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2-Week Northern Arizona & Utah Nationwide Parks Street Journey

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The sweeping rust-coloured surroundings of Utah’s Mighty 5 Nationwide Parks and the majesty of the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley mixed to make the final word Southwest USA journey. See soul-quenching landscapes and iconic pure wonders on our 2-week Arizona and Utah street journey.

LAST UPDATE: 23 Jan 2024

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Northern Arizona and Utah are the defining landscapes of the southwest USA. Wonderful crimson rock canyons lower by majestic rivers and stone arches carved by nature, punctuate a lovely desert panorama.

Unfold throughout huge Nationwide Parks with glorious services, it’s one of many final street journeys on the earth.

This 2-week Arizona and Utah street journey begins and ends in Las Vegas. With a cease on Route 66, and simply the correct quantity of time in six Nationwide Parks, you’ll expertise the tradition, range, and sheer splendour of the southwest USA.

Navigate slot canyons, admire placing hoodoos, hike to chic locations, drive lengthy open roads, {photograph} pure wonders, and expertise the very best of Arizona and Utah.

Our information consists of what to do every day, the place to remain, just a few money-saving suggestions, and recommendation for reserving Nationwide Park permits.

muley point utahmuley point utah
MULEY POINT

IN THIS GUIDE

2-Week Northern Arizona & Utah Street Journey Overview


MAP | NORTHERN ARIZONA & UTAH NATIONAL PARKS ROAD TRIP

This 2-week street journey itinerary covers the foremost pure sights in northern Arizona and Utah. It visits 6 Nationwide Parks – the Mighty 5 Nationwide Parks in Utah in addition to Grand Canyon Nationwide Park in Arizona.

It additionally stops off at Monument Valley, Grand Staircase Escalante, and (if you’re fortunate with permits) The Wave.

Beneath is a map of the entire 2-week street journey, adopted by a day-by-day breakdown of the place to remain, what to do and estimated driving time.

Northern Arizona & Utah Street Journey Itinerary


DAY 1: ARRIVE AT LAS VEGAS

Fly into Harry Reid Worldwide Airport (previously often known as McCarran Worldwide Airport) and decide up your rental automobile from the airport.

For those who arrive early in Las Vegas and it hasn’t been a protracted flight, you might need to begin this street journey as quickly as you arrive by heading straight to the Grand Canyon.

In any other case, spend the evening in Las Vegas and head off the next morning.

The itinerary finishes in Las Vegas, so you possibly can see the Sin Metropolis sights initially or the top of your journey.

DAY 2: ROUTE 66 TO THE GRAND CANYON

Go away Las Vegas and drive a part of Route 66 to the Grand Canyon.

First, cease off on the Hoover Dam which is round 45 minutes from Las Vegas. You’ll be able to take guided excursions, but it surely’s in all probability greatest simply to admire the engineering marvel and seize a shot of the O’Callaghan-Pat Tilman Memorial Bridge.

Proceed on to go to some historic cities on Route 66.

hoover damhoover dam

KINGMAN

Kingman has the Historic Route 66 Museum and an iconic Route 66 signal exterior the Guests Centre. It’s value a fast cease.

WILLIAMS

Williams is filled with Route 66 memorabilia. Wander by the streets with previous bars, classic fuel stations and diners. We suggest brunch or lunch on the counter in Goldie’s Route 66 Diner.

GRAND CANYON VILLAGE

The driving time from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Village is simply over 4 hours, and we advise attempting to reach by mid-afternoon. This gives you time to see sundown over the canyon.

Sundown Views – Learn our information to the greatest Grand Canyon viewpoints to discover a spot. For sundown we suggest Hopi and Pima Level.

Sundown Stroll – If you wish to stretch your legs after the drive, Powell Level to Mohave Level is a brief however glorious sundown stroll on the Grand Canyon.

DAY 3: GRAND CANYON

Spend the entire day exploring the Grand Canyon. Lower by the mighty Colorado River, it’s one of the outstanding landscapes on the earth.

For those who’re up for an early begin, the very best place to be for dawn is Mather Level.

HIKE INTO THE CANYON

Within the morning, earlier than it will get too scorching, we extremely suggest mountain climbing into the canyon. Being under the rim is a really completely different expertise. Listed below are some urged hikes:

  • Straightforward – South Kaibab Path to Ooh Aah Level (1 hr, 30 min | 1.8 miles)
  • Medium – South Kaibab Path to Cedar Ridge (2 hr, 30 min | 3 miles)
  • Difficult – Brilliant Angel Path to Plateau Level (8 hr | 12.2 miles)

Detailed data for every stroll is in our Grand Canyon hikes information.

