Veags to Arches and back in about 4 days?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by robin_hicks, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. I am flying in to Vegas, arriving about 10am. for 4 days, leaving on a red eye.
    I would like to see Zion (the shuttle stops in October, I am going in November), Arches, Canyonland, Dead Horse Point, and possibly Monument Valley. I also have to get back to Vegas, so I thought a swing back through Sedona, Az.
    Am I bonkers, or is this doable?
    I also realize daylight savings plays a part as well.
    I have been to Bryce (a long time ago, I would like to go back with a digital camera, but am really excited about Zion and Arches).
    Any thoughts? Best suggestions? Leave something in, take something out, add something else?
    Thank you so much for any input :)
  2. Also, is it possible to do the highway scenic route and the Potash scenic route in here, and what type of vehicle would be recommended?
  3. In my opinion, a little too ambitious a trip. Zion is in western Utah,while Canyonlands and Arches are in the SE corner of Utah. You could easily spend a day or two, and more, at any of these locations.
    If you're set on seeing Zion, then you could include Bryce as a better alternative. If Arches is more important to you, then given your time constraint, plan on doing Arches and Canyonlands together. You could easily spend three to four days exploring just both those locations.
  4. SCL


    Be prepared for potential snow which might not only hamper driving but also what you can see....November is that time of year. Last time I was out at Zion & Bryce, my guide (who spent her childhood years growing up in National parks, as her father was a ranger) said, if there's snow just plan to snowshoe....the scenery is wonderful.
  5. Well, you can SEE all of those places in that short-time, but you would be hard-pressed to do much photography. Arches and Canyonlands each deserve a day, as does Monument Valley. Dead Horse Point doesn't take much time (I shot it at daybreak, but the weather was not great. Sedona is unique enough that a solid day there is a good idea. Altogether, I spent a week in the Arches/Canyonlands/House on Fire/Moab areas and two days in Monument Valley. If you shoot MV you should consider getting a Navajo guide (I highly recommend Tom Phillips Photo Tours) because you really don't want to drive the Tribal Park in a rental or personal vehicle.
  6. You are talking about some 1100 miles of driving, for a total of about 17 hours. Vegas to Arches is some 450 miles - so even going straight there and back amounts to 900 miles (and shaves about 3 hours of the driving time). Zion is about 2 1/2- 3 hours driving from Vegas, so you are going to be there early afternoon of your first day. Arches is another 3 1/2 to 4 hours from Zion; assuming you are leaving sometime in the morning from Zion, that puts you there again in the early afternoon of your second day. Bryce Canyon is "on the way" - but you will want to spend at least the time until sunset there - you would have to do some night driving or spend the night and leave after sunrise on the second day - getting you to Arches on your third day in early afternoon; which doesn't leave you much time to explore and get back. Looks like Bryce is out - except maybe for a very short peak that still gets you to Arches by late afternoon on the second day. Now you have the third day to explore Arches and Canyonland - the fourth day will be spend going back, either the way you came or via Monument Valley and Sedona - not leaving you much time to stop and smell the roses.
    One option would be to go Vegas - Zion - Monument Valley - Arches (that's 550 miles total, leaving Zion the morning of the second day, getting you to Arches by late afternoon (caveat, not much time and no good light in Monument Valley). Arches/Canyonlands on Day 3, leaving for Vegas on the morning of Day 4. A bit shorter but still a long haul back to Vegas.
    Or, forget Monument Valley and Sedona - you don't have much time for it anyways - and do Vegas - Arches first - you'll get there in the evening of Day 1 (you may make it before sunset - but likely not (as you are losing one hour going east crossing from Pacific Time to Mountain Time). Explore Arches and Canyonlands on Day 2 and 3, leaving early enough to make it back to Zion by the evening of Day 3 (again, hopefully before sunset; you haven't gotten your one hour back yet). Explore Zion in the morning of Day 4 before heading back to Vegas. Seems to be the better alternative - giving you more time in Arches/Canyonlands and about the same in Zion as the other options. And it puts you closer to Vegas to catch your flight back. On the way from Zion to Vegas, you may have time to stop at the Valley of Fire.
  7. Just spent over a month camping in the National and State parks in Utah, Arizona, and SW Colorado. My takeaway is I should have budgeted at least 3, and preferably 4 or more days in each park to have time to enjoy morning and evening light, take day hikes, relax, and explore in and around the parks for good photo sites. I think your 4 day itinerary is way too ambitious.
    Zion to Arches is a full day of driving but the good news is road resurfacing (single lane) in Monument Valley will force you to stop and appreciate the scenery ;-). Weather this time of year is unpredictable and can spoil your travel schedule. With only 4 days, Zion, Bryce, Cathedral George, (and perhaps Kodachrome Basin or Escalante) is my recommendation for stops. Pick 2 and save the others for your next trip.
  8. In less you just want to stop at a place, take a snap and leave, then yes, you are bonkers, however the drive could be cool and photogenic.
  9. david_henderson


    If you are a serious photographer you will pretty much only be shooting early and late in the day, and given distances,
    that's one or two at most locations per session. So you'd need to plan locations/viewpoints not National Parks, and so
    long as you get there in good time (some of these places are busy) you've got all day and most of the night to drive if you
    want. You won't see much, but you could handle six locations and a few "nearbys" in your nearly 4 days. Unless of course
    the weather's poor or the light is bad. It isn't the way I'd like to see those parks, but then I don't do bus tours and others
    do, so who knows what you'd find acceptable. Are you an in-depth sort of person or not? Are you the person who plans to
    be able to do a great location more than once ? The answer here isn't what's possible or not, it's what sort of
    person/photographer you are.
  10. I have made over a dozen trips to this region. My recommendation is to pick one spot and spend all of your time there. You can do one spot justice, or none of them if you choose to see many. Arches and Canyonlands may seem close on the map, but access to Canyonlands requires a solid four wheel drive vehicle. Arches is very accessible with many short hikes. If there is likely to be snow, Zion could be spectacular. I have had the good fortune to be in Zion after a fresh snowfall and virtually had the part to myself. If I were doing this trip coming from Las Vegas I would go to Zion and play it by ear. If I tired of Zion I would go to Bryce and maybe drive Highway 12 north from Bryce -- the finest piece of photogenic road on the continent.
  11. Are you bonkers? Absolutely!

    There is no way you would enjoy any of the places you mentioned in your original post because you'd constantly looking at your watch knowing that you need to move on.
    Go to Zion and MAYBE Bryce Canyon and that's it. you will not have time for anything else. Plan a 2nd trip for the Moab area.
  12. Totally crazy and I think it would be no fun at all. I agree with Juergen.
  13. Thank you so much for all the input, I really do appreciate it!!
    Still deciding my plan of attack :)
  14. Needless to say, your schedule is a disaster. You'd be much better off getting off the airplance in Vegas, going to the gift shop and buying a dozen random postcards, and then flying back home...

    How did it go?

Share This Page