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SOUTHERN UTAH NATIONAL PARKS TOUR

12-DAY ITINERARY

This tour is a classic 12-day Circle Tour of Southern Utah that begins and ends in Las Vegas, Nevada. The itinerary includes each of the five national parks within Utah, as well as the history of Ancient Puebloan (Anasazi) Indians, and the Mormon cultural history to the present time.

Day 1 - Las Vegas to Zion National Park (Travel Interstate 15 north, Scenic Byway 9 east - 3 hours)

Optional Attractions:
  • Tour Zion National Park and the Visitor Center and Museum
  • Take a guided horseback ride or an ATV adventure through some of the most scenic redrock landscapes anywhere.
  • Enjoy a Summer Saturday evening of entertainment at the Tanner Amphitheater in Springdale
  • Dine and overnight in the Park or in Springdale

Day 2 - Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park (Travel Scenic Byway 9 east, US 89 north, Scenic Byway 12 east - 1 hours)

Optional Attractions:
  • On Scenic Byway 12, stop in Red Canyon for a photo shoot
  • Tour Bryce Canyon National Park and the Visitor Center and Museum
  • Take a horseback ride in Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Attend the Bryce Canyon rodeo or cookout
  • Visit the Paunsagaunt Wildlife Museum in nearby Panguitch
  • Dine and overnight in the Park or in Panguitch

Day 3 - Bryce Canyon National Park - Tour of All American Road/Highway 12 National Scenic Byway (Travel Scenic Byway 12 east - 1 or more days, optional)

Optional Attractions:
  • Stop by Ebenezer Bryce's cabin in Tropic
  • Photograph Kodachrome Basin State Park and Grosvenor Arch
  • Explore Devil's Rock Garden
  • Explore Spooky Gulch Narrows, Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyons and dinosaur tracks
  • 4-wheel drive to Hole-in-the-Rock
  • Drive the Burr Trail
  • Hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls
  • Tour the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • Visit Anasazi Indian Village State Park and Visitor Center
  • Dine and overnight in Tropic, Cannonville, Henrieville, Boulder or Escalante

Day 4 - Continue Tour of Highway 12 Scenic Byway to Capitol Reef National Park and Torrey (Travel Scenic Byway 12 northeast - 2 hours)

Optional Attractions:
  • Tour Capitol Reef National Park, see historic Gifford House, orchards (in bloom or fruit), enjoy the scenic drive within CRNP (20 miles round trip)
  • Walk through Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge, see pioneer register, look for bighorn sheep at the tanks
  • Attend evening programs at campground amphitheatre
  • Enjoy events and programs sponsored by the Entrada Institute
  • Visit the galleries, gift shops and area restaurants
  • Dine and overnight in Torrey

Day 5 - Torrey to Arches National Park and Moab (Travel Hwy 24 east to Hanksville, Hwy 24 north to I-70 east then Hwy 191 south to Arches National Park (2 hours)

Optional Attractions:
  • Tour Arches National Park and Visitor Center
  • Enjoy an evening program at the Arches National Park campground amphitheatre
  • Visit the Moab Information Center and enjoy the Lecture Series (Thursday, bi-weekly only)
  • Enjoy a guided movie tour
  • Dine and overnight in Moab

Day 6 - Arches National Park to Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park (north on Hwy 191 then west on Hwy 313 - 1 hour)

Optional Attractions:
  • Tour Island in the Sky, Grand View Point and Green River Overlook
  • Tour Dead Horse Point State Park
  • Visit the Dan O'Laurie Canyon Country Museum, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum and the Western Movie Museum
  • Shop in Moab's downtown retail district
  • Take a river raft trip
  • Ride the aerial tram
  • Tour the local wineries
  • Dine and overnight in Moab

Day 7 - Moab to Needles District of Canyonlands National Park (south on Hwy 191 then west of Hwy 211 - 1 hours) and Monticello

Optional Attractions:
  • Visit Canyon Rims Recreation Area, stop at Needles and Anticline Overlooks (30 mi south, then 22 mi west)
  • View Newspaper Rock BLM Recreation Site
  • Visit Cowboy Cave in the Needles
  • Hike the Pothole Point Nature Trail
  • Take a jeep ride over Elephant Hill
  • Drive the scenic Harts Draw Road through aspen and fir forests to Monticello
  • Visit the Frontier Museum and Visitor Center
  • Dine and overnight in Monticello

Day 8 - Monticello to Natural Bridges National Monument (south on Hwy 191 and west on Hwy 95 - 1 hours)

Optional Attractions:
  • Drive from Monticello to Canyonlands Overlook and Foy Lake to access mountain hiking trails.
  • Explore mountain roads with a high clearance vehicle.
  • ATV mountain and desert trails around Monticello.
  • Side trip to Mesa Verde National Park (1 hour east in Colorado)
  • Tour Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding
  • Visit the Dinosaur Museum and Huck's Museum in Blanding
  • Drive to Natural Bridges National Monument on Utah Highway 95
  • Dine and overnight in Bluff

Day 9 - Bluff to Monument Valley (south on Hwys 191 and 163 - 1 hours)

Optional Attractions:
  • Tour historic Bluff
  • Visit Sand Island Petroglyph Panel
  • Drive Valley of the Gods, a 17 mile drive through a miniature Monument Valley along a native surface road.
  • View Goosenecks State Park, the largest entrenched river meander in North America.
  • Tour Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park - Individual or group tour.
  • Dine and overnight in Monument Valley

Day 10 - Monument Valley to Lake Powell/Page (Glen Canyon National Recreation Area) - Travel Hwy 163 south to Kayenta Arizona, Hwy 160 south to Hwy 98, north to Lake Powell/Page, AZ (2 hours)

Optional Attractions:
  • Walk across the dam at Glen Canyon
  • Sunset dinner cruise on the Canyon King Paddle wheeler
  • Overnight in Page

Day 11 - Lake Powell/Page to St. George (Travel Hwy 89 south to 89A, then NW to Fredonia, AZ, then west on Hwys 389, 59 and 9 to I-15 then south to St. George - 4 hours)

Optional Attractions:
  • Good Opportunity to view the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
  • Pipe Springs National Monument

Day 12 - St. George to Las Vegas (I-15 to Las Vegas - 1 hours)

Optional Attractions:
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area
  • Valley of Fire State Park