DESERT VIEW ROAD

Within the afternoon and night drive the Desert View Street selecting off the greatest Grand Canyon viewpoints. Don’t miss the quick stroll to Shoshone Level, it’s an unimaginable sundown spot that you will have all to your self.  

DAY 4: PAGE & ANTELOPE CANYON

On day 4, drive from Grand Canyon Village to Web page. This city sits on the sting of Navajo lands and it’s a spotlight of this Utah street journey itinerary. There are three glorious issues to do.

ANTELOPE CANYON

Ebook a tour of Antelope Canyon, essentially the most photographed slot canyon on the earth. There are two sections to the canyon, Higher & Decrease Antelope Canyon and it’s essential ebook a tour to see each of them.

All the main points are on our information to visiting Antelope Canyon.

WAHWEAP OVERLOOK

Simply north of Web page, Wahweap Overlook supplies glorious views over Wahweap Bay, Lake Powell and the Colorado Plateau. Cease for images of Glen Canyon Dam on the best way.  

HORSESHOE BEND

This is without doubt one of the iconic pictures of the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River has lower a large, nearly absolutely round, bend by the rock.

Opposite to recommendation we’ve seen on-line, we predict it’s greatest to see Horseshoe Bend late morning or noon. The bend and the river are in shadow in any respect different instances and at sundown the solar is immediately in entrance of you making pictures difficult.

Wahweap Overlook and Horseshoe Bend are each situated within the Glen Canyon Nationwide Recreation Space. There’s a $30 charge per automobile for a 7-day cross, nevertheless, it’s coated within the America The Lovely Go (see PASSES, PERMITS & TOURS under).

DETAILS // DAY 4

Driving Time – 2 hours half-hour from Grand Canyon Village to Web page | Keep – La Quinta Inn & Suites, Web page – inns.com | reserving.com

horseshoe bend utah road triphorseshoe bend utah road trip
HORSESHOE BEND

DAY 5: DRIVE TO MONUMENT VALLEY

In the present day, drive from Web page to Monument Valley (2 hours) stopping off at The Wave.

THE WAVE

The Wave is a geological formation of undulating swirling patterns within the sandstone rock. Entry to guests is extraordinarily restricted with solely 64 individuals allowed entry per day. Up to now, we’ve utilized 5 instances with out success.

You’ll want to apply for a Allow in both the 4-month advance lottery or within the every day lottery, which supplies permits for the following few days. The every day lottery can solely be entered when you are inside a geo-fenced space. Following this itinerary, it’s essential apply on your allow in Web page.

For those who managed to get a allow, congratulations, if not, head straight over to Monument Valley.

MONUMENT VALLEY

Monument Valley is a land wealthy in Navajo tradition and breath-taking surroundings. Learn our information: greatest issues to do in Monument Valley to determine what to do at this time relying on how a lot time you’ve. The highlights are:

  • Driving the 17-mile scenic loop
  • Becoming a member of a dawn or sundown tour
  • Mountain climbing the Wildcat Path

Entrance to Monument Valley is $8 per particular person, per day and there are a number of guidelines you want to pay attention to, together with the consumption of alcohol. All the data is in our Monument Valley information.

DAY 6: FORREST GUMP & MULEY POINT

Spend the morning visiting the Monument Valley sights you missed yesterday. We extremely suggest this dawn tour with a Navajo information which takes you to the restricted backcountry. Alternatively, simply seize daybreak from The View lodge.

Then go away Monument Valley and proceed the street journey, heading out of northern Arizona and into Utah. The vacation spot for the day is Blanding and there are a number of stops alongside the best way.

Goulding’s Museum & Buying and selling Publish – A well-known location for Outdated West motion pictures and an fascinating museum concerning the Navajo lifestyle.

Forrest Gump Freeway Viewpoint – The point of view of Monument Valley made well-known from the movie Forrest Gump. The situation is on our map above.

Mexican Hat – A rock formed like a sombrero, that friends over a tiny settlement of the identical title.

MOKI DUGWAY & MULEY POINT (non-obligatory detour)

A detour up Hwy 261 brings you to Moki Dugway, a dramatic sequence of switchbacks carved into steep cliff partitions. It’s solely 3 miles lengthy however the views over the Valley of the Gods because it climbs are gorgeous.

