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Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 71 - Reviewing Utah National Parks - It's a Pentfecta


I drove over 300 miles south and west to what I call Lake Havasu Heights today.

I'm Boondocking with other like minded people on AZ 95 just north of Lake Havasu City on BLM land at no cost and no facilities.  I do have full bars on the phone and only 5 miles to McDonalds and Walmart.  I chose this BLM spot as my stepping off spot to go back to Monterey, CA this coming week to see son Clayton and family.  I am just a few miles south of I40 to make the trip.


I have been in and out of cell service through the national parks and when I do have cell service there is no public WIFI's in the very small towns to send and receive.

This has caused me to go over my 5gb data plan and I have already gone to 6 FB and have 8 days left.  Blogging with the pictures takes bandwidth.  It's all worth it though.

So I say I have done a Pentfecta of UtahNational Parks.  Utah proudly advertises their 6't National Parks, and rightly so.

Here is the recap of the five beautiful National Parks.

They are all beautiful in their own way and I can't say that I got to explore all they had to offer but I did get a good experience at all.


This Is the most crowded park of the five, but remember it was spring break for some and some schools have vacation.  It is also closest to the two major cities of LasVegas & Salt Lake City.

Even though it was crowded it was orderly and they had a process for dealing with the number of people.  

The time of day to visit didn't seem to matter for beauty.  The afternoon is more crowded.  If you plan on staying in the area get reservations.

Going here and not seeing the other side of the tunnel to the east you only see half of what the park offers.  The park does not offer busses to this part.

Zion would rank 5th for me although it gets much of the publicity.



Bryce Canyon is cold this time of year at 8000 + ft. Elevation.  If you plan to camp be prepared.

It is much less visited and no traffic or people.

I liked the morning best here as the pinnicles are to the east so I think morning viewing is best.

I had a hard time ranking Bryce, but I would rank it 2nd and I didn't hike it due to the snow so it was fighting for #1.


Arches was very crowded but it seemed to handle the crowd.  They are adding parking at Delicate Arch.

There are so many arches that they have and more that I didn't go to.  Just a wonderful place to hike.  

As for viewing some arches like Delicate Arch is open 360 degrees so time of day doesn't matter.  Architecture Arch is best in morning to noon aun based on the viewing area.  Window arches didn't seem to matter but right next to the the double arch seems it would be best in the am.

Disputes the number of people Arches gets my pick for #1.

It is a park I could go back to daily for a week to explore.  It is the furthest away from the major cities, but with so many other things to do in the area including Canyonlands National Park.  It's a must see.  The arches will not withstand gravity for ever!


Canyonlands with its proximity to Arches NP is a wonderful alternative space with excellent hiking, biking, off-roading, etc.

I could see myself renting a 4-wheeler to explore the canyons.

For time of day I don't think it matters as there are equal views to the west side as there is to the east.

I would rank Canyonlands #3.


Capitol Reef NP is out of the way and the fact they don't worry collecting money is a sign of please come to visit.  This a very nice park that is also very long north to south and with things to see in the south that I did not get to.

It was the most peaceful and with absolutely no towns nearby it had the best star gazing.  When I got up at 5:00 this morning every star jumped out at me.  Such a treat.

I foound that there are also equal sites that are better in the am as there are in the pm.

I had a hard time with ranking this park with Canyonlands but it ended up at my #4.

Conclusion:

I did not set out to see all five National Parks in Utah.  When I left Salt Lake City I was actually thinking I would go to Antelope Canyon on Indian Lands in northern Arazona.  Then I decided on Arches.  Well, then next to Arches is Canyonlands which was a no brainer.  Then with four National Parks down I didn't want to leave one undone so I went to Capitol Reef.

I am amazed by what I have seen and done on this trip vs last year being constrained by the cost of 10 miles per gallon for gas.  Gas was not my issue on this trip at all.  I am still getting 51.8 mpg for an average on the trip.  Gas is my smallest expense.

It was 90 degrees when I landed tonight. The sun has set and it is getting cool as it does in the desert.

I am taking a few minutes to just sit and think about my trip that has just over a month left.  I saw the forecast for 1-3 inches of snow forecasted tonight.  I do not miss it and I sure hope the weather changes soon.

 Brent
macaloney@hotmail.com

2 comments:

  1. . Nice Chief. Going over the phone's data allowance is worth it.

    Tracking your impressions of the day allows for daily appreciation of the experiences you are enjoying. Moreover, the process of doing so creates a wonderful archive of your trip.

    I hope your trip home takes you through Yellowstone. It's mountains, animals, and thermal features are unparalled. The park can be busy but its secrets, such as the Daly Creek trail, are both isolated and accessible.

    http://www.trailguidesyellowstone.com/yellowstone_hikes/daly_creek_trail_yellowstone.php

    Scroll down one page in the link above. The topo map shows two kickass options: a.) Up and back on the Daly Creek trail, or throw down and hike SE down the Sky Rim trail and loop back on the Black Butte creek trail. Catch it on a nice day and the Sky Rim rivals any hike in the continental US for spectacular views.

    ReplyDelete
  2. . Nice Chief. Going over the phone's data allowance is worth it.

    Tracking your impressions of the day allows for daily appreciation of the experiences you are enjoying. Moreover, the process of doing so creates a wonderful archive of your trip.

    I hope your trip home takes you through Yellowstone. It's mountains, animals, and thermal features are unparalled. The park can be busy but its secrets, such as the Daly Creek trail, are both isolated and accessible.

    http://www.trailguidesyellowstone.com/yellowstone_hikes/daly_creek_trail_yellowstone.php

    Scroll down one page in the link above. The topo map shows two kickass options: a.) Up and back on the Daly Creek trail, or throw down and hike SE down the Sky Rim trail and loop back on the Black Butte creek trail. Catch it on a nice day and the Sky Rim rivals any hike in the continental US for spectacular views.

    ReplyDelete