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Author Topic: Utah: Zion Bryce Moab  (Read 13715 times)
kate61
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« on: May 19, 2007, 11:24:17 AM »
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Traveling to Utah in Early September. Starting trip with two nights in Zion (Springdale), 2 nights in Bryce (Tropic) a stopover in Teasdale/Torrey (one night) then on to Moab for a few.  When I started planning the itinerary and how to fit in best photo times with travel I hadn't considered Escalante Grand Staircase but have since seen some great photos and would like to try to get that in somehow. Can anyone recommend any good Escalante photo locations that wouldn't require a significant detour? (Hwys 9 to 12 to 24 probably). Thanks.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2007, 07:52:27 PM »
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Traveling to Utah in Early September. Starting trip with two nights in Zion (Springdale), 2 nights in Bryce (Tropic) a stopover in Teasdale/Torrey (one night) then on to Moab for a few.  When I started planning the itinerary and how to fit in best photo times with travel I hadn't considered Escalante Grand Staircase but have since seen some great photos and would like to try to get that in somehow. Can anyone recommend any good Escalante photo locations that wouldn't require a significant detour? (Hwys 9 to 12 to 24 probably). Thanks.
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Much of the EGS is significantly off the highways and accessible only by dirt (slow) roads.  There are some very challenging opportunities in and around Capitol Reef, near Hanksville, immediately W of Hite Crossing on 95 and in the White Canyon area between Hite and Natural Bridges - all on your way to Moab.  

N of Monticello is a road (signed Canyonlands NP) leading W from 191 that's an excellent three-four hour detour into lands quite different from what you've just seen to the west.  Magnificent long distance landscapes.

When in Moab, on no account miss a sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park.

Lucky you!

P
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chez
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2007, 08:18:35 PM »
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Personally, I would spend 3 nights at Zion and one at Bryce. I did exactly what you are proposing to do, and I felt I was short changed at Zion, and 2 1/2 days at Bryce was a little long.

I did a side trip from Bryce to Kodachrome Basin that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you are staying in the Bryce area for 2 nights, I'd recommend venturing out a little.
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kate61
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2007, 08:28:39 PM »
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I'm sure to feel short changed in each location. Have already booked all accommodations so evening locations are not flexible. I expect this trip will just be to get a taste of southern Utah and find the one place i like most to return to for an extended stay next time.  Thanks for the advice!
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kate61
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2007, 08:36:23 PM »
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"Much of the EGS is significantly off the highways and accessible only by dirt (slow) roads. " - That's what I was afraid of.

fantastic recommendations - will check these on the maps and try to get them in! (oh, September seems so far away!)

Any chance you could point me to a good location (web/forum wise) for tips on shooting night stars. There will be new moon while in Bryce and I'd like to see what I can come up with.
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richardm33
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2007, 09:44:36 PM »
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Hi -

If I recall, Escalante was only about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs from Bryce (not counting off highway
travel). You can either make it a side trip or on the way to Arches/Moab.

I've found the area to be quite a bit less crowded after mid September. Also a little cooler. Have fun!
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framah
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2007, 02:34:29 PM »
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Check out Cedar Breaks which is above Zion. Great if you don't get altitude sickness. I drove up there and was barely able to make it to the edge of the canyon to get a few shots. Thought my head was going to explode!! It's about 13,000 feet or so.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2007, 03:33:48 PM »
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Check out Cedar Breaks which is above Zion. Great if you don't get altitude sickness. I drove up there and was barely able to make it to the edge of the canyon to get a few shots. Thought my head was going to explode!! It's about 13,000 feet or so.

Try 10,000 feet.  Still, fairly high for those not used to it.  To get 13,000 feet you need to go to the Sierra in California or the Rockies.

--John
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2007, 04:08:19 PM »
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Try 10,000 feet.  Still, fairly high for those not used to it.  To get 13,000 feet you need to go to the Sierra in California or the Rockies.

