Things to see/do in Southern Utah - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Although fairly close to Montrose, these areas are a little outside of a comfortable day ride from Montrose.

If you have a spare week to 'explore', either before, or after NASSIR II, I highly recommend any, or better yet, all of these areas in Southern Utah.

There's a very good reason why Southern Utah has so many greatNational Parks and if you follow the links below, you'll get a bit of a virtual tour of a couple of these national parks, that I visited in April 2007



CanyonlandsNational Park and area:



Canyonlands is divided into 3 'sections'. The easiest one to access is The Needles District, which is a 1 1/2 hour ride along good pavement, on SR 211, which runs west off of US 191, between La Sal Junction and Monticello. the road itself is a nice ride

This park is very dry and has lots of neat rock formations, known as Needles. There is one 'front country' campground, which has potable water(a rare commodity in these parts) When travelling in southern Utah, make sure you have ample water!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-b...7611792775641/



En route to the Needles, you will pass by a National Historical site, called
Newspaper Rock

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-boots/sets/72157611843722478/


A short 15 minute ride north of SR 211, heading off to your left(west) is the paved road that leads to the The Needles Overlook, which is a small'parkette' with good viewsof a 'mini Grand Canyon' as you can see where the Colorado and the Green Rivers meet, over 1,000' below, in the Needles district of Canyonlands.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-b...7611843027452/



A little further north is the regional 'hub of activity', Moab. Moab caters to whatever outdoor pursuit you fancy, having many localoutfitters. Moab is located just south of Arches NP, and the area around there is quite scenic.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-b...7611780104644/





Zion National Park and area :



Lots to see and do here! Located in the south west part of the state, Zion is Utah's busiest National Park. It has 2 campgrounds and most the time, you can't even drive into the park, due to congestion, but September should see the crowds ease up substantially. To make getting around in the park easier, they provide free shuttle buses from the Visitors Centre, with connecting buses into Springdale, which is right on Zion's doorstep.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-b...7611763344760/



There are a couple of easy and not so easy hikes that you can do while visiting here.

One easy one, the Canyon Overlook Trail, islocated immediately to the east of the easternentrance of the mile long Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-b...7611758101970/



One a little bitharder/longer, but easier to get to, due to the shuttle buses and located right in Zion Canyon, is the Emerald Pools Trail.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-b...7611704359157/



For a challenging trail (5 hours return), that offers outstanding views(and thrills } Angels Landing is a must for those of you who don't suffer from vertigo or are afraid of some 'exposure'. I guarantee the effort will be well worth it.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-b...7611308498191/




Another interesting park nearby is Snow Canyon State Park, which is located just minutes N/W of nearby St George

This is a quiet, colourful,little park, close to St. George, which has all the amenities. It offers a chance to do some exploring and some light 'scrambling' on a giant monolith of white slickrock.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-b...7611798668071/





Bryce Canyon National Park and area :



Here is another great National Park. Best if you can view it early in the morning as the red hues will be highlighted and very warm. It also has 2 campgrounds but due to the high elevation, you may want to look around for awarmer camping area, if tenting. There is a great restaurant(and lodge) just as you turn off the main highway(US 12 - more on that road later!) and drive towards the park, called Ruby's Inn
There are some hiking trails in the park. I'd advise to drive to the very end of the park 1st and then work your way back towards the entrance, stopping at each viewpoint to get your fill of hoodoos and natural arches/bridges. Quite the spectacular bit of scenery.

Just to the west of Bryce, is another great area, which provides camping and hiking, along with a few tunnels that you drive through, called
Red Canyon.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-boots/sets/72157611763670694/



Heading north from Bryce, along SR 12(more on this great little stretch of highway later!), we soon come to ....


Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and area :

When I 1st pulled into Escalante , at noon, I thought it was a ghost town. Nobody on the streets(later April) and I was hungry, looking for a restaurant. I drove past one, but it looked close. I pulled over and parked and walked back and found that indeed it was open. It had all kinds of old western mementos hanging off the wall, had seen better daysand was operated by a couple of gals that delivered their home cookedmealsto other businesses on the main drag! Food was good.

