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Utah National Parks Tour From Las Vegas

Utah Nationals Parks Road Trip: The Mighty Five

A Utah National Parks road trip will transport you to another universe. Deep canyons, grand arches, towering hoodoos, magnificent buttes, and majestic spires are a few of the unique geological formations that make up the landscape across Utah’s National Parks. Hues of red, orange, yellow, and white color the environment for as far as the eye can see. Luckily enough, the Utah parks are within a few hours of one another.

There are many national parks close to Vegas, and you’ll experience them all on this trip. Explore Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands National Park along this Utah Mighty 5 road trip itinerary. Dive in and spend ten days exploring Utah’s big five national parks in one of Escape Camper Van’s five models.

Travel Time for a Utah National Parks Road Trip from Las Vegas

The total travel time for a Utah National Parks road trip from Escape Camper Vans in Las Vegas to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands, and then back to Las Vegas is 19 hours.

With so much to see, we recommend spending ten days road-tripping this route if you have the time! Otherwise, you can squeeze the parks into a week-long trip, but your schedule might feel rushed!

Mighty 5 Utah Map


Directions Tips:

Total Driving Time: 19 hours

Total miles: 1,120

What Is The Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks?

Weather permitting, this Utah National Parks road trip can be done year-round. However, different seasons offer wildly different exploration opportunities. The parks see temperature extremes with cold desert nights, even snow in the winter, and HOT summer days.

While visiting year-round is possible, understanding what each season offers will help you decide when to take a road trip to Utah National Parks.

Spring

Spring offers the best weather to explore the Utah Mighty 5 national parks. A springtime visit means perfect hiking weather, and following winter snowmelt, you might even see waterfalls in the canyon!

Summer

Summers at the Big Five in Utah are HOT. It’s recommended that you start your hikes early and dip in a river when you can. The parks are the most crowded in the summer, especially on weekends.

If you visit in the summer, use park shuttles to avoid parking nightmares in crowded parks. Plan for hot nights sleeping in the camper van.

Fall

Fall is also a great time of year to take a Utah National Parks road trip from Las Vegas. Like spring, temperatures are comfortable, and summer crowds dissipate. Leaves begin to change colors throughout the parks. At higher elevations in Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef, there’s a chance of snow by late fall.

Winter

Winter is a beautiful time to explore Utah’s Mighty 5, however it gets cold! Temperatures reach below freezing throughout the parks, and snow is likely at high elevations, which can close roads. If you plan a winter road trip to Utah, pack plenty of warm clothing, gear, and extra food and water!

Bryce canyon national parked covered in snow in the winter.

Preparation for a Road Trip From Las Vegas to Utah National Parks

There’s a lot to see and explore along this road trip. Before you head out to visit the big five Utah parks, follow these guidelines to help your trip run smoothly.

Book Campsites

Book your campsites as far in advance as possible. Campsite reservations open two weeks to six months out and fill up quickly during the busy season.

Dispersed camping

Dispersed camping, also known as wild or primitive camping, is a very popular option for this Utah National Parks road trip. Primitive camping is free, but there are no services at these campsites. Sometimes, an area is semi-established with a fire ring, and sometimes, it’s a dirt pull-off on the side of a road.

Primitive camping is a great way to camp if you’re comfortable without amenities. Follow the pack-it-in, pack-it-out ethics and Leave No Trace principles. Don’t take anything or leave anything—including trash and human waste.

There are many apps that you can use to help find dispersed camping spots. When you arrive at an area, follow all rules posted to avoid possible fines.

America the Beautiful Pass

The America the Beautiful Pass is essential for a Utah Mighty 5 Road Trip. The pass covers access to all US national parks, national monuments, and more. Each national park entrance fee in Utah ranges from $20 – $35 per vehicle.

The American the Beautiful Pass costs $80 annually and covers unlimited and unrestricted national park access. It’s a great value when traveling through Utah.

You can buy a pass at the entrance kiosk of the first national park you visit or purchase one through the Escape Camper Van accessories when you book.

