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Author Topic: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations  (Read 786 times)

dragline

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Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« on: July 08, 2017, 05:03:51 PM »
Wow I've been reading & reading,searching & searching and there is a ton of info on what I'm planning, now I think I'm just overloaded & yes a bit confused, but here's  what I need help with, we're thinking mid April 2018 leaving northern Indiana for a 3 week trip definite is Zion & Moab hitting the NP's in those areas for hiking initially was going to go to RMNP and the black hills and maybe Yellowstone NP as well but I'm thinking from what I read that is to much we want to enjoy ourselves and the scenery so we will plan another trip. What is the recommendations from those individuals that have taken a similar trip with roughly the same time frame as to how I should plan the itinerary where to go first and so on. We have a 28 ft Airstream & plenty of truck for the Mtns was hoping to take some scenic highways but was concerned reference fuel on roads for an example 9 from Zion to 89 north. An help/suggestions will be Greatly appreciated. I hated to post but I think I've over read to plan and now am second guessing a lot of my decisions.

ArdraF

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 05:43:10 PM »
Yes, I agree that the areas other than southern Utah would be way too much for the allotted time.  You can easily spend a month just in southern Utah!  Not only are the national parks really neat but Utah also has some good state parks such as Goblin and Petrified Forest State Parks.  Hiking is great in both Arches and Zion - lots of trails in both.  Bryce Canyon is both unique and great for hiking but be aware that it is a much higher elevation - between 7,000 to 9,000 feet - and snow is not unusual even into May.  Utah sits on a series of plateaus that get higher as you go north from Arizona and the Grand Canyon.

Gas in that area isn't a problem except perhaps on I-70 between Green River UT and Richfield UT which is a 100-mile stretch without services.  I-70 crosses a wonderful geological formation there called the San Rafael Swell.  I highly recommend reading the interpretive signs at the rest areas so you know what you're looking at and why it's geologically significant.  Also, fill your fuel tank at one end or the other and carry plenty of water.  Utah 9 to US 89 is the tunnel road that traverses the east side of Zion.  There are height and length restrictions within Zion because of a very old rounded-ceiling tunnel and sharp switchbacks going toward 89 (see the Zion web site). We drive it in a 40' motorhome and disconnect the car.  For a fee they close the tunnel to opposing traffic and large vehicles drive down the middle of the road.  There's another route from Hurricane which is only a few miles farther but easier to drive.  If you're in Zion you'll probably want to drive through the tunnel in your truck anyway to see eastern sites and will get a feel for it then.  Utah 12 which goes between Escalante and Henrieville is a good road but near Capitol Reef N.P. rises to 9,200 feet so it's a good climb and perhaps best in your truck.  Southern Utah is a wonderful area to explore!

ArdraF 
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AStravelers

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2017, 07:15:46 PM »
AdraF covered a lot of the roads especially the tunnel in Zion   

Really you could spend your 2 weeks(assuming 2 night/3 days travel to/from Indiana) in Arches/Moab or Bryce/Zion instead of visiting both.  But I understand wanting to see both areas. If you enjoy exploring viewpoints in your truck and hiking I would choose Arches/Canyonlands for the 2 weeks in one area.  If you could visit one area this year and the other another year, I would recommend that.

Planning: 
--  Arches/Moab 4-5 nights inside Arches NP.  Move to BLM CG at Kens Lake, or RV Park in Moab and spend another few to several days there. 
--  Leaving Moab.  One full days drive from Moab to Capitol Reef, via US-191 south to Blanding and then SR-95 to Hanksville and on to Capitol Reef.  Maybe spend the night at Natural Bridges. 
--  2 nights one full day at Capitol Reef
--  Take SR-12 to Bryce
--  2 nights one full day at Bryce.  More if weather is good and the hikes interest you.  At 8000' it can be cool. Maybe only one night and just visit the overlooks at sunrise/sunset.
--  Whatever time you have left stay in Zion.  Stay inside the park.  One CG has elect make reservations for that CG. 

