to Las Vegas from Moab, you have several amazing options for places to stop including Monument Valley, Page AZ, Grand Canyon North Rim and the adventure attractions around Kanab.

Road Trip Tip: Drive UT-12 from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef. The route through Escalante is slightly longer but it’s incredibly scenic and shouldn’t be missed.

2. Utah State Parks Road Trip

Photo of a person holding a sandboard on a dune in Utah
Kristen in Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah
  • Distance: 476 miles
  • Time: 9 hours 40 minutes
  • Days: 3-5 days
  • Attractions: Gunlock, Snow Canyon, Sand Hollow, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Kodachrome Basin, Escalante Petrified Forest, Goblin Valley, Dead Horse Point

We’ve created this original Utah road trip itinerary for return visitors to Utah or those who prefer to avoid heavy crowds. It follows the same route as the Mighty 5 but only stops at state parks and avoids national parks altogether.

We think Utah is overflowing with incredible state parks that are completely overshadowed by the national parks. There’s so much more to see, hike and photograph in Utah outside of the national parks. And the best part is that they’re always quiet.

Utah State Parks Road Trip Map

Our Utah state parks road trip is best driven in a loop from Las Vegas. Similarly to the Mighty 5 route, you can easily throw in plenty of extras stops along the way, which could even include one or two national parks if you don’t want to miss out.

Road Trip Tip: If state parks are your thing, do not miss the amazing Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada either on the way in or out of Utah from Las Vegas, which we have included in the route map above.

3. Zion To Bryce Canyon Road Trip

Hiker sat on a rock overlooking Kolob Canyons area of Zion on a clear day
Mark enjoying the view over Kolob Canyons in Zion
  • Distance: 86 miles
  • Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Days: 2-4 days
  • Attractions: Zion, Bryce Canyon

Zion to Bryce Canyon is our top Utah road trips pick for visitors with just 2 or 3 days available. It’s a hugely popular and well established route which works perfectly with the nearby Las Vegas airport as a transport hub.

Both Zion and Bryce Canyon are amazing places, but they’re surprisingly different considering how close they are to one another. We love both parks and think this double header offers the perfect balance between ticking off some of the best Utah hikes and photo spots in a short trip.

Zion To Bryce Canyon Road Trip Map

The Zion to Bryce Canyon road trip route is easy to plan. You simply fly into Las Vegas, drive to Zion, then drive to Bryce Canyon and eventually return to Las Vegas the same way. Here are 5 very different ways you can spend one day in Zion National Park.

Road Trip Tip: Serious hikers should spend more time in Zion, whereas photographers and sightseers should spend more time in Bryce Canyon.

4. Arches And Canyonlands Road Trip

Sunrise at Canyonlands national park Mesa Arch with a starburst of the sun
Sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands in unmissable
  • Distance: 78 miles
  • Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Days: 1-2 days
  • Attractions: Canyonlands, Arches

Arches and Canyonlands is one of the best bang for your buck road trips in Utah. We loved the photo spots in these two parks and can’t wait to go back for more landscape shoots. It’s possible to see the highlights of both parks in one day by starting in Canyonlands and ending in Arches.

However, 2 full days would allow you to relax and visit more natural attractions by spending a day in each park. You can tick off the best hikes in Arches and end with sunset from Delicate Arch on the first day, before spending the next day in Canyonlands which begins with an incredible sunrise at Mesa Arch.

Arches To Canyonlands Road Trip Map

Many visitors to Moab only have time to do Arches and Canyonlands in one day. Our route map above shows you exactly how to see both parks in a day from sunrise to sunset.

With more time you can do one day in each of Arches and Canyonlands. Start the second day in Canyonlands Island in the Sky district before visiting the further away districts called The Needles, The Maze and The Rivers.

Road Trip Tip: Start with Mesa Arch at sunrise and end with Delicate Arch at sunset for one of the most amazing days in Utah.

