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Author Topic: 2 weeks in Utah This Fall  (Read 11865 times)
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« on: June 14, 2003, 02:16:46 PM »
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Peter, Isn't 95% of capitol reef unpaved?  What a bout the drive down to lake Powel from the south end of the park and across the south end to Boulder (Utah)?

I do plan on sleeping out a fair bit, What will the weather be like?
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KMOlender
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2003, 11:08:13 AM »
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I was in Zion, North Rim, Bryce, and Arches about the same time last year.  

No fall colors yet in Zion.  Night temps were in the low 50's, days in the low 80's.   The North Rim has relatively few deciduous trees, but they were in nice color by mid month.  The lodge, stores, gas station, and campground amenities close mid-October, but the campground itself stays open as long as the park is open, with free camping starting 2 days after the closure.  Very low crowds at that time. Temps were in the 30's - 40's at night, but can be colder.  Bryce was nice during the day, but close to or below freezing at night. The west side of the Henry Mtns in the Dixie NF on the road from Bryce to Capitol Reef was full of aspen in full color, but not much color in CRNP itself.  Arches and the Moab area are still quite warm, not much color yet.   Fall snowstorms are still possible particularly on the North Rim and in Bryce, which are higher elevation.
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Kurt O.
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2003, 05:09:18 PM »
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2nd and 3rd weeks of October.
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Kurt O.
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2003, 05:46:32 PM »
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This is called "The Potash Road". It has been driven (by me) in my Outback with no problem.You will end up connecting with "The Schafer Trail" portion of the "White Rim Road" in Canyonlands. The Schafer trail "surfaces" just outside the entry station to Island in the Sky. You will need 4x4 and a permit to drive the entire White Rim. You can make it as far as Musselman Arch before the road gets too jeepy!
The water is dyed dark blue to enhance the evaporation to more readily extract the dissolved potash. You will drive "under" Dead Horse Point. The blue ponds are what ruins some panorama shots from Dead Horse Point.
If you are heading North from Moab you turn left at a clearly marked road just past the Colorado river bridge. The rock art sights are clearly marked. The road at the Jug Handle arch "turn-off" is called "Long Canyon Road" and that "surfaces"/intersects with the asphalt on the road to Dead Horse Point; this road was a little "hairy" but I did make it up in the Outback.
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2003, 02:33:21 PM »
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I am planning a photography trip for this fall.  Of course I want the best of all worlds.  Fall color, snow, warm nights cool days, mixed skys for sunrises and sunsets, etc.

Anyway; right now I am thinking Southern Utah, northern Arizona; October 9th (or so) for 2 weeks.  I would rent a 4wd in Las Vegas, visit Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Page and the north rim.  I know that is a lot, but I've never been before so this would give me an over-all familiarity so I could be more focused next time.

There is a full moon during that time, I think (hope) the colors will be right. (will they?)

Probably to early for snow (is it?)

Any opinions?

- Al
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Eric
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2003, 01:29:06 AM »
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Hi,

I'm planing to drive through S Utah this fall as well. I'll be in Vegas for a week for business, then plan to take a week in Utah and N Arizona. I haven't been to those places in Utah yet, so any comment will be good info for me.

My time will be around Thanksgiving, will the weather be bad then? Also is a week (6-7 days) including driving from/to Vegas reasonable?  At a normal to slightly fast shooting pace, which of those major NP/NM will I be able to cover?

Thanks a lot!
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2003, 02:21:46 PM »
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Eric, I don't think you will get bad weather at the end of November.  It will be starting to get colder.  I participated in Michael's Bosque/White sans workshop in early December last year and after went up to Canyon de Chelley, Monument Valley and Page.  It was 10 to 35 or so over night and 35 to 50 during the days.

You will be a few weeks earlier but further north and higher up.  Would guess there will be snow (at least on the mountain tops).
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2003, 02:04:42 PM »
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Peter,  I will look at a van.

I was originally going to do the grand tour and include Arches and canyonlands, but was concerned that I was trying to cover too much!

It is my first trip to all these places.  I did spend most of a week at canyon de chelley, Monument valley, and lower Antelope last December.
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Eric
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2003, 04:30:33 PM »
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Quote
I was in Zion, North Rim, Bryce, and Arches about the same time last year.
So what time did you mean?
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d2frette
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2003, 10:11:56 AM »
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I am vaguely familiar with the whole Moab area. I've spent the past two Memorial Day weekends there camping, rafting, and a tab bit of hiking.

I hope someone can help me out here...There is a large salt factory not far off the CO River. They have a private drive that is available to the public to cross over. There's a huge crystal blue lake (reminds me of volcanic lakes, which have a great color to them) from the salt. If you take that private drive thru, you get to a "back" (no gate, no entrance fee to a National Park, but I didn't say so!) entrace to Canyonlands I believe. The drive is excellent for panoramic landscapes - but not for sunrises/sunsets as the west side is a cliff.

You'll see
- open shots of the river 200 feet below
- a lush green ledge next to the water, surrounded by red rock
- balancing rocks (one with a distinct shape, if you know what I mean)
- a few cool cacti flowers
- a 3 foot raven if you are lucky enough

If you have a tripod and stitching software, you'll get some excellent photos.