In Arches make reservations for the CG inside the park.  Check the website for how early you can make reservations and make them as soon as they come available. Inside the park is much better than staying in Moab.  You can easily hike early in morning when the low sun highlights the features in the park.  It is also almost an hours drive from Moab to most of the arches in the park.   Plan on staying at least 4 nights, 5-6 would be better in Arches.  Be sure to hike the Devils Garden trail to the end and back.  Most important, find out what you need to do to make reservations for the Firey Furnace ranger led hike.  A fantastic hike.  Hike to the other arches in the park. 

In the Moab area, drive the Shafer trail, if it is dry and in good condition going to or from Canyonlands, Island in the Sky area.  4x4 is best for this road. Even if you don't drive up or down Shafer trail, drive from Moab to the base of Shafer trail.   Visit the overlooks in Island in the Sky area. While going to or from Island in the Sky, visit Dead Horse Point viewpoint.   While I hate to skip areas, since you are pressed for time, skip the Needles area. 

Lots of great hikes in Zion.  All uphill though.  Zion weather should not be cold unless a front comes through.  Only about 4000' elevation.  Jan/Feb is a good time to visit Zion if your trailer can take a few hours of 20-25 degree weather.  Most days are sunny and in 50's or high 40's, sometimes higher.
Al & Sharon
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AStravelers

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2017, 07:19:19 PM »
For a really good review of Arches NP read the blog of a couple who camphosted for 2 months in Arches.  This link goes to the beginning of their stay: http://rv-dreams.typepad.com/rvdreams_journal//2008/02/travel-day-to-a.html

Al & Sharon
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Punomatic

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 09:58:23 AM »
We did a 30 day trip in 2009 from Oregon to UT, AZ, NM, and CO. Granted we could have spent much more time in each place, but we thoroughly enjoyed our trip. In Utah, we stayed in Kanab at the Hitch n Post RV Park. This made a base station for several days while we made day trips to Zion, Bryce, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and (don't miss this one) Pipe Springs National Monument.

After Kanab, we headed to Flagstaff and visited cave dwellings at Walnut Canyon. Then it was on to Gallup, where we visited the Zuni Pueblo. Next we spent several days in Santa Fe, and then it was on to Durango, CO where we spent a few days and visited the Mesa Verde cave dwellings. We crossed back into Utah and stayed in Moab while we visited Arches NP. We didn't go to Canyonlands, because we had a small dog with us who wouldn't have handled that well. (In retrospect, we should have found a kennel for her).

When we headed home, we were quite pleased with all we had accomplished in 30 days. So, with three weeks, you can see a lot, but I would recommend you confine yourself pretty much to southern UT. Maybe you could find time for 4 Corners and/or Mesa Verde, but plan to focus on UT.

Happy travels.
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jackiemac

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 11:08:14 AM »
Wow I've been reading & reading,searching & searching and there is a ton of info on what I'm planning, now I think I'm just overloaded & yes a bit confused, but here's  what I need help with, we're thinking mid April 2018 leaving northern Indiana for a 3 week trip definite is Zion & Moab hitting the NP's in those areas for hiking initially was going to go to RMNP and the black hills and maybe Yellowstone NP as well but I'm thinking from what I read that is to much we want to enjoy ourselves and the scenery so we will plan another trip. What is the recommendations from those individuals that have taken a similar trip with roughly the same time frame as to how I should plan the itinerary where to go first and so on. We have a 28 ft Airstream & plenty of truck for the Mtns was hoping to take some scenic highways but was concerned reference fuel on roads for an example 9 from Zion to 89 north. An help/suggestions will be Greatly appreciated. I hated to post but I think I've over read to plan and now am second guessing a lot of my decisions.