5. Kanab HQ Road Trip

Person sandboarding down a giant sand dune with deep blue sky on a road trip through Utah
Mark sandboarding at Coral Pink Sand Dunes near Kanab
  • Distance: 320 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 55 minutes
  • Days: 3-4 days
  • Attractions: Belly of the Dragon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Buckskin Gulch, The Wave, Toadstool Hoodoos, Grand Canyon North Rim

Our Kanab headquarters road trip is unique because you will use one tiny town as a base and the driving aspect is essentially fanning out in all directions around Kanab to visit attractions. Don’t be put off by what sounds like a boring road trip, trust us, it really isn’t!

We spent a few days ticking off hikes, landscapes, caves and sand dunes around Kanab during our second road trip through Utah and we were blown away by the area so much that we included it in our list of the 50 best US vacation spots.

Kanab is one of the most underrated places we’ve visited in America. Not only are there countless awesome things to do in Kanab, but the town also has affordable hotels, excellent restaurants and a chilled vibe.

Kanab HQ Road Trip Map

The route map above shows driving routes from Kanab to each of the most prominent attractions and hikes nearby. Visiting Grand Canyon North Rim is totally optional but it does make for a fantastic experience.

By using Kanab as a base, you can see the likes of Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Belly of the Dragon, Toadstool Hoodoos, Buckskin Gulch and The Wave. It’s also close to slot canyons and a bunch of fun adventure tours going out into the harder to reach areas of Utah like Peek-a-boo canyon.

Road Trip Tip: For the ultimate Kanab experience you should apply for the online lottery to win a permit for The Wave.

6. Kanab To Moab Road Trip

Horseshoe Bend lighting up at sunrise makes for a staggeringly attractive stop to make on a Utah road trip just across the border in Arizona
Horseshoe Bend is one of the best stops to make between Kanab and Moab
  • Distance: 423 miles
  • Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Days: 4-6 days
  • Attractions: Kanab, The Wave or Grand Canyon North Rim, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches, Canyonlands

Moving into custom Utah road trips territory, we think our Kanab to Moab road trip itinerary could be among the very best in this list. It’s perfect if you want to get off the beaten path and do something a bit different.

You’ll start with the best of Kanab, which could include hiking The Wave if you win a permit, before moving to Page AZ for Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon (book your Antelope Canyon tour in advance). Next is Monument Valley and eventually you reach Moab for Arches and Canyonlands.

Kanab To Moab Road Trip Map

This route can be driven from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City or Denver with plenty of stops available on the back end after leaving Moab. It works perfectly for anyone who plans to spend time in Colorado either before or after Utah. Remember, Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t too far from Moab.

Do you want to visit Grand Canyon South Rim during your Utah road trip? You could leave Kanab and arrive into Page, then drive down to South Rim before re-joining the itinerary to Moab.

Road Trip Tip: You can see most of Monument Valley without actually going into the paid area.

7. Utah Hiking Road Trip

Photo of the climb to Angels Landing at sunrise with no hikers on the trail
Photo we took of Angels Landing at sunrise with no hikers on the trail

We’ve created this custom road trip through Utah specifically for hikers and we think it’s pretty awesome! Utah’s unique landscapes are a paradise for hikers but the iconic trails are time consuming, so this is the longest itinerary in our list.

The route effectively follows the Mighty 5 path but it only consists of the best hikes. There are no photography stops, sunrises, sunsets or stops at other attractions. It’s a case of getting your permits in advance, driving from hike to hike and enjoying the trails.

Utah Hiking Road Trip Map

The map for our hikers Utah road trip route is created as though you have acquired permits for every necessary trail. Adapt the route if you are unable to obtain any permit, otherwise sit back and soak up what is going to be an incredible hiking trip!

Are you considering the Grand Canyon? Here’s our popular guide on the best hikes in Grand Canyon South Rim.

Road Trip Tip: In Utah you need permits to hike The Subway, Angels Landing, Buckskin Gulch and The Wave.

