Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Help with trip planning AZ and UT

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Great American Southwest. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Southwest US Climbing Partners section.
 

Help with trip planning AZ and UT

Postby Rick B » Wed May 05, 2010 10:37 pm

This june, I will be in Arizona and / or Utah for about 6 - 7 days. After looking around on the internet and reading some guide books, I feel like a kid in a candy store! There is so much beautiful stuff to see! Sadly, I only brought $1 to this candy store (my 6-7 days time limit), so I will need some help picking out destinations and trip ideas.

So far, things that caught my eye are:

1. Monument valley
2. Arches NP
3. Zion
4. Havasupai canyon
5. Vermillion cliffs (the wave)
6. Bryce canyon
7. Grand canyon
8. Timpanogos / hiking in the Wasatch range
9. I'm sure I forgot a couple of things .... ?

I haven't booked my flights yet, so I can fly in to any of the major airports in the area I guess, and my trip will be the first week of june. I think I will be doing a lot of scenic driving and then some short hikes along the way, but it would be nice to get one or two overnight hikes in as well. If only I had more time ... !

Maybe people here can already help me make a quick selection simply based on the time of year, and e.g. the effort of getting to a particular place compared to the rewards .. ? For example, the Havasupai canyon requires at least two days, where the hike in and out to the camp are the same route, so this might be a bit too taxing on the schedule. On the other hand, the place looks like a photographer's wet dream! Decisions, decisions ...

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
User Avatar
Rick B

 
Posts: 936
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 4:41 pm
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts

Postby surgent » Thu May 06, 2010 12:16 am

If you go to Arches, be sure to visit Canyonlands NP too.

All are good places... you won't be disappointed. Beware: it'll be hot in most of these places. Long day-long hikes may be uncomfortable. Get dawn starts and carry lots of water.

You're most of a day's drive from Vegas, Phx or Albq to most of these places. Can you fly into Grand Junction CO? Salt Lake is an option but SLC is far away too. That's part of the charm: these places are nice and remote.

Work in some scenic drives, For example, UT-12 through Hanksville, Torrey, etc. (other routes exist, of course). In these parts, every bend in the road is an amazing new place to explore.

I guarantee you can't go wrong just aimlessly exploring. Wouldn't be surprised if you come back for more!

A few places may require advance permits if you plan to camp out.
User Avatar
surgent

 
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:45 pm
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 91 times in 57 posts

Postby MoapaPk » Thu May 06, 2010 1:08 am

Did you get permits for the Wave? We were there last week trying to get 2 of the 10 walk-in slots ... competing with over 60 people each of two days. I'm sure the numbers will go down as truly hot days arrive. The regular permits disappear very quickly, especially for weekends.

Bryce is fairly high (7000-9100'), and parts of Zion are pretty high (> 6000'), and that may affect what you want to see in those areas (cooler). Planning routes so you are in the shade (say S side of E-W canyons, or on N-facing slopes) can make a lot of difference. Also, the bottoms of some slot canyons are well-shaded, and some rivers (like the Virgin) are often fairly cold; I've done the full Zion Narrows in June when the air temp was over 105F.

I first did rim-to-rim in the Grand Canyon in June, on a day when it was 114F at the bottom. If you are used to dealing with heat, start early, and take a route that goes by water sources, the canyon bottom is tolerable. Otherwise, stay near the rims.

Remember that the typical geographic cooling rate is about 4 degrees F per thousand feet of elevation; 5.5F if you get true adiabatic conditions. And the day-night swing in that area is often as much as 30-40F.

Places like Kodachrome Basin near Bryce may be decent consolation prizes -- lower (more like 6000'), but full of neat stuff, and the campsites are much nicer. Red Canyon near Bryce is at ~7000', and has good camp sites. Cottonwood Canyon Narrows is near there. Utah is full of that stuff.

Zion is 165 miles from Vegas, most of the way on a fairly fast road (i15, 75 mph).
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7666
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 760 times in 493 posts

Postby Rick B » Fri May 07, 2010 12:51 pm

Thanks for the replies so far. "Aimlessly exploring .. " hmm I like that :-)

I'm usually very good with heat, as long as I drink enough it doesn't bother me at all. Have to figure out how to convert those pesky Fahrenheits though to avoid surprises.

So far, Zion is definitely on the list, then driving the UT-12, Arches and Monument Valley. I'll probably decide on the day itself which hikes and sidetrips to do along the way, based on weather, time, etc.. Also, overnight hikes will apparently have to be either high up, or deep down in a cool canyon.. The Wave is off, based on the permit thingy (thanks for pointing that out! I only gawked at the pictures so far).

I still don't know whether I should go for Havasupai or not..
User Avatar
Rick B

 
Posts: 936
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 4:41 pm
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts

Postby CClaude » Fri May 07, 2010 1:58 pm

Also Havasupi requires a permit and in that timeframe is difficult to get. If you are looking to do that, check on permits now.
User Avatar
CClaude

 
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:37 am
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 69 times in 41 posts

Postby Rick B » Fri May 07, 2010 9:28 pm

CClaude wrote:Also Havasupi requires a permit and in that timeframe is difficult to get. If you are looking to do that, check on permits now.