If you like hiking and petroglyphs then I would highly recommend Horseshoe Canyon on the US24. It is a few hours drive out of Moab, or do it from Hanksville side and it is closer. It is very very hot though so you have go be loaded up with water. People have been evacuated from here so be careful. It us one of the best things I have done. You need decent vehicle to get to trailhead. There are several sections with petroglyphs so check website so you don't miss any, best section at end. This is close to the area where the guy hot stuck in the canyon and cut his own arm off (127 hours).

https://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/horseshoecanyon.htm

Dark Angel Trail, Delicate Arch, Fiery Furnace in Arches are must do, although definitely check out the website recommended by AStravelers.

Canyonlands:

White Rim Trail is awesome if you have 4x4, you can drive some of the loop as a day trip or camp for a few nights and do it all, you need to book campsites. Again this is another of the best things I have done, I loved the feeling of being alone. You can also cycle part of this or all of you have support vehicle.

Dead Horse State Park and Gooseneck view wonderful as is the anticline/needles overlook.  There are soooo many things to do around Moab and whilst busy I think it might be easier to get away from the  crowds although it should be quieter and cooler in April and may even have a bit of snow.

The La Sal  mountains are nearby and good for some hiking and skiing if snow. Bears there I believe.

My OH stayed at Canyonlands RV resort opposite the brewery and says it was pretty good, depends on whether or not you want to be in town.

It is such an amazing area with lots and lots to do. Enjoy.

Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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taoshum

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2017, 02:00:27 PM »
FWIW use google and get some reservations at the RV parks... they will be full that time of the year

Bryce NP has a big RV park just North of the entrance, can't recall the name but google it

Zion has really great RV park just west of the west entrance right on the river

Moab for Arches/Canyonlands Northside RV park called Portal (nice but pricey) and southside RV park OKRV Park (quiet off highway with trees)

Capitol Reef... RV park in Torrey just west of the entrance

Best sure to avoid Moab during the Easter Jeep Safari Rally... unless you want to do the Jeep stuff...  the town is packed for that

If you are over 62 be sure to get your "senior pass" soon... before the rumored rate hike
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ArdraF

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 05:58:37 PM »
Quote
Bryce NP has a big RV park just North of the entrance, can't recall the name but google it

Ruby's Inn.
ArdraF
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dragline

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2017, 10:01:19 AM »
Thank You all the information your providing is invaluable to us, I knew this was the place to go for advice! having read the replies I think we are going to limit our plans and concentrate on a couple areas and plan for future trips were going to narrow it down this week and start making reservations ASAP, I will post our itinerary as soon as its decided. Thank You!

Tom

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2017, 10:42:25 AM »
Quote
Capitol Reef... RV park in Torrey just west of the entrance

Thousand Lakes RV park, but there's one or more additional campgrounds in the area.
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beaverfever

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 12:38:17 PM »
Thousand Lakes RV park, but there's one or more additional campgrounds in the area.
[/quote
1000 lakes rv park nicest in the area

Sun2Retire

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2017, 12:57:37 PM »
FYI, they may have changed the  Zion tunnel operation. When we were there last month they were just running one way traffic all day, first one way then the other. Tour buses, RVs etc seemed to be just showing up and driving through
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Tom

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2017, 01:46:09 PM »
Quote
... they were just running one way traffic all day, first one way then the other.

That's the way it's been every time we've been through the tunnel.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

dragline

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2017, 05:02:32 PM »
To ASTravelers I would like to PM you with some ?'S but am unable to and I'm not sure why

Tom

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2017, 05:07:28 PM »
You're now good to go with PMs.
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tanglemoose

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2017, 09:03:08 PM »
AdraF covered a lot of the roads especially the tunnel in Zion   

Really you could spend your 2 weeks(assuming 2 night/3 days travel to/from Indiana) in Arches/Moab or Bryce/Zion instead of visiting both.  But I understand wanting to see both areas. If you enjoy exploring viewpoints in your truck and hiking I would choose

Planning: 
--  Arches/Moab 4-5 nights inside Arches NP.  Move to BLM CG at Kens Lake, or RV Park in Moab and spend another few to several days there. 
--  Leaving Moab.  One full days drive from Moab to Capitol Reef, via US-191 south to Blanding and then SR-95 to Hanksville and on to Capitol Reef.  Maybe spend the night at Natural Bridges. 
-

-- 

In Arches make reservations for the CG inside the park.  Check the website for how early you can make reservations and make them as soon as they come available.