8. Utah Photography Road Trip

Hiker with camera walking through sandstone tunnel silhouetted by light
Kristen silhouetted inside Belly of the Dragon near Kanab

Our next custom Utah road trip itinerary is designed for photographers. Utah is not just for hikers, it’s also a prime location for landscape photography. Some of our favorite photo spots are in Utah. Think Mesa Arch, Delicate Arch and the Bryce Canyon amphitheater and you’ll get the idea!

The major issue with a photography itinerary is that you often need to be out for sunrise or sunset, so we’ve crafted this Utah road trip mainly around the most prominent locations at the best times of day. It’s a longer itinerary to accommodate for being in the right place at the right time.

Utah Photography Road Trip Map

Our photography route is one of our favorite Utah road trips because it leads to nothing but stunning landscapes. Use our itinerary as a starting point but be sure to include any other photo spots you know along the way (there are so many more!)

Follow the map above to see how you can drive around southern Utah and place yourself at the best photo spots every day. There are several ways you could plan this trip based on how much time you have and how important each stop is to you.

Road Trip Tip: The more time you allow for this road trip, the more sunrises and sunsets you can include. Dawn and dusk really are the most amazing times of day in Utah.

9. 4×4 Adventure Utah Road Trip

Hiker with camera crouching on a rock sandwiched between two very narrow cliffs
Kristen hiking through a narrow slot canyon in Utah
  • Distance: 745 miles
  • Time: 17 hours 30 minutes
  • Days: 6-8 days
  • Attractions: Sand Mountain, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Red Canyon Slot, Willis Creek Slot, Kodachrome Basin, Zebra Slot, Natural Bridges, Valley of the Gods, White Pocket

Our custom 4×4 Utah road trip would be an entirely different experience to the typical routes. You can either hire a Jeep and drive yourself or take tours into the scorched wilderness. This adventure filled itinerary leads into countless slot canyons, washes and totally off the beaten path spots.

A lot of this itinerary is based around Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument but you could also include Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. These are the places nobody else goes in Utah so you really get that lost world feel.

Utah 4×4 Road Trip Map

The map above shows a basic 4×4 off-road adventure itinerary that we would follow if we were to take on this awesome road trip through Utah. Adapt, remove and include as you see fit based on any other spots you have pegged to visit.

This is the only itinerary in this list that deserves a cautionary warning up front. It’s vital that you are experienced with these types of terrains and situations, as well as being proficient in vehicle fixes and knowing what to do in emergency situations.

Road Trip Tip: With more time you can take your Jeep way off the beaten path. Study the roads in Grand Staircase Escalante in particular to plan the perfect off-road adventure.

10. Salt Lake City To Yellowstone Road Trip

The vibrant Morning Glory hot spring pool in Yellowstone national park
Morning Glory Pool is one of the highlights on a Salt Lake City to Yellowstone road trip

Our last Utah road trip is an extension of our extremely popular 7 days Salt Lake City to Yellowstone road trip itinerary. You can create a fantastic 10 day itinerary with Yellowstone and Grand Teton simply by including 3 days ticking off the top attractions around Salt Lake City.

Uinta Wasatch Cache is home to some seriously amazing hikes, Bonneville Salt Flats and Antelope Island are perfect for photographers, Park City is a famous skiing destination and downtown SLC is lovely to walk around.

SLC To Yellowstone Route Map

The map above shows an extended version of our classic 7 day SLC to Yellowstone road trip route with several spur trips near Salt Lake City creating a 10 day itinerary.

After leaving the Salt Lake City area, the route continues through Jackson to Grand Teton and Yellowstone before ending in Gardiner, MT. You can either fly home from Bozeman or return to SLC airport.

Road Trip Tip: Allow at least one full day in Grand Teton and two full days in Yellowstone at a minimum. In an ideal world you will have six full days to see both parks. Here’s our 4 days Yellowstone itinerary.

