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How Do You Plan a Successful 1-Week Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary?

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How Do You Plan a Successful 1-Week Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary?

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July 10, 2024 How Do You Plan a Successful 1-Week Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary?

Utah is widely considered to be one of the most naturally beautiful destinations in the United States. Blessed with five distinct national parks, also known as the “Mighty 5,” which we’ll cover below, there are many reasons to plan a visit – especially a road trip in a Class B RV rental.

If you only have a week to spend in the “Beehive State,” don’t fret! Here’s our guide for how you can enjoy the many marvels Utah has to offer in just seven days.

How Many Days Are Needed for Utah National Parks?

While Utah isn’t the largest state in the U.S. by far, its natural wonders will likely leave you wanting more. There are many ways to plan a road trip through Utah, with common options including 5-day, 7-day, 10-day, and 14-day itineraries. 

Can You Do All the Utah National Parks in One Week?

While you may want to spend longer in Utah once you arrive, it is absolutely possible to get to all of its national parks in one week. Optimize your trip geographically and aim for efficient travel by leaving in the morning and minimizing stops and drive times whenever possible. Additionally, consider other factors that could affect your trip experience, such as your desired activities and the time of year you choose to go, with summer generally being more popular. 

What Is the Best Order to Visit the Utah National Parks?

Here’s our recommendation for the best order to visit the Utah National Parks in one week: 

Day 1: Arrival at Zion

A common spot to start this trip begins through Las Vegas, placing you closest to Utah’s  most popular park, Zion. If you’re a hiker, be sure to get on one of the big trails on day one, such as The Narrows or Angel’s Landing.

Day 2: Another Day in Zion

When you get to Zion, you’ll likely understand pretty immediately why we recommend at least a couple of days here. An expansive haven of rocky sculptures, riverside trails, high and low hikes, wildlife, and more will await you. Now is the time to do any hikes you didn’t get to the previous day, try out some smaller trails, or use the trolleys or your camper to take in stunning sights from the road. 

Day 3: Travel to Bryce Canyon

Located about 1.5 hours from Zion is Bryce Canyon, a park filled with smaller rock sculptures known as hoodoos. You can start off with a scenic drive through the park with stops at some of the more iconic viewpoints like Sunrise Point and Sunset Point, and follow with a nice long hike on trails like the Navajo Loop that take you down into the canyon.

Day 4: Travel to Capitol Reef

Take off for a 2.5-hour drive in the morning to get to the beautiful Capitol Reef. If the previous days of hiking have tired you out, lucky for you, the road through Capitol Reef National Park is considered one of the most scenic drives in America! If energy is still high, we recommend walking through Panorama Point or going fruit picking in the Fruita Orchard.

Day 5: Travel to Canyonlands

Another 2.5 to 3 hours away will get you to the city of Moab, home to Utah’s last two national parks. Try starting with Canyonlands, where you can make your way through the stunning Mesa Arch, Grand View Point, Green River Overlook, and more. If you’re looking for a short hike, try the Upheaval Dome Trail. 

Day 6: Wrap up with Arches

This day will give you a break from some of the driving, as Arches National Park is located just 30 minutes from the Canyonlands! Start your day early if you can to avoid the heat and crowds. We recommend getting on a hike to the park’s most popular spot, the Delicate Arch, first to get the most private view possible. Then, check out highlights like the Double Arch, Windows, or Landscape Arch.

Day 7: More of Moab and Departure

On the final day of your trip, see how much time you have left for exploration. This could depend on whether you’re traveling to large neighboring cities like Salt Lake City or Las Vegas or driving back to your home state. If you have time in the morning, enjoy more of the marvelous Moab, either at one of the aforementioned parks or just soaking up the quaint town.

What Is the Best Month to Visit Utah National Parks?

Utah is gorgeous year-round, so it’s up to you when you’d like to plan a visit. Summer is understandably the largest tourist season since that’s when many people have time off of work and school. However, spring and fall are considered the best months to visit Utah, as temperatures are ripe for a good hike. Whichever month you choose to come, let Great Escape be apart of your journey! Contact us today and make the most out of your trip through the Mighty 5.

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