Thanks! Very useful advice, I didn't realise that there are permits needed here too.
User Avatar
Rick B

 
Posts: 936
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 4:41 pm
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts

Postby RedRoxx44 » Fri May 07, 2010 10:13 pm

White Pockets, as good a photo op at the Wave and no permit needed. 4wd--deep sand.
Dayhike Buckskin Gulch, day permit sign in at TH and free as far as I know. Be prepared for muddy shoes. Also in area is Cobra Arch, pretty nice and unusual on the plateau above Buckskin.
Antelope is pretty good but a zoo. Pay more money and go with at the most 2-4 people to Canyon X or go to Happy Canyon Narrows off the Dirty Devil River. Rather more of an adventure than most people have time for. But no permit and stunning geology if you have the right vehicle to get down Poison Springs Canyon road and hike upriver or drive up the mining road on the Black Jump and hike down. Huge pet wood in area.
Yellow Rock off Cottonwood Canyon road and lower Hackberry Canyon narrows. Free also, permit at Hackberry if overnighting. Wet foot hiking, stay off that road if a lot of rain. Ok for most vehicles if dry.

Some of the best stuff requires NO PERMIT, or is FREE....
User Avatar
RedRoxx44

 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:28 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby MoapaPk » Fri May 07, 2010 11:28 pm

RedRoxx44 wrote:Dayhike Buckskin Gulch, day permit sign in at TH and free as far as I know. Be prepared for muddy shoes. Also in area is Cobra Arch, pretty nice and unusual on the plateau above Buckskin.


Great place once you get in the slot canyon, but... in Summer, start on the trail at first light from Wire Pass trailhead, and be prepared to have water cached for the route back, which has about two miles in the desert ~5000'.

And heed any weather (storm) warnings!

Cobra Arch will be Hellishly hot on a normal summer day.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7666
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 760 times in 493 posts

Postby Scott » Sat May 08, 2010 2:30 am

1. Monument valley


I would skip Monument Valley unless you will already be driving that road anyway. You can't do anything there anyway without paying a big fee.

Places like the Escalante or Fisher Towers are way better than Monument Valley.

2. Arches NP


June is hot, but the short hikes aren't so bad. Add the nearby Mill Creek, Professor Creek and maybe Negro Bill Canyon. Mill Creek and Professor Creek have nice waterfalls to cool off in. Mill Creek and Negro Bill have swimming.

3. Zion


June should be nice for the Subway. Don't miss it, but it requires permits.

4. Havasupai canyon


Very hot in June and swimming may or may not be a good idea. "Partially treated" sweage is dumped into the creek. Personally I would suggest a spring or fall visit.

5. Vermillion cliffs (the wave)


Permit requirements require planning in advance. Get one now.

6. Bryce canyon


June is pretty nice there.

7. Grand canyon


The North Rim is nice in June, but hiking to the bottom is extremely hot in June.

8. Timpanogos / hiking in the Wasatch range


Make sure to bring an ice axe in June. There will be lots of snow.

9. I'm sure I forgot a couple of things .... ?


Escalante area. It's one of the most scenic places in the world and better than most of the places you list above. Water makes many areas really nice in June. See photos from SP below:

Image

Image

Image

This area is way better than places like Monument Valley.

Yellow Rock (and lower Hackberry Canyon) make a nice alternative to the wave if you can't get a permit.

Image
Last edited by Scott on Sat May 08, 2010 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
User Avatar
Scott

 
Posts: 7582
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: Craig, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 683 times in 363 posts

Postby MoapaPk » Sat May 08, 2010 2:44 am

Doesn't the Subway also require permits? When I went, someone else got the permits, I believe months in advance.

I've been to the N Rim in June; I recall snow on the road up, but it disappeared once we dropped into the canyon.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7666
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 760 times in 493 posts

Postby Scott » Sat May 08, 2010 2:50 am

Doesn't the Subway also require permits?


Yes; good point. They aren't that hard to get walk ins for unless it's a holiday or weekend, but have a backup plan anyway.

If the Subway is full, there are other alternatives that are still nice in June. This year may see high water along both forks of the Virgin though, which may eliminate some of the options.

If what you choose in Zion is full, Escalante never requires advanced permits and is just as scenic and has lots of water to play in (if you go to the right places).
Last edited by Scott on Sat May 08, 2010 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User Avatar
Scott

 
Posts: 7582
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: Craig, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 683 times in 363 posts

Postby MoapaPk » Sat May 08, 2010 8:39 am

So much of Zion is never full! Check here and look for the treks that are higher or out of the sun.
http://www.zionnational-park.com/

Here's their quick guide to Escalante:
http://www.zionnational-park.com/grand-staircase.htm
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7666
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 760 times in 493 posts

Postby Scott » Sat May 08, 2010 2:39 pm

So much of Zion is never full!


Very true. A lot of the best watery hikes in June that don't require technical skills do require advanced permits (such as the Subway), though some don't (such as lower Beartrap). Narrows from the bottom doesn't require a permit. Orderville and the Narrows may or may not be open due to high water. (If you have rope skills the options really open up).

There's an almost unlimited amount of backcountry and many trails as well, but places without water and pools can be unpleasant then, though still doable. Even places like the West Rim can be hot in June (unless you are used to Vegas!). If you don't mind the heat, it's fine, but the watery hikes are the best in June.

Personally, I much prefer the watery hikes (or shaded slot canyons) in Zion and Escalante in June, though I have done other trails there too. Neither area is short on either.

Another good thing is that in June, flash flood danger in the narrow canyons is very low, so other than the Virgin River which might be high, it is the one of the best seasons for slot canyons. Flash floods are extremely rare in June throughout all of southern Utah.
User Avatar
Scott

 
Posts: 7582
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: Craig, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 683 times in 363 posts

Postby Rick B » Tue May 11, 2010 2:23 am

Wow, thanks for all the information. This will definitely help piece together an epic trip :-)

Things are slowly taking shape now. As it is my first time in the USA I don't mind doing some of the more touristy drives such as Monument Valley, so I'll keep that in the program. I will check out Escalante, and I think I'll spend some more time in Zion than originally planned to soak up the place.
User Avatar
Rick B

 
Posts: 936
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 4:41 pm
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts


Return to Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, TX)

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.