Planning Tools

Couple sat in front of Mesa Arch after sunrise at Canyonlands
Mark and Kristen at Mesa Arch moments after sunrise

So you know the routes and you’re excited to get started with planning. But what about logistics and the important things you need to know?

Here are the tools we use and the key information you should be aware of:

1. Flights

When searching for flights to Las Vegas or Salt Lake City, we recommend checking prices on both Skyscanner and Google Flights as the two best flight search engines.

Tips to save on flights to Las Vegas or SLC:

  • Shop around and compare prices on several days of the week
  • Use incognito or private browser and clear your cache
  • Use several devices such as your laptop and smartphone
  • Read our guide on how to book cheap flights

2. Hotels

You should have no issues booking accommodation for any of the Utah road trips covered in this guide with the exception of Zion National Park hotels during the peak season.

We always use and recommend using Booking.com to book hotels in the US. You might want to compare prices with Hotels.com to see if you can find a better deal.

Tips for booking hotels:

  • Book your hotels in advance
  • Sign up for a free membership account with Booking or Expedia
  • Arrive at Zion during the week to avoid expensive weekend prices
  • Read our popular guide on how to book cheap hotels

Resource: Our sister site Best Hotels Anywhere can help you find the best hotels in Las Vegas, Moab, Kanab, Page, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Grand Canyon South Rim.

Path leading to unique rock formations twisting and contorting around one another in Utah
The Windows and Double Arch in Arches National Park

3. Hire Car

If you’re not driving your own car to Utah, you’ll need to hire a car when you land at Salt Lake City or Las Vegas airport.

Our top recommendation is to find prices with Rental Cars and compare costs against Discover Cars. Input Salt Lake City airport or Las Vegas airport and your travel dates to see your options.

They’re our go to car hire platforms and we always choose whichever has the better vehicle at the right price point.

Tips for hiring a car:

  • Book in advance for a better selection of cars
  • Small cars are better for parking in tight spots at the national parks
  • You’ll need a 4WD high clearance vehicle to go off road in Utah

4. National Parks

It’s important to stay up to date with live conditions such as roads, weather, hiking trails and lodging when you visit any of the national parks in Utah.

One of the unsung positives to visiting Utah is that natural disasters, wildfires, flooding and other problematic conditions are rare. Just look at Yellowstone and Yosemite in 2022 and 2023.

With that said, we still recommend keeping on top of the following current status reports:

What To Pack For Utah Road Trips

Packing for a road trip in Utah will depend on what you plan to do and what time of year you decide to visit.

Our two trips to Utah have been in the months of October and December. Both times we packed for cold mornings and cold evenings but warmer days, especially when hiking.

If you plan your Utah road trip for summer you can expect hot days so your packing list will look very different. Take plenty of shorts, t-shirts and socks in case you need to wear more than one per day.

Are you planning to visit the Mighty 5? The number one thing you should buy and pack is an America the Beautiful Pass to save money on national park entry costs.

Here is a basic road trip packing list to get you started:

Further Reading: The essential road trip packing list

Where To Stay On Your Utah Road Trip

Sunset over Delicate Arch landscape during one of the best Utah road trips
Sunset at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

Let’s take a summarized look at the top rated hotels in the most popular Utah road trip destinations to help get you organized. Don’t forget you can click the links below to read complete hotel guides on our sister site Best Hotels Anywhere.

Each hotel listed below is a hotel we have either stayed at or would stay at because they have excellent ratings.

Springdale (Zion)

Further Reading: The best hotels in Springdale UT

Bryce Canyon City and Tropic (Bryce Canyon)

Further Reading: Where to stay near Bryce Canyon National Park

Torrey (Capitol Reef)

Further Reading: Best places to stay near Capitol Reef National Park

Moab (Arches and Canyonlands)

Further Reading: Where to stay in Moab Utah


Further Reading: Best places to stay in Kanab UT

Camping Special

Are you planning to camp during your Utah road trip?