Simply previous the highest of the switchbacks, there’s a 5-mile monitor to Muley Level, one of the underrated views in Utah. The roads shouldn’t be tried after heavy rain, however in most different circumstances it’s completely manageable in an everyday automobile. Enable about 90 minutes for the detour from Hwy 163.

VALLEY OF THE GODS (non-obligatory detour)

One other non-obligatory detour is the 17-mile loop by the sandstone spires of the Valley of the Gods. The street nevertheless will be tough. In good circumstances, an everyday automobile needs to be high quality, however it could be extra snug in a 4×4.

DETAILS // DAY 6

Driving Time – 1 hour half-hour from Monument Valley to Blanding (90 minutes extra for Muley Level) | Keep – Stone Lizard Lodge, Blanding – inns.com | reserving.com

DAY 7: MOAB & THE NEEDLES, CANYONLANDS

In the present day, drive from Blanding to Moab, exploring the Needles part of Canyonlands Nationwide Park on the best way.

Canyonlands is the primary of Utah’s Mighty 5 on this southwest street journey and one of the under-rated Nationwide Parks within the USA. Outlined by two mighty canyons carved out by the Inexperienced and Colorado Rivers, it’s a spectacular panorama of towering mesas, dramatic buttes, and winding canyons.

Canyonlands is cut up into 4 very distinct sections, and we advise you go to the Needles part on the best way from Monument Valley.

US ROUTE 211

Begin by driving US Route 211, one of many best drives within the USA. There are a number of glorious viewpoints and sights on Hwy 211, the very best are:

  • Picket Shoe Arch
  • Massive Spring Canyon Overlook
  • Confluence Overlook
  • Newspaper Rock State Monument

All the main points are in our information: What to do in Canyonlands Nationwide Park.

HIKING IN THE NEEDLES

Subsequent, attempt one of many hikes within the Needles. We extremely suggest the Chesler Park Loop. The whole hike took about 7 hours, and it was the most effective hikes we’ve ever executed.

After visiting Needles, head to Moab. Alongside the best way there are a few arches and Gap ‘N’ The Rock by the facet of the street.

DETAILS // DAY 7

Driving Time – 3 hours from Blanding to Moab through the Needles part of Canyonlands | Keep – Gravity Haus Moab Resorts, Moab – inns.com | reserving.com

DAY 8: ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

Arches Nationwide Park is the second of the Mighty 5 on this Utah Nationwide Parks street journey. With over 2,000 pure arches lower into vertical fins of rock, it’s a surprising geological panorama.

Go to all the principle sights in sooner or later, following our 1-day Arches itinerary.

The park is 5 miles north of Moab.

DETAILS // DAY 8

Driving Time – You’ll want all day in Arches, however the complete driving time is round 2 hours | Keep – Gravity Haus Moab Resorts, Moab – inns.com | reserving.com

DAY 9: CANYONLANDS & CAPITOL REEF TO TORREY

In the present day is a protracted day so we suggest getting an early begin. There are three main highlights to see.

ISLAND OF THE SKY, CANYONLANDS

The second part of Canyonlands to go to on this Utah street journey is Island within the Sky. Right here an outer canyon drops 1,200 toes from the canyon rim to a large, flat sandstone bench. From there the internal canyon drops one other 1,000 toes to the winding rivers under.

The result’s a surprising canyon inside a canyon. We recommend seeing Mesa Arch at dawn, then exploring the very best viewpoints that are all listed right here: greatest issues to do in Canyonlands.

DEAD HORSE POINT

The views from the southern finish of Useless Horse Level are magical. It was additionally the situation the place Thelma and Louise drove over the ledge.

CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK

Capitol Reef Nationwide Park is the third of the Mighty 5 on this northern Arizona and Utah street journey. It’s a panorama of cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges. It’s not as dramatic as the opposite Nationwide Parks however you need to discover the orchards round Fruita and take within the views from Goosenecks Overlook.

In case you have time, you may hike both the Hickman Bridge Path or the Grand Wash Path.

DETAILS // DAY 9

Driving Time – 2 hours 40 minutes Moab to Torrey. Add 90 minutes for Canyonlands Viewpoints + half-hour for Useless Horse Level | Keep – Skyview Lodge, Torrey – inns.com | reserving.com

DAY 10: ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMNET

In the present day the street journey heads over the mountains and throughout the northern part of the Grand Staircase Escalante Nationwide Monument. The vacation spot is Bryce Canyon Metropolis.

The spotlight of the drive is Scenic Byway 12 working between Boulder and Escalante.