Arches Timed-Entry Reservation

Timed-entry reservations are required to enter Arches National Park from April 1 to October 31. You can reserve your timed-entry ticket online up to three months in advance. You cannot enter the park without one, and they sell out quickly during the summer, especially on weekends and holidays.

Park Shuttles/Public Transportation

Utah parks are seeing more visitors than ever. Some parks have shuttle systems to reduce crowding and parking issues.

Zion

The Zion Canyon Park Shuttle is a convenient option for visitors and the only way to access most of the park most of the year. The shuttle runs from early March to December.

Bryce Canyon

The Bryce Canyon Park Shuttle operates from early April through late October. This is a great option throughout the busy season and around the holidays.

Arches

Arches National Park does not have a shuttle, but commercially guided trips based out of Moab take visitors on park tours. This is a great option if you cannot secure a timed entry reservation and don’t want to worry about parking.

Water and Food

Pack plenty of food and water, especially for primitive camping. Not all primitive camping areas have water sources you can filter from. Even some established campgrounds in Utah don’t have potable water.

Also, stock up on food before leaving Las Vegas. You’ll pass through small towns along your route, but groceries are limited and more expensive.

Fuel Up

This Utah Mighty 5 road trip itinerary from Las Vegas includes long, remote stretches. Fuel up your car as often as possible, or you’ll end up stranded in the desert!

Maps & Navigation

Download offline road maps on Google Maps before your trip begins. You will experience long stretches along this route without cell service; navigation is important. AllTrails is a great option for downloading offline topographic maps for hiking.

Carrying a paper map with you as a backup is also a good idea. You can grab one at any gas station or visitor center.

Rechargeable Battery

A rechargeable battery pack is useful for keeping devices charged at night or while hiking. Escape Camper Vans can only charge devices while running, so a battery pack is useful.

Utah Mighty 5 Road Trip Itinerary from Las Vegas

On this Mighty 5 Utah itinerary, you will spend 10 days road-tripping from Las Vegas to Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks. This loop explores Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, and the wonders of Page, Arizona. It’s a bucket list adventure!

Days 1 & 2: Zion National Park

Zion National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the US and the first stop along the Utah National Parks road trip itinerary from Las Vegas.

It’s just a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, making it a great place to start your trip. We recommend spending at least two nights camping in Zion to explore the park’s wonders.

An Escape camper van in Zion National Park in utah during winter.

Things to do in Zion National Park

The Narrows

The Narrows of Zion National Park is one of the park’s most striking features, carved out by the Virgin River over millions of years. Today, it’s one of the park’s most popular hikes. You can wade through the water of the Narrows. Hikers can wade for a few minutes or continue through the canyon for hours. Depending on the time of year, the water might reach over waist deep.

**Obey all closures and regulations. When water levels are too high in the spring following snowmelt or after monsoonal summer rains, the Narrows close for safety.

Angels Landing

Angels Landing is another highly sought-after southern Utah hike. Known for the intense exposure along the chained ridgeline that brings you to Angels Landing Lookout, it’s a feat many struggle to complete. The stunning views from the top are surely worth it, though! Park Service Rangers still require permits to hike the chain section of Angels Landing.

Zion-Mount Carmel Highway

The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway is a National Scenic Byway from Zion National Park to Mount Carmel. You’ll pass through it when you drive from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park.

The highway also features a mile-long historic tunnel built in the 1920s, which climbs through the canyon and is full of scenic pullouts.

Canyon Overlook

Canyon Overlook Trail is a one-mile moderate trail just east of the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. It is one of the most impressive vantage points in the park and requires little effort to reach.

Zion Canyon Visitor Center

Stop by the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to read and learn about park geology, history, the Native Americans, wildlife, the environment, and more.

Zion National Park Camping

Watchman Campground

Watchman Campground is a 176-site campground located just inside the Springdale Park Entrance. It has potable water, flushing toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables. Reservations are required year-round at Watchman Campground and open six months in advance.

Zion Canyon Campground and RV Resort

Zion Canyon Campground and RV Park is located in Springdale, just outside the park’s entrance. It has showers, toilets, picnic tables, fire pits, coin-op laundry, a swimming pool, and a camp store.