The drive is very scenic. It's mostly dirt/rock. For this road, you'll be best suited with an AWD or 4WD vehicle as there are a few difficult spots (mostly you'll need clearance). The trek is about 1.5 to 2 hours from the city of Moab with no stopping - it took us 3 to get to the end of the road. At the end is an arch, which you won't notice unless you look down at the ground as the top of the arch is at road level! You can walk out onto the arch and take your picture, but you'll need more than 10 seconds.

If you are interested, email me and I'll get the road directions, and I can provide some of my shots.

- Dave

Some Maps
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David M. Frette.
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2003, 01:30:31 PM »
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Those people are crazy...
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Howard Smith
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2003, 01:39:07 PM »
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You should try to get a day permit to North Cayote Buttes and hike to the Wave.  The hike is only a couple of miles each way, but can get very hot, and it is dry.  Carry water and leave early.  Before you get to the Wave, there are some beautiful formations near the buttes.  You can camp free at two spots, one right at the entry point and one about a mile away by car.  The road is dirt and sometimes a bit bumpy, but can be easily done with an ordinary car or van, unless it rains.  Then 4wd won't even help much.  The mud is very sticky and slick.  But the photos are a great reward.  The area is limited to 10 people a day by permit, so the opportunities are fresher than Antelope.
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tut99
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2003, 11:06:00 AM »
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We were there this spring. We rented a Jeep Lorado which was cheeper to rent than a minivan. I appreciated the extra clearance and used the 4-wheel drive in some places. You can do a lot of road with 2-wheel drive, just don't make any wrong turns. Also, the suspension on the 4wd allow you to go quite a bit faster on many roads.

In Capitol Reef, don't miss Cathedral Valley. Its 40-50 mile dirt loop trail with many sites not available anywhere else in the park. We made a wrong turn while there and ended up taking a real rough road. We passed another SUV and had the right front tire fall in a hole I didn't see. If I had 2wd, I would have been in real trouble.

The Shafer Trail by Moab is accessed by heading north out of Moab, and making a left on Highway 279. I always had wanted to take it (you can see it from Dead Horse Point) and was able to this time. It's has great views and a trip I'll always remember. It was raining when we started and I wouldn't of taken it if I had a minivan. Yes, you probably can make it in 2wd but if the creek crossing is a little deader than usual or one of you wheel falls in a hole, there goes a day or two and $1000-$2000 towing bill.

Have a great time!
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jdlevy
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2003, 04:26:13 PM »
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Hear are a couple of pix from the San Rafeal swell region, one of petroglyphs in the Buckhorn Draw and one of the Wedge Overlook. Both were take in January.
David



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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2003, 09:55:41 AM »
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It does help, and I am not planning to do too many foolish things out there.

I am renting a 4wd, so don't know what clearance it will have.

I am bringing my camping gear, and don't plan on getting anywhere very fast.

In any case I have always loved adventures.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2003, 06:10:58 PM »
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I've visited those locations many times. Forget the 4WD.

Most any passenger car will do. 99.999% of your driving will be on excellent asphalt. What little off-asphalt driving you're likely to do will be no problem for any regular vehicle. (unless it rains, then nobody goes out there) Put the money you save into fuel, film and good food.

If you take a minivan instead, you can camp at the most incredible locations. You'll be there before dawn.

Peter
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2003, 09:45:36 AM »
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Capitol Reef HQ to the ferry at Halls Crossing is certainly not paved, but these roads are usually neotiable by normal vehicles. (weather notwithstanding) I'd ask the park rangers before attemting this, as local conditions can change quickly.

More important than an expensve-to-rent 4WD would be adequate ground clearance (no sports cars!) good tires, a full tank of fuel, plenty of drinking water and lots of time. Again, a minivan will let you camp out there - a huge advantage for photographers. A Chev Astro or GM Safari would be perfect as these vehicles have lots of ground clearance.  They also are available in AWD.  Check your rental contract about off-road use.

The Waterpocket Fold is spectacular and relatively untravelled, but that route will burn time. You'll love the isolation and solitude.

If this is your first trip to South Utah, I'd try to include Moab/Arches Park and Canyonlands. Dead Horse Point is, IMHO, a better view than either the South Rim or the North Rim. Certainly far less other people.

Lucky you! : )

Peter
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2003, 11:55:24 AM »
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Sounds like the Shafer trail. It starts as you pass the potash plant, drives over the ledge under Dead Horse Point, then climbs up the switchbacks into canyonlands.

Here is a link to some climber's photo of the switchbacks: http://www.maad.com/~kleiden/Climbing/Dese...rs/slide23c.htm. If you climbed the switchbacks, then it was the Shafer trail. If you didn't, you might have been out on the White Rim Road that runs below the Islands in the Sky district of Canyonlands. I don't recognize the arch you describe.
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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2003, 03:18:04 PM »
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Tickets to the Wave for January went on sale today, and walk-ins are rare in the cooler months, so I doubt the Wave is an option this year.

I'm just finishing an article on photography in the San Safael Swell, if you're looking for a less iconic or crowded location: Photography in the Northern San Rafael Swell.
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D60shooter
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2003, 01:01:37 PM »
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Utah has many wonderful place to photograph, especially in the SE and SW corners of the state.  Check out my site and if you want any additional information on locations, please contact me.  I usually go there 6 or 7 times a year to catch the light at different places.

Regards,

Tom
www.treynoldsphotos.com
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