SCENIC BYWAY 12

Usually listed as one of the gorgeous roads within the nation, Scenic Byway 12 is a chosen All-American Street that runs alongside a slim ridge known as the Hogback, twisting and turning as a dramatic canyon drops under.

The crimson and white rock contrasts fantastically with the inexperienced oasis that lies alongside the canyon backside.

There are many nice stops or detours alongside the best way, however we advise you select one of many following:

  • Drive the Burr Path Street to Lengthy Canyon
  • Hike to Calf Creek Falls
  • Discover Peekaboo & Spooky slot canyons.

You will discover all the main points in our information: greatest issues to do in Grand Staircase Escalante.

DETAILS // DAY 10

Driving Time – 2 hours quarter-hour Torrey to Bryce Canyon Metropolis. Add 60 minutes for Burr Path, or 1 hr 40 min to fit canyons | Keep – Finest Western Bryce Canyon – inns.com | reserving.com

DAY 11: BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park is a geological marvel. Beautiful amphitheatres are crammed with row upon row of towering spire-shaped rock formations often known as hoodoos.

The park is just not that massive, and the very best sections will be explored in simply over half a day.

Get an early begin to see dawn from Bryce Level, then observe our one-day Bryce Canyon itinerary.

SPRINGDALE

Go away Bryce within the early to mid-afternoon and head in direction of Springdale. This magical drive begins alongside Hwy 89, then turns proper at Mount Carmel onto Hwy 9. From right here it enters Zion Nationwide Park earlier than twisting by the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel to Springdale.

There are some nice sights on route.

  • Cease on the sandstone summit, Checkerboard Mesa
  • Peer into Keyhole Canyon
  • Hike to Canyon Overlook (1 mile every manner, simply over 1 hour spherical journey). This can be a excellent place to be a sundown.

DETAILS // DAY 11

Driving Time – 2 hours | Keep – Crimson Rock Inn Cottages, Springdale – inns.com | reserving.com

DAY 12: ZION NATIONAL PARK

The final of Utah’s Mighty 5 on this street journey is Zion Nationwide Park. It’s one of the common Nationwide Parks within the USA.

In the present day you’ve the whole day to discover the world.

Automobiles usually are not permitted within the park from round early Spring to November. Catch the shuttle bus from Springdale into the principle canyon.

There are numerous factors to cease off alongside the principle canyon:

  • Avid hikers ought to try the slim ridge to Angel’s Touchdown (allow required).
  • For a much less nerve-wracking route, attempt the West Rim Path.
  • Shorter hikes embody the Kayenta Path and Emerald Swimming pools.

Go away the principle canyon in late afternoon and spend sundown watching the colors of The Watchman, a 6,500-foot sandstone mountain slowly fade away.

DETAILS // DAY 12

Driving Time – 2 hours | Keep – Crimson Rock Inn Cottages, Springdale – inns.com | reserving.com

DAY 13: ZION & VALLEY OF FIRE

In the present day, there are a pair extra adventures to attempt earlier than you head again to Las Vegas.

ZION, THE NARROWS

The Narrows is a good canyon between two towering partitions with the Virgin River flowing between them. It’s one of the distinctive hikes on the earth as you stroll alongside the canyon, knee-deep in water.

You’ll be able to rent particular boots, socks, and a strolling pole from rental suppliers in Springdale.

To get to the Narrows, hop on the shuttle bus to the Temple of Sinawava. We recommend mountain climbing up the river to Wall Avenue earlier than turning round. It’s an unforgettable expertise.

VALLEY OF FIRE STATE PARK

After the Narrows, drive to the Valley of Hearth State Park in Nevada and full the 1.5-mile hike to the Hearth Wave.

The Hearth Wave is a wave of slickrock with placing crimson and white traces working by it. It’s harking back to The Wave in Arizona.

Lastly, drive on to Las Vegas on your final evening on this northern Arizona and Utah Nationwide Parks street journey. We’ve some suggestions for some nice nightlife in Las Vegas that doesn’t solely contain playing.

Things to do in Las VegasThings to do in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS

DAY 14: LAS VEGAS

In a city the place you get what you need, playing and continuous partying could be very achievable in Sin Metropolis. However Las Vegas is what you make of it, listed here are some concepts for what to do:

  • Visiting the lobbies of Caesars Palace and the Venetian.
  • Watching the fountain present on the Bellagio.
  • See a Cirque du Soleil efficiency.
  • Going to the Duelling Pianos session in Paris.

All the main points are on our information: what to do in Las Vegas.