--John
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You can drive to  Mt Evans in Colorado. 14K+ ft, IIRC
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nma
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2007, 07:35:10 AM »
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Traveling to Utah in Early September. Starting trip with two nights in Zion (Springdale), 2 nights in Bryce (Tropic) a stopover in Teasdale/Torrey (one night) then on to Moab for a few.  When I started planning the itinerary and how to fit in best photo times with travel I hadn't considered Escalante Grand Staircase but have since seen some great photos and would like to try to get that in somehow. Can anyone recommend any good Escalante photo locations that wouldn't require a significant detour? (Hwys 9 to 12 to 24 probably). Thanks.
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Kate61,

As far as the trip you have outlined, it almost doesn't matter what you do; you will love it, even if your camera doesn't work.  I have been through this area nearly 10 times and I always feel I am just scratching the surface. e.g. I've never been off road in the grand stair case. Do you have Martres' books on  photographing the southwest? If you don't, get them right away. This is the most useful thing you can have for planning your trip.  Planning your time around Moab is also important to get the most bag for your buck.  Sunrise in Arches and at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands; Sunset  at Deadhorse Point State Park, etc. Also, drive down Potash Road, just outside of Moab, to see the petroglyphs, high on the canyon walls, and take in the Colorado river in the late afternoon.

What I can tell you is that Rte 12, from Tropic past the town of Escalante is the most scenic (secondary) road in the USA. At the right time of day, it is magical, spectacular; ortherwise it is merely thrilling. Of course, being out at sunrise and sunset on Rte 12 means that you will miss somethingelse.  If  you would like a very scenic walk on the day you go to Teasdale, you can stop at the Calf Creek campground (on your left, maybe 20-30 min past the town of Escalante). In and out is 2-3 hours, depending. Difficulty: easy-to-moderate.  If you leave Teasdale early enough, before dawn, you can reach Goblin State Park in the early morning; you might like that too. Check Matres for other photo stops along the way.  

Hope this helps
« Last Edit: May 24, 2007, 07:36:03 AM by nma » Logged
kate61
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2007, 05:33:35 PM »
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nma,

Great tips & advice! Thank you! Martres book (vol 1) just arrived from Amazon today!! hurray! can't wait to read!

There's no way we'll be able to leave Teasdale by dawn - that is the one evening/day of our trip that we're meeting up with some friends so it'll be mid-morning at best for that day's departure. If we're staying in Moab and want to be at a decent photo place in Arches for sunrise, how much time should we allow?? I am open to any and all suggestions for locations, short side trips, etc.

Thanks again.
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JoeCF
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2007, 06:50:37 PM »
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I don't know if you will have time, but there are some amazing slot canyons just east of the town of Escalante along the Hole in the Rock road.  They do require a bit of hiking and will easily consume a day or three.  

http://www.americansouthwest.net/slot_cany...lch/canyon.html

Not to take away from Zion, I have spent several weeks at Bryce every year, in every season for the past forty years.  I have not gotten tired of it yet.  Are you staying at Ruby's or in the park when you are there?  Try to find some time to hike down off the rim.  Don't miss Fairyland (one of the lesser visited overlooks).

For stars, the park sponsers star watches occasionally.  They set up telescopes and have presentations by the park interpreters.  Bryce is said to be the second clearest air of all the national parks and the night sky from Yovimpa point is spectacular.

There are hundreds of backroads off of 12, none of which will disapoint, but may require 4wd at times.  

http://www.scenicbyway12.com/

Welcome to a most amazing part of the world.
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Tom B
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2007, 08:31:11 PM »
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Zion is my favorite, Arches is great, Bryce is good but it is about 17000 feet and every time I've been there the temperature has hovered around -75.  {I exaggerate a bit}  but take some warm clothes anyway.  Some of the backroads are terrific such as the Burr Trail.
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nma
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2007, 09:16:11 PM »
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nma,

 If we're staying in Moab and want to be at a decent photo place in Arches for sunrise, how much time should we allow?? I am open to any and all suggestions for locations, short side trips, etc.

Thanks again.
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The entrance to Arches is about 3 miles from Moab.  There is an east-facing field of domes that might be good at Sunrise. The sun will rise over the La Sal mountains.  You need to scout it out in the daylight, consult Martres and do a google image search to get a fix.  If you know where you are  going,  30 min should be enough.  

Also give strong consideration to sunrise (unforgetable) at  Mesa Arch in the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands.  I would allow an hour to get there and it is a five minute walk from the parking lot. DON'T FORGET YOUR FLASHLIGHT!

Martes gives lots of ideas about drives around Moab, e.g. Fisher Towers.

