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Old 11-22-2009, 10:19 AM
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Default Arizona Utah road trip

Kim and I just returned from our AZ UT road trip. We headed down to Arizona to meet some friends that were visiting the Grand Canyon from Tennessee. We planned to hang out there with them for a couple of days and then head up into Utah for more sightseeing. Over the course of 8 days we camped out and saw 6 National Parks and Monuments. The weather was great during the days and very cold at night. Sub-freezing with light snow on a few nights made camping interesting. With Kim being 6.5 months pregnant we enjoyed the time together before the baby comes, as we probably won't get much time to ourselves come February.

This was also the inaugural trip with the new Taco. I have to admit, I felt like I was betraying our old 60 as I loaded up the new rig. The 60 has taken us safely on a lot of camping trips. The new truck seems like it will be a great platform too. It's definitely better on gas, faster, and more comfortable, but it's hard to beat the functionality of a 60 for hauling camping gear. Once we get the RTT mounted up on the truck and the fridge and batteries installed, it will be a lot more camping/road tripping friendly.

We started out on Friday morning heading towards Moab. We camped out in Arches National Park and awoke Saturday to a layer of snow on the tent. We cruised back into Moab, grabbed some breakfast and headed South on 191 towards Arizona. It snowed and rained the whole way, but as we neared the Grand Canyon's South Rim, the skies began to clear. It stayed cold the two days we were there, and it was nice to visit the canyon in the off season when there were very few others visiting. We had a loop of the campground to ourselves and had a great time visiting our friends and taking in the sights.

Some scenery at the Grand Canyon:



After two days at the canyon, our friends were headed to Sedona, and we headed North back into Utah. We drove around the canyon and up towards Zion National Park. We camped near Zion and then did the scenic drive and a couple of hikes.

Zion:



From Zion, we headed up towards Bryce Canyon. The scenery everywhere in Southern Utah does not disappoint. When we arived at Bryce, it was very cold, so we decided to hotel it for the night and eat out at a restaurant. Steaks, a shower and a warm bed were very welcome, especially since it hit 8 degrees that night. There was a light dusting of snow on the Hoodoos in the canyon as we hiked around the next morning.

Bryce Canyon:





From Bryce, we headed down scenic highway 12 towards the towns of Escalante and Bolder. I had never been into the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument before, so we headed South from the the Town of Escalante down the Hole in the Rock Road. We drove a ways in and found a great secluded campsite on a rim overlooking the canyons with the Henry Mountains in the distance.

Grand Staircase Escalante NM:



The next day we continued on towards Capitol Reef NP. We spent the afternoon exploring the park and then hit the road back towards Moab, where we spent one last night and enjoyed dinner at the Moab brewery before heading back to CO.

Capitol Reef:



We covered about 1700 miles on this trip and I felt saturated with the amazing scenery. It was great to see some areas in Utah I had not been before, and I already have plans to get out and explore some places more thoroughly.

Hope you enjoyed the pics.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:45 PM
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Martin, the pictures look great..........nice trip!
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:51 PM
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Martin, amazing pics! Grand Staircase is one of my all time favorite spots to hike. Not sure if you got to do any of the slot canyons, but I've never had that much fun on a hike before. Simply amazing. Actually, late spring when its hot, but still plenty of water in the canyons is my favorite time. Hiking through the water is AWESOME (you pack your boots and dry socks in your pack, and wear old sneakers in the water. Its amazing.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:32 PM
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the winter is nice down there too because it all seems to be empty of th etour busses full of tourists. nice time to visit but you can't get in the water!

thanks for the pics!!
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:10 PM
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Awesome Martin!

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Old 11-22-2009, 05:30 PM
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Never been in that area either Martin, thanks for the report. Looks great this time of year. Will have to take Isaac's late spring suggestion some time and hike the wet side canyons.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
Martin, amazing pics! Grand Staircase is one of my all time favorite spots to hike. Not sure if you got to do any of the slot canyons, but I've never had that much fun on a hike before. Simply amazing. Actually, late spring when its hot, but still plenty of water in the canyons is my favorite time. Hiking through the water is AWESOME (you pack your boots and dry socks in your pack, and wear old sneakers in the water. Its amazing.

We did a little bit of hiking around the slickrock near our camp, but not into any of the slot canyons. Kim being 6.5 months pregnant, she didn't feel up for anything too adventurous. I'm definitely going to go back for backpacking/hiking and explore more. I have read a lot about the area, so it was great to get a taste.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:33 AM
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Very nice Martin. Beautiful pictures!
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:37 PM
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:30 PM
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Nice pics. I can't get enough pictures of that area. Looks like a great trip.
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