We’ve teamed up with The Dyrt to offer our readers an exclusive no strings attached 30 day free trial with The Dyrt PRO.

This is our favorite camping app because it helps you find the best campgrounds along your specific driving route with benefits including no booking fees and free camping spots.

You can also use a fantastic new feature called Dyrt Alerts to receive notifications when sold out campgrounds have cancellations so you can snag near-impossible spots.

In Conclusion

Utah is home to some of the most scenic and exciting road trip routes in the US. Unique rock formations, dramatic canyons and adventurous hiking trails make Utah the perfect road trip destination for hikers, photographers and lovers of nature. It’s great for solo travelers, couples, groups and families alike.

After exploring most of the US, we can confidently say that Utah is one of our favorite states to visit. Hiking and landscape photography are our two favorite things to do when we travel, and Utah has both in abundance!

More Road Trips

Want more Utah content? Head over to our Utah Travel Guides to explore the Mighty Five national parks and beyond.

We hope this Utah road trips guide helps with planning your visit to the Beehive State!

Please let us know if you have any questions about any of the routes in the comments below.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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13 thoughts on “10 Best Utah Road Trips: Unique Itineraries + Maps”

  1. Dear Mark and Kristen, my boyfriend and I are thinking of having a 3-week vacation (we are coming all the way from Europe so less doesn’t really make sense for us) doing the classic national parks road trip in Utah and Arizona at the end of May. We are planning 2 days in each park (1 in Capitol Reef), and around 4 days in Kanab and Page each, trying to see and do as much as possible as most likely we will never come back to that part of the world again. We love hiking and active holidays, but we are not extreme hikers and we are not going to do the most challenging (even if they are the most famous) trails such as Angels Landing, the Narrows, or the Wave. I extensively used your website picking out the best trails and things to do and trying to estimate how much time is needed for each 🙂 The rough plan is this:

    Day 1 – travel from Europe, arrive in Las Vegas the evening
    Day 2 – Valley of Fire, evening drive to Springdale
    Day 3 – Zion main canyon (Emerald pools & Kayenta trails, Watchman trail, Riverside walk, Zion Canyon overlook)
    Day 4 – Zion Colob canyons, evening drive to Kanab
    Day 5-7 – Kanab guided day tours to 1) Grand Canyon North Rim Toroweap Viewpoint, 2) White Pocket, 3) Peekaboo Slot Canyon, The White Wave, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, 4) Grand Staircase Escalante
    Day 8 – Kanab guided day tour (see above), evening drive to Bryce Canyon city
    Day 9 – Bryce canyon (Scenic drive viewpoints, Fairyland loop trail, Queen’s garden & Navajo loop trails)
    Day 10 – Bryce canyon (see above), afternoon/evening drive to Torrey
    Day 11 – Capitol reef, afternoon/evening drive to Moab
    Day 12-14 – Arches (Delicate Arch trail, Devil’s garden trail, Balanced Rock, Park Avenue trails, The Windows trail & Double arch) and Canyonlands (Island in the sky, Mesa Arch, Grand View point, Green river overlook, Needles/Chesler Park loop trail)
    Day 15 – Arches/Canyonlands (see above), afternoon/evening drive to Mexican hat/Monument valley
    Day 16 – Monument and Mystery valley full day Navajo guided tour OR Monument valley half-day guided tour and Natural Bridges national monument, evening drive to Page
    Day 17-19 – Page (Upper & Lower Antelope canyons guided tours, Secret Antelope Canyon guided tour & Horseshoe bend outlook, Antelope Canyon X guided tour, Navajo canyon boat tour, Horseshoe bend rafting tour, Paria Rimrocks Toadstool Hoodoos)
    Day 20 – Page (see above), afternoon/evening drive to Grand Canyon village
    Day 21-22 – Grand Canyon South Rim (all viewpoints, beginning of Bright Angel trail, South Rim trail, Shoshone point trail)
    Day 23 – morning drive to Las Vegas
    Day 24 – Las Vegas
    Day 25 – morning travel back to Europe