CAR RENTAL TIPS

The primary route of this northern Arizona and Utah street journey is all on paved roads and will be accomplished in a traditional 2WD automobile.

Nonetheless, a number of the non-obligatory detours head onto gravel tracks. These embody:

  • Day 5: 17-mile scenic drive in Monument Valley
  • Day 6: Moki Dugway, Muley Level & Valley of the Gods
  • Day 7: Elephant Hill Trailhead in Needles part of Canyonlands
  • Day 10: Gap within the Rock Street resulting in Escalante Slot canyons

In regular circumstances these gravel tracks will be pushed in an everyday automobile, nevertheless you’d be extra snug in an AWD or 4×4. After rain or in winter a 2WD is probably not adequate, so examine street circumstances with the park authorities earlier than you set off.

Ebook your automobile rental: rentalcars.com

car on the road from wahweap overlookcar on the road from wahweap overlook
WAHWEAP OVERLOOK

BEST TIME TO VISIT ARIZONA & UTAH NATIONAL PARKS

The most effective time to finish this street journey is within the shoulder months of April to Could or September to October. Temperatures are gentle and it will likely be much less crowded than in the summertime months.

In a number of the parks, summer season temperatures can attain 90°F to 100°F, whereas in winter it could actually drop under freezing and snow can block the paths and make some unpaved roads impassable.

PASSES, PERMITS & TOURS

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL PASS

This street journey passes by 6 nationwide parks. Every has their very own entrance charge of about $20 to $35 (per automobile). An effective way to economize is to get the America the Lovely Go.

The cross prices $80 and admits the cross proprietor and as much as 3 passengers in any non-commercial automobile. It’s legitimate for one 12 months and provides you free entrance to greater than 2,000 recreation areas together with all of the Nationwide Parks and Bureau of Land Administration areas like Grand Staircase Escalante and the Glen Canyon Nationwide Recreation Space.

THE WAVE

You want a allow to enter the wave and they’re extraordinarily tough to get as solely 64 are allotted per day. Permits are issued 4 months prematurely, and you’ll apply from wherever on the earth. There may be additionally a every day lottery for permits issued inside the subsequent few days, however it’s essential apply from inside a geo-fenced space.

Apply for a Wave Allow right here and better of luck.

If you’re profitable there’s a obligatory 8.30 am security briefing in both Kanab or Web page. After the briefing you drive to the Wave (1 hour) and discover by yourself.

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

To enter the park from April 1 by October 31, you want a timed entry ticket which you need to ebook on-line prematurely.

Ticketed entry runs from 7 am to 4 pm. If you’re unable to get a timed entry slot you possibly can nonetheless enter the park earlier than 7 am (arrive a superb quarter-hour early) or after 4 pm.

ANGEL’S LANDING

There isn’t any allow required to go to Zion Nationwide Park, however you do want a allow to hike the slim ridge on the prime of Angel’s Touchdown. There’s a seasonal lottery and a day-before lottery. Apply for an Angel’s Touchdown allow right here.

ANTELOPE CANYON

To go to Antelope Canyon, it’s essential take a organised tour with a Navajo information. Excursions to Higher Antelope Canyon ebook out months prematurely, so you should definitely ebook forward.

shafer outlook canyonlandsshafer outlook canyonlands
SHAFER OUTLOOK, CANYONLANDS

AMENDING THIS ROAD TRIP

This northern Arizona and Utah Nationwide Parks street journey has been designed to go to all the very best sights within the space, however there could be some amendments or additions value making.

  • If you’re not a hiker, think about skipping Needles on Day 7 and driving straight from Monument Valley to Moab, skipping the evening in Blanding.
  • For those who like 4×4 adventures, add an additional day in Moab and drive the magnificent White Rim and Potash roads – one of many greatest issues to do in Canyonlands.
  • For those who benefit from the mystical, you may spend an evening in Sedona between Route 66 and the Grand Canyon.
  • In case you have further time add one other day between Moab and Torrey. See extra of Island of the Sky, plus Goblin Valley State Park, Moon Overlook and the Cathedral Valley part of Capitol Reef Nationwide Park.
  • For those who fancy one other evening in Las Vegas, take a day journey to the dunes and vibrant rocks of Dying Valley.
hiking near horseshoe bendhiking near horseshoe bend
HORSESHOE BEND

WHERE NEXT?

Listed below are all our different guides that may enable you plan this Arizona and USA Southwest Street Journey:

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Thanks for studying. To help our weblog, you possibly can shout us a espresso or observe us on social media. Massive thanks – Paul & Mark.

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