Zion Scenic Byway Dispersed Camping

Plenty of dispersed camping is located along Zion Scenic Byway. Look off Highway 9 for primitive camping options. There are no services or treated water, but there’s a chance you’ll find a secluded space for yourself!

Places to Eat in Zion National Park

Red Rock Grill

1 Zion Lodge, Springdale, UT 84767

The Red Rock Grill is located at the Zion National Park Lodge in the heart of Zion Canyon. It has a cozy atmosphere and large windows looking out into the canyon.

Zion Canyon Brew Pub

95 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767

Head to the Zion Brew Pub to hang out and sip on local beers and handcrafted ales while enjoying a burger or other comfort foods. Sit on the patio to take in the striking views of the high canyon walls while listening to live music.

Bit & Spur Restaurant & Saloon

1212 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767

Dine at Bit & Spur Restaurant & Saloon for tasty Southwestern and Mexican bites. Throughout the summer, enjoy live music every Monday and Friday and a Farmers Market each Monday.

Day 3: Bryce Canyon National Park

Famously renowned for its large hoodoo amphitheaters covering the landscape in red, orange, and white, Bryce Canyon National Park is a park you don’t want to miss. The drive from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park via the famous Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel is just under two hours.

Overlooking Bryce canyon national park, one of Utah's Might Five.

Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park

Sunrise Point to Sunset Point

Sunrise Point and Sunset Point are impressive viewpoints overlooking a large amphitheater in Bryce Canyon National Park. I bet you can guess the best time to visit each viewpoint.

Bryce Point

Bryce Point is possibly the most famous viewpoint in the park. From here, you can look down into Bryce Amphitheater and the high desert landscape and mountains in the distance.

Navajo Loop Trail

The Navajo Loop Trail is a great short hike in Bryce Canyon National Park. You’ll start at the top of the amphitheater at Sunset Point before descending switchbacks through hoodoos and trees. Complete the Navajo Loop as a 1.5-mile out-and-back trail or combine it with another trail.

Mossy Cave Trail

Mossy Cave is the park’s lowest-altitude hike. It crosses over Water Canyon and leads to Mossy Cave. In the summer, the cave is lush and green, but in the winter, it’s covered in icicles.

Bryce Canyon National Park Camping

North Campground

North Campground is a year-round campground just past the Bryce Canyon National Park entrance. It has 100 sites, fire grates, picnic tables, flushing toilets, and potable water. Plus, it’s conveniently located near the park visitor center, general store, and many park trails.

Reservations are required from mid-May to mid-October. North Campground is first come, first served the rest of the year.

Sunset Campground

Sunset Campground is located just past North Campground. It has 99 sites with potable water, toilets, fire grates, and picnic tables. Sunset Campground is open from April through October.

Ruby’s Inn RV Park & Campground

Ruby’s Inn RV Park & Campground is just outside Bryce Canyon National Park in Bryce Canyon City. The campground has hot showers, water, a pool, and a hot tub and is open from the end of March through late October.

Places to Eat in Bryce Canyon National Park

The Lodge at Bryce Canyon Restaurant

Bryce Canyon National Park, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon City, UT 84764

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner beside a large cozy fireplace overlooking Bryce Canyon National Park. The rustic lodge restaurant has an inviting and warm atmosphere with many menu options.

Valhalla Pizzeria and Coffee Shop

UT-63, Bryce Canyon City, UT 84764

The Valhalla Pizzeria and Coffee Shop is next to the Bryce Canyon Lodge in the park. Valhalla is a must-stop if you’re starting your day and need fresh homemade baked goods, coffee, or artisanal pizza!

Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill Dinner Show

110 Center St, Bryce Canyon City, UT 84764

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting wild-west cowboy-themed evening of dining and entertainment, look no further.

Day 4: Capitol Reef National Park

Just two hours past Bryce Canyon is Capitol Reef National Park. Known for its sandstone cliffs, bridges, canyons, and domes, the park offers much to explore. The main visitor center and hiking trails are located near the Fruita section of the park, right along Utah State Route 24.

An escape camper van parked in Captitol Reef National Park, in Utah.