    As you can see, the ideal plan is a bit longer than 3 weeks and we will have only 22 days (including traveling to/from Europe, which uses up 2 whole days). So we will have to cut 3 days our of our plan, and we are not sure what to sacrifice. I’m thinking the following:
    – 1 day in Valley of Fire → instead combine as day trip from Las Vegas on day 24
    – 1 day in Kanab → which of the 4 tours do you think is the least interesting?
    – 1 day in Page → scrap Navajo canyon boat tour and Horseshoe bend rafting tour?
    Is there anything else you would suggest?

    In addition, I wanted to ask if it’s worth visiting Natural Bridges national monument compared to all the other sites, and if a full day Navajo guided tour of Monument and Mystery valleys is worth it?

    We will appreciate any advice that you can give us!

    • Hi Petia, thanks for getting in touch and we are more than happy to help. This sounds like an amazing travel plan but let’s trim it a bit so you can make it work.

      To answer you final questions first:

      1. Valley of Fire – If you don’t mind losing that last day in Vegas, then you can definitely do Valley of Fire as a day trip on your last day. But if you want the day in Vegas, you should still include Valley of Fire early in your itinerary because it is unique. We recommend trying to arrive at Fire Wave Trail as early as possible because sunrise here is the park’s top highlight.
      2. Kanab – They all sound great, but we would skip Grand Staircase because the others have the best balance. Kanab is a nice little town.
      3. Page – It sounds like you are more interested in the canyons, so yes skip the rafting and boat tour. It doesn’t take long to see Horseshoe Bend from the overlook. You will end up with a lot of spare time in Page because the canyon tours don’t take long. Maybe look around Lake Powell or hike a portion of Buckskin Gulch.
      4. We haven’t been to Natural Bridges yet. It looks great but you can get a similar theme at all the national parks in Utah, so we would skip it. We have been to Monument Valley and we drove the self guided tour, which was cool but again we would skip this if we were doing your trip. You can see Monument Valley from the main road you will drive anyway. Tip – Monument Valley is best seen early in the day if driving from Moab to Page which you are.

      That is 3 full days saved already (or 4 if you decide to combine VoF into your last day in Vegas). Here are our other tips:

      1. By skipping the 4th tour in Kanab, you can travel to Bryce Canyon on the morning of Day 8, spend the day hiking and driving the scenic roads, watch sunset, stay over and then watch sunrise in the morning. There’s not much else to do and Bryce is small so you can leave early on Day 9, spend 6-8 hours in Capitol Reef and drive to Moab. It would be a long day but it would also save another full day on your itinerary.
      2. You have loads of time for Arches and Canyonlands. If you wanted to, you could probably save a day at Arches by doing Devils Garden Trail, Windows, Park Avenue and Delicate Arch in one day. That’s Arches done. Canyonlands isn’t as easy because it is split into regions but unless you plan to go hiking long distances, you won’t need much time there either, you can do Mesa Arch, Green River and Grand View in a few hours. So overall for Moab you could save a day. Probably skip Dead Horse State Park because it is another $20 and is similar to Canyonlands.
      3. Two days is more than enough time for Grand Canyon South Rim if you don’t intend on hiking down into the canyon. You can see the viewpoints on both Desert View Drive as you enter Grand Canyon and Hermit Road in one day. So again, you could save time here if necessary.

      If you haven’t already got one, definitely buy an America the Beautiful Pass for $80 which will get you into all National Parks on your trip.

      There are plenty of places you can cut or save, but it will depend on exactly what you both want to do. You will also need some downtime because this is a full on adventure! The driving and hiking gets tiring after a few weeks, so you might end up needing a half day to relax and take it easy.

      Hope this helps but if you have any more questions send us an email which you can find on our Contact Page. Have a great trip!

