Help me plan my trip to Utah!

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rzncain

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Contributor I

Hey guys! I want you to help me plan a 10 day trip to Utah from Wisconsin. I would like to move to this area of the country so I really want to explore the scenery it has to offer, so I can report back to the Mrs. This rig in the picture is mine.

I would like you to help me plan a trip this summer, probably in the July or Aug range where I can spend a large amount of time off pavement. I would like to hopefully check out a couple things on the way there and back. I will be doing everything out of the truck so I would like to camp someplace every evening. Please help me find some points of interest keeping in mind that I'm driving a full size truck.

I am excited to hear what you guys come up with....

98707
 
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Brentc17

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White rim trail, top of the world, Bryce canyon and Zions, Burr trail, grand staircase, hole in Rock road to name a few
 

Anchor Mtn

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Fruita, Colorado
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For living in this area, Fruita, Colorado really is a prime hub for adventure.

For your trip I would suggest these waypoints:
1. Estes Park - Trail Ridge Road
2. Shrine Pass
3. Hwy 128 into Moab
4. Moab.... Potash road - Shafer Switchbacks - Long Canyon loop
5. Moab.... Kane Creek road to Hurrah Pass
6. Goblin Valley
7. Swingarm City - just to see where all those awesome Ken Block videos are filmed
8. Capitol Reef - Temple of the sun/moon. Cathedral road will be a blast in the Raptor
9. Capitol Reef
10. Natural Bridges
11. Muley Point and Moki Dugway
12. Goosenecks State Park
13. Mesa Verde National Park
14. Silverton, CO
15. Clear Lake Trail
16. Yankee Boy Basin Trail
17. Ouray, CO
18. Gunnison, CO
19. Buena Vista, CO

That's probably an ambitious loop for 10 days but it covers a lot of sights.
 
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A-Aron

US Rocky Mountain Region Member Rep Utah
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Basically.. pick a road in Utah that isn't I-15, and there is something must see near by.. what are you in to? hikes, waterfalls, technical trails, rock formations, sand dunes, slot canyons, oddly diverse terrain, water crossings? There is so much to see in CO and UT you'll have to narrow down to a few big ticket items and then we can help you fill the gaps with great stuff to see and explore.
 
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BPCLFD

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For living in this area, Fruita, Colorado really is a prime hub for adventure.

For your trip I would suggest these waypoints:
1. Estes Park - Trail Ridge Road
2. Shrine Pass
3. Hwy 128 into Moab
4. Moab.... Potash road - Shafer Switchbacks - Long Canyon loop
5. Moab.... Kane Creek road to Hurrah Pass
6. Goblin Valley
7. Swingarm City - just to see where all those awesome Ken Block videos are filmed
8. Capitol Reef - Temple of the sun/moon. Cathedral road will be a blast in the Raptor
9. Capitol Reef
10. Natural Bridges
11. Muley Point and Moki Dugway
12. Goosenecks State Park
13. Mesa Verde National Park
14. Silverton, CO
15. Clear Lake Trail
16. Yankee Boy Basin Trail
17. Ouray, CO
18. Gunnison, CO
19. Buena Vista, CO

That's probably an ambitious loop for 10 days but it covers a lot of sights.
I know I am all over the place on this guys sorry. I love this list and have rode several on adv riding trips, would any of these place be a no go with a mostly stock 2017 Tacoma solo. Me and my 16yr old daughter. I know the Ouray Silverton area is snow bound right now probably skip off road there
 

rzncain

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Contributor I

Basically.. pick a road in Utah that isn't I-15, and there is something must see near by.. what are you in to? hikes, waterfalls, technical trails, rock formations, sand dunes, slot canyons, oddly diverse terrain, water crossings? There is so much to see in CO and UT you'll have to narrow down to a few big ticket items and then we can help you fill the gaps with great stuff to see and explore.
We are into hikes, camping, canyons, diverse terrain. Nothing super technical since we are going as a family in one vehicle and don’t want to break anything or gets in a situation we can’t get ourselves out of.
 

old_man

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Given the time of the year, remember Moab is a desert and just about shuts down in July due to heat. I have been there in July when it was 113 F on the trails. As long as you AC works and you are prepared, you can do it. It does cool down at night but you are still going to feel the heat.
 