In the Moab area, drive the Shafer trail, if it is dry and in good condition going to or from Canyonlands, Island in the Sky area.  4x4 is best for this road. Even if you don't drive up or down Shafer trail, drive from Moab to the base of Shafer trail.   Visit the overlooks in Island in the Sky area. While going to or from Island in the Sky, visit Dead Horse Point viewpoint.   While I hate to skip areas, since you are pressed for time, skip the Needles area. 


Reading this post. We are making plans for this area.. going to Snow Canyon, over to Kanab and up to Escalante, Torrey, then to Arches. Only thing booked is Snow and only 2 nights available a month ago at Arches. Planning on staying around area in Moab BLM, etc. Curious about this Shafer trail, which direction out of Moab... and where and what to do in Needles area.

Also any advice for Kanab area anyone. Love to hike, kayak at reservoirs and Dinosaurs, petroglyphs... suggestions... our trip has us there for 6 plus weeks!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 09:07:06 PM by tanglemoose »
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Old_Crow

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2017, 05:04:51 AM »
From Kanab, you are day-trip distance from Coral Pink Sand Dunes state park, Zion, Grand Canyon north rim, Vermillion Cliffs, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Paria wilderness area, Pipe Springs Natl Monument, Toroweap(if your truck is 4wd), Horseshoe Bend, and plenty more I can't think of right now.
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AStravelers

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2017, 08:22:57 AM »
Reading this post. We are making plans for this area.. going to Snow Canyon, over to Kanab and up to Escalante, Torrey, then to Arches. Only thing booked is Snow and only 2 nights available a month ago at Arches. Planning on staying around area in Moab BLM, etc. Curious about this Shafer trail, which direction out of Moab... and where and what to do in Needles area.

Also any advice for Kanab area anyone. Love to hike, kayak at reservoirs and Dinosaurs, petroglyphs... suggestions... our trip has us there for 6 plus weeks!
You will see more replies and info if you will start a new topic for each area you plan on visiting, i.e. Kanab, Moab, Needles area etc. 

What time of year is your visit?  Summer is very hot,  Fall weather is best, late September through the end of October. 

About Shafer Trail.  Is your truck 4x4?  if so, then Shafer trail is a fantastic drive.  The road is very steep but usually in good condition unless recent rains have made it slippery. 

Needles area:  Boondock outside the park, near Hamburger Rock:   38.186682  -109.669731  Then drive into the Needles area to hike. 

Also drive the Colorado Overlook Rd if you have 4x4:  https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/525-colorado-river-overlook  The last 1.5 miles of the road is very rough.  You can walk the last part for fantastic views of the river 1000' down from the edge of a cliff. 

Quote from the NP website:
Quote
Colorado River Overlook

This moderate road is good for mountain bikes. You can avoid the large rocks and stair-step drops in the last 1.5 miles by parking on the road and walking to the overlook. (Be sure to leave room for other vehicles to pass.) There are outstanding views of the Colorado River canyon. This is an unprotected overlook; use caution. No vehicle camping.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 12:39:13 PM by AStravelers »
Al & Sharon
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tanglemoose

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2017, 06:23:38 PM »
From Kanab, you are day-trip distance from Coral Pink Sand Dunes state park, Zion, Grand Canyon north rim, Vermillion Cliffs, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Paria wilderness area, Pipe Springs Natl Monument, Toroweap(if your truck is 4wd), Horseshoe Bend, and plenty more I can't think of right now.