Hope this helps.
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kate61
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2007, 07:06:31 AM »
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I was REALLY hoping to find some slot canyons without having to use a full day to do so. Also, while I've never done any night photography to speak of - I'm looking forward to experimenting w/ star trails (New moon in the middle of the trip so it'll be really dark!) I'll check out Yovimpa point if it's feasible. FYI accommodations are: Flanigans in Zion, Stone Canyon Inn in Bryce, Red River Ranch in Teasdale and Cali Cochitta in Moab. Thanks for your tips!
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Hank
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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2007, 09:08:09 AM »
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Be aware that September is aspen month in the high country. Cedar Breaks, Bryce, the pass on the way to Escalante, and the LaSal Mountains near Moab should be turning gold while you are there.  I'd find that quite a distraction in completing your already packed schedule!  
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bobclewley
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2007, 08:08:01 AM »
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Hi.  I am the new boy here but i would say for sure try to stay 3 nights at Zion...  

We fell in love with the place and there are such good opportunities with the narrows and Angles Landing....

Like others, we felt  Bryce was good, but not as good a Zion....

Bob
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bob
making the most of the good times...
Khurram
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« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2007, 07:20:27 PM »
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Traveling to Utah in Early September. Starting trip with two nights in Zion (Springdale), 2 nights in Bryce (Tropic) a stopover in Teasdale/Torrey (one night) then on to Moab for a few. When I started planning the itinerary and how to fit in best photo times with travel I hadn't considered Escalante Grand Staircase but have since seen some great photos and would like to try to get that in somehow. Can anyone recommend any good Escalante photo locations that wouldn't require a significant detour? (Hwys 9 to 12 to 24 probably). Thanks.
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I would definately recommend Escalante - i know that when i went to the devil's garden, i regretted it at the time, isnce there seemed to be a high school or juniour high field trip in the Devil's Garden area.  There were 30 or 40 rude and obnoxious kids running around, climbing on top of the arches and playing tag and writing their names on the rocks.  This despite the fact that there were signs that said groups were limited to parties of 6 or 10.

I didnt' come away with too many shots bcoz of the damn kids who were pretty much left to do what they wanted by their useless teachers, but I'm glad i did get to see the area Metate Arch is definately on my list of places to go back to.  I believe the Devils Garden (where Metate Arch is), is around 30 minutes from the town of Escalante.  It was around a 2 hour detour for me, which is why i was even more upset running into the kids at the park (i should probably be more upset at their teachers).

If you are spending two days in Bryce, i would recoommend coming in late and spending the extra time in Zion and then leaving early on your second morning.  Bryce is pretty much a sunrise/early morning park, and you are better off spending the evenings at another location.


If i was starting at Zion and had the number of days you do, i'd probably do Zion, Bryce, Page, Monument Valley and then Moab.  If i recall correctly, Tropic is fairly close to Bryce, so i wouldn't spend the extra night there.

You can see some of the formations of the Grand Staircase Escalante aroud Page, you also have the slot canyons, horse shoe bend, coyote buttes.

I don't know what you return route or what the rest of your itenerary is, but you may want to go back through Capital Reef if you are heading back the same way (i.e if Las Vegas is your point of entry).  During my first trip to the SW, i think my route was Grand Canyon, Sedona, Page, Monument Valley, Moab, Captial Reef, Bryce, Zion and then back to vegas.  Each of my 4 subsequent trips have been driving from Calgary to moab.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2007, 07:23:18 PM by Khurram » Logged

kate61
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2007, 07:04:33 PM »
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Thanks for all that.  Our evenings are all booked and Torrey (Teasdale actually) isn't flexible because we are meeting friends there.  Last day we're doing the big long drive from Moab to Vegas (UG!)  because we have limited time and wanted to spend the most time possible at the parks I mentioned.  I am SURE to go back again... so will hit the places i missed on the next trip (unless of course i fall in love with somewhere and stick to it... who knows!).  Thanks again.  (will cross my fingers for no big field trip  days while I'm there!  )
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 06:16:41 PM by kate61 » Logged
CarolR
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2008, 05:41:19 PM »
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We're in the process of planning what sounds like a similar trip.  Just wondering how your trip went? Do you have photos anywhere?
Thanks
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