A-Aron

US Rocky Mountain Region Member Rep Utah
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We are into hikes, camping, canyons, diverse terrain. Nothing super technical since we are going as a family in one vehicle and don’t want to break anything or gets in a situation we can’t get ourselves out of.
Its a tough call, you could drive the whole state on pavement and never get bored, on the flip side ..there are thousands of miles of trails.. how many days are you actually going to be in Utah? are to and from part of your 10 days? I can give you some ideas and we can build out from there. Also, ages range of your kids would be helpful to point out some of the sites to see that may interest them/you.
 

rzncain

Rank 0

Contributor I

Its a tough call, you could drive the whole state on pavement and never get bored, on the flip side ..there are thousands of miles of trails.. how many days are you actually going to be in Utah? are to and from part of your 10 days? I can give you some ideas and we can build out from there. Also, ages range of your kids would be helpful to point out some of the sites to see that may interest them/you.
I am planning on trying to dispersed camping each night. We should be in Utah at least 7 days. I only have one child and he is 9. He’s very outdoorsy and fun. I am not opposed to pavement site seeing in the mix but I would love to do a large chunk of off road travel if possible.
 

A-Aron

US Rocky Mountain Region Member Rep Utah
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well.. here is an epic route.. see images attached..mixed pavement and dirt, you'll see a jump between part 2 and 3 because I'll have to provide you with GPS tracks for the trail that connects the 2 points. The following portions are off road:
1- Goblin Valley to Hwy 24 -(Wild horse road) plan 2-3 hours with 1 river crossing with EPIC views, some of the coolest and most diverse terrain I've ever seen.. (I have videos if you want)..
2- Kodachrome Basin to Toadstool hoodoos.. (Cottonwood canyon road) - never personally traveled this.. but is normally passable in high clearance 2wd or standard 4wd.
3- Vermillion Cliffs National monument to white pocket up to HWY 89A - The House Rock Valley road is fairly maintained with ruts.. into white pocket and back out there is deep sand, but I towed my trailer in and out without issue.
4- From MT Carmel to Elephant Cove staging area via "Barracks" Trail - there is one steep sand hill you'll have to navigate up.. there are youtube videos.. with your Raptor aired down you should have plenty of juice to get you up the hill, if not.. there isn't that much more to see past that point and you can go back out the way you came and go into Zion NP from the east side through Mt Carmel.

Sites you'll see/pass through that could easily take and entire day if you decide to stop:

Moab - nuff said.. so much to do here and see you could spend 7 days and never get bored
Deadhorse point
Canyonlands
Goblin Valley (your 9yr old will LOVE it here)
Capitol Reef NP
Grand Staircase- Escalante national monument
Bryce Canyon NP (Tropic area)
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Toadstool Hoodoos (short Hike..Amazing rock formations)
Lake Powell (Page area) camping available on the beach
Horseshoe Bend overlook (south of Page, $10 parking fee and short hike)
Marble Canyon/Lees Ferry (official start of the Grand Canyon)
White Pocket (amazing rock formations)
Kanab, UT (Peekaboo slot canyon, Sand Caves- just off highway, good time to stretch the legs.. super short jaunt up to some awesome caves on the cliff)
Mt Carmel Junction (belly of the dragon, Barracks trail, Coral Pink sand dunes)
Zion National Park
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Panguitch lake (great fishing, amazingly beautiful high mountain lake - Lake Tahoe of Utah)

This could easily take 7-20 days.. I'd recommend spending some time on google, pick a few things you really want to see.. a few general areas you'd like to camp.. and let me know, I can give you dispersed camping areas pretty much anywhere along here. Happy planning!
 

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A-Aron

US Rocky Mountain Region Member Rep Utah
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Influencer I

2,827
Enoch, UT, USA
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Here is the GPX and KML for the connecting trail from part 2 to part 3... plan 2-4 hours, depending how often you want to stop.. with a full size Raptor, plan to get some pin stripes on the south end of the trail after the sand hill.. the most fun part is down by the water and you can also camp in the area as it is BLM land.

GPX viewer
 

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