Be in area April 1st. Went to Zion last year and going to Escalante petrified state park. Spending few days on Kanab will go to Coral pink  sand dunes. Thinking north rim will be shut... any of these other areas mentioned above good first week of April.  Yes Toyota Tundra truck but not fond of extremely rough roads, but like to hike to areas if feasible... thanks
Donna and Mark
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Utclmjmpr

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2017, 07:47:48 PM »
 The locals call it SNOWS CANYON,,just outside of St. George.>>>Dan (lived there for 14 years)
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Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2017, 11:41:24 PM »
I've driven Shafer Trail three times in my 2 wheel drive Ford Ranger.

A fantastic drive. I love driving into the canyon and looking at the far end at what appears to be a shear rock wall. From that view you would swear that there is no way a road could go up that.

On any of the off road trips, for safety, if you can going with a second vehicle is best. That way if one vehicle has a problem you're not stranded.
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Old_Crow

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2017, 06:17:31 AM »
Be in area April 1st. Went to Zion last year and going to Escalante petrified state park. Spending few days on Kanab will go to Coral pink  sand dunes. Thinking north rim will be shut... any of these other areas mentioned above good first week of April.  Yes Toyota Tundra truck but not fond of extremely rough roads, but like to hike to areas if feasible... thanks

Pretty much anything I mentioned except the Grand Canyon north rim should be open, weather permitting.  Most of those areas are a lot lower than the north rim.  The paved road to the north rim opens around May 15th, but if it's not too rough a winter, there's access to the N Kaibab Natl Forest via Forest Road 22 out of Fredonia. 
If it's still snow packed, be careful.  Some guy got stuck up there last year and his wife had to hike quite a long way for help.  After she left the car, the guy finally found someplace with cell signal and called for help.  They got to him and then it took a while to find his wife.

If you go to Coral Pink Sand Dunes, hike far enough out into the dunes that they block your view of anything but the dunes.  The colors "change" with so much red/pink around and your eyes play tricks on you .  I found it very strange that the greens of the vegetation almost turn fluorescent.
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ArdraF

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2017, 06:42:48 PM »
We've driven Shaffer Trail quite a few times and the attached photo will give you a good idea of what it was like in 2006.  Personally I prefer driving up instead of down.  I'll never forget the time we were ascending and a we passed a VW bus that was descending.  It was rocking back and forth and the young couple inside were having a blast.  I've always wondered if they would have thought it was fun had they seen it from our perspective!

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Grand Adventure

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2017, 08:33:27 PM »
FYI, we just got back from a trip down there that we've broken into 3 episodes. The one from Zion is the only one published thus far:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_CeDJtVs0s
For Zion, we boondocked off Sheep Bridge Road in Virgin.

The remaining two episodes will publish on Grand Adventure (https://YouTube.com/GrandAdventure) per the following schedule:
Dec. 20: Lake Powell/Antelope Canyon (dry camping on the Utah side at Lone Rock Beach)
Jan. 3: Kanab/Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (boondocking on BLM between Kanab and Coral Pink Sand Dunes)

BTW, while in Kanab I highly recommend a visit to Best Friends, the largest no-kill shelter in the nation. Not just dogs and cats, but also horses and mules, small mammals, etc. It's in Angel Canyon north of town. I also wholeheartedly recommend Coral Pink Sand Dunes.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 08:35:12 PM by Grand Adventure »
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John97031

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Re: Utah Zion & area, Moab & area recommendations
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2017, 09:35:37 PM »
We've driven Shaffer Trail quite a few times and the attached photo will give you a good idea of what it was like in 2006.  Personally I prefer driving up instead of down.  I'll never forget the time we were ascending and a we passed a VW bus that was descending.  It was rocking back and forth and the young couple inside were having a blast.  I've always wondered if they would have thought it was fun had they seen it from our perspective!

ArdraF

Did a bicycle tour down that trail to the Colorado river ( jetboat ride back to Moab). That trail is QUITE steep....
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