    • Thank you so much for the feedback, we will definitely consider your advice! I find it very difficult to estimate how much time is needed for each park, probably they could be done in shorter time as you said, but we also need downtime between intense days as you said 🙂

  2. Hello. If you had to choose between taking a Utah road trip in the spring months of April or May vs the end of October, which would you choose? We would like to see Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, and go on into Arizona for the Grand Canyon.
    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Jane, both Spring and Fall are the best times to visit the Utah/Arizona parks so either time will be great. We personally prefer traveling the US southwest in Autumn, through September and October. However, if you are only able to do the very end of October, you may run a risk of temperatures cooling significantly in the morning and at night as you approach November (sunrise / sunset photography, long day hikes). If you are able to go in April or early – mid May, you are more likely to see more comfortable conditions for hiking (late May onward can be challenging for hiking with heat). Late October would also mean you may just about miss Utah’s considerable fall colors. With that said, hotels in Springdale, Moab and Grand Canyon will likely be more affordable in late Oct than in May. Finally, it’s impossible to avoid crowds in these parks, but late October will likely be slightly less busy than April / May. The balance between crowds, cost and weather is similar at either time. If you can make it slightly earlier in Oct, we’d say go for that, otherwise the beginning of May. April can have extreme weather in the US Southwest, which is something else to consider. Have a fantastic time whichever season you choose!

  3. We’re planning a trip round trip Vegas through southwest Utah national parks to Grand Teton and Yellowstone. We’ve got two weeks. How would you split the time and what are the best roads to take. We’d like to see Bryce, Hoseshoe Bend, Arches, Canyonlands, up through Salt Lake City to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. We don’t hike as we’re seniors but love photography. Any assistance would be appreciated. It’s feels so overwhelming! Btw….your website is fabulous!

    • Hi Marie – sounds like a fantastic trip and we know how overwhelming it can be with so many amazing places to see in just two weeks. You’re right to avoid Zion, it is a wonderful place but is more of an adventure hiking park. When visiting Horseshoe Bend in Page, you might want to try nearby Antelope Canyon if you can book a slot for a photography tour. If you’re planning sunrise photography – Bryce Canyon amphitheater, Mesa Arch in Canyonlands and Mormon Row / Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton are our top 3 recommendations for your trip. Grand Teton is extremely photogenic and we’re sure your cameras will get a serious workout here! You’ll have an action packed driving itinerary here but this is roughly how we would do it:

      D1 – Bryce, D2 – Bryce sunrise, drive to Page and HS Bend, D3 – Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley and arrive in Moab, D4 – Arches, D5 – Canyonlands, D6 – Drive to Salt Lake City, D7 – Morning in SLC and Drive to Jackson, D8 and D9 – Grand Teton, D10, 11, 12 – Yellowstone, D13 and D14 – Long drive back to Vegas, maybe break it up in SLC.

      Roads – 89, 163 Monument Valley, 191, 6, 89 through Afton, 191 again through Yellowstone, then 20 and I-15 back to Vegas.

      Hope this helps but let us know if you need any more info and have the best trip!

    • Hi Agnes, thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear you can’t load the map. Just checked and I can load all maps on both mobile and desktop on my end. I’ll shoot you an email to see if we can get the map working for you!

      • Thank you so much! It works for me now.
        We are planning to do the mighty 5 and do a big counter clockwise loop, and was wondering what you think the best order/road is. We are planning to start from the Grand Canyon and to finish with Zion and drive back to LA from there.

        • Perfect, glad it’s working. Sure, from Grand Canyon, drive to Page, AZ and do Horseshoe Bend / Antelope Canyon, then onto Monument Valley. Head up to Moab for Arches and Canyonlands, from Moab take UT-24 down into Capitol Reef, then drive the stunning UT-12 through Escalante to Bryce Canyon (don’t miss this one). Down US-89 to Zion / Springdale and maybe end with a night in Vegas?!! Have a great trip!


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