After lunch I continued north and saw a few roads that ran off into the 'back country' that I desperately wanted to explore, but they were all gravel roads.

I continued on out of town, heading north, following this scenic littlebyway, -
SR 12 Shortly after leaving Escalante, you crest a small hill , followed by aright hand sweeper and the world seemed to fall away at your feet! There was a pull off on the left and there were quite a few cars pulled over and everyone was taking in the incredible change of scenery, with views stretching north for 150 miles!



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-boots/sets/72157611763832976/



Driving this little byway was a real hoot, with great scenery at every bend. Lots of nooks n crannies to look at/explore and plenty of pull offs. You have to struggle to keep your eyes on the road, and you have to, as the road is so windy and scenic. There is one section in particular that the road goes along a ridge and drops off steeply on either shoulder. This section is called
the Hogback. Man, I want to do that road again. !!!

There are a few campgrounds along this stretch of interesting pavement, which is located between Escalante and Boulder UT



Just thought you might find this informative to help make up your mind as to what there is to see/do in Southern Utah - Land of Wonder and Contrasts



Dusty













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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:37 PM
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Wow, thanks Dusty.
I will be sure to check out all the info you have here.

My 1 week vacation for NASSIR 2 may end up a 2 or 3 week vacation. Heck, who has time to work when there is so much to see and so many places to ride.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:43 PM
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I really don't know if I should thank you,, or give you a hard time...

These are the threads that start me dreaming of a grand adventure...

Last year a simple vacation for my Grandson's 6th birthday turned into a 15 day, 15 state 4000 mile jaunt around this side of the Mississippi!

From what I'm reading about the other side, Nancy and I'll need a month!

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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It's all good, Lost, ... all good!

I'll be leaving on Sept 8th(maybe earlier ?)and won't be pulling off until the end of the month, maybe later. Kinda like last year !



Cheers, Ken


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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 12:36 PM
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WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!! Hell of a post Dusty,,,,,,Hell of a post.

I vote it to be a sticky. So much information it makes my heart jump. Extremely useful. The pics are art. I love the sunset in Moab,,,,,,,, I gotta see that.



The things I liked,,,,I\'ve tried em twice!
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 02:39 PM
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Moab IS Very nice, Nina and I have talked about moving over there. It get's HOT in the summertime though.

One thing everyone needs to keep in mind (like swampfox already said) is that The North Rim, Bryce Canyon, The Kolob Canyon part of Zion, Both upper and lower Canyonlands, Arches, Natural Bridges, Mesa Verde, and Black Canyon are One way in and One way out.

It takes a while to experience them so plan your time accordingly.

You can however drive through the Grand Canyon South Rim, Zion, Cedar Breaks, and Capitol Reef. as well as ride along the north rim of the Black Canyon.

I love riding in southern Utah. The Goosenecks of the San Juan are also a neat sight/photo op. They are just north of monument valley near Mexican Hat (check your map).

Note: the road utah 261 has a section of dirt called the Mokee Dugway. It's pretty steep and not designed for wussys!





I like it though, andlike Dusty Boots, I also enjoy riding "the hogsback".

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 06:30 AM
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Look like just the type of road I want to pull by travel trailer over

~ John


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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 11:35 AM
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AZgl1500 wrote:
Quote:
Look like just the type of road I want to pull by travel trailer over
That's funny because it seems like every year someone from Phoenix gets in trouble tryinggo up it pulling a boat or jetskis on their way to Lake Powell.

Despite the Big yellow signs saying not to.

(big city folks).
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 05:56 PM
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WOW ,,,,,,,,, I gotta look that one up. See if it's within my route

The things I liked,,,,I\'ve tried em twice!
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 09:41 AM
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WOW Dusty, I've lived in Utah most of my life, southern Utah for the past 5 years, I'm ashamed to say, you have seen more of it than I have....... Time to stop working so much and riding a lot more...... GREAT PICTURES
Let me know if anybody is comming through this way on the way to Montrose

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