Things to do in Capitol Reef National Park

Hickman Natural Bridge

Hickman Bridge is a large natural bridge rising 125 feet tall and spanning 133 feet wide. It’s one of the largest rock spans in Capitol Reef National Park and is accessible via a 1.8-mile out-and-back trail.

Go Fruit Picking in Fruita

Fruita is a historic pioneer town located in the heart of Capitol Reef National Park. Today, the Capitol Reef Orchards, originally planted by early settlers, offer apples, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, and pears for pick and enjoy.

Capitol Reef Scenic Drive

The 8-mile scenic drive through Capitol Reef National Park connects to dirt roads that access Capitol Gorge Road, Grand Wash Road, and Pleasant Creek Road. You can take in views from your car or hike deep into a canyon.

Capitol Gorge Trail

This easy 2-mile trail starts at the end of Capitol Gorge Road. It offers impressive views of the deep canyon, opportunities to look for ancient petroglyphs, and the opportunity to examine unique geological formations, including water pockets.

Capitol Reef National Park Camping

Fruita Campground

Fruita Campground is a 71-site campground located near the Fremont River and the historic orchards. It has picnic tables, bathrooms, water, and fire rings. The campground is open year-round, with campsites available by reservation from March through October. For the rest of the year, it is first come, first served.

Sleepy Hollow Campground

Sleepy Hollow Campground is a year-round, 30-site campground near the Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center. It has potable water, showers, and flushing toilets.

Singletree Campground

Singletree Campground is a 31-site forest service campground located in Fishlake National Forest. It has flushing toilets and drinking water and is open from May to October.

Places to Eat in Capitol Reef National Park

Rock Reef Cafe

150 E Main St, Torrey, UT 84775

The Rock Reef Cafe is a family-style Torrey restaurant outside Capitol Reef National Park. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner with vegan and gluten-free options. Pizza, burgers, tacos, rootbeer floats, and desserts are some of the tasty options on the menu.

Chak Balam Mexican Restaurant

12 Sand Creek Rd, Torrey, UT 84775

There isn’t much around Capitol Reef National Park, but there is the option for Mexican food! Enjoy a variety of Mexican dishes here.

Day 5: Arches National Park

Arches National Park is next on the Utah Mighty 5 road trip itinerary from Las Vegas. Although this park may be small compared to other national parks, it is home to the world’s densest concentration of free-standing sandstone arches. Don’t let it’s size fool you–there is more than enough to explore in Arches National Park.

A woman standing under an arch in Arches National Park in Utah.

Things to do in Arches National Park

Delicate Arch

At 46 feet tall, Delicate Arch is the largest free-standing arch in the park and probably the park’s most famous arch. You can view the arch from the Lower or Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoints or take the 3.2-mile out-and-back Delicate Arch Trail.

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is another iconic formation in Arches National Park. Standing 128 feet tall, it looks like It is only waiting to tip over due to erosion.

Devils Garden

Head to Devils Garden, the northernmost part of the park, to explore many arches, fins, and other unique geologic features. Many trailheads start at Devils Garden, including hikes to Double O Arch and Landscape Arch. Trails back here crisscross, so you can vary the length of your hike.

Arches Scenic Drive

While exploring the park, you’ll definitely want to drive the 18-mile (45 min one-way) Arches Scenic Drive. Along the way, you’ll pass many pullouts for hiking trails, striking iconic vistas of varying rock formations and distant mountains.

Windows Loop

The Windows Loop is a 1-mile loop that circles many iconic arches in the park. Hikers will visit the North Window, South Window, Turret Arch, and Double Arch. The hike is one of the best, easy, short hikes in the park, offering spectacular views.

Arches National Park Camping

Devils Garden Campground

Devils Garden Campground is a 51-site campground with drinking water, toilets, grills, and picnic tables. Sites are first come, first served from November 1 to February 28. Reservations are available and highly recommended from March 1 to October 31. Reservations open six months in advance.

Goose Island Campground

Goose Island Campground is a 20-site BLM camp on the Colorado River near Moab. It’s a basic campground with first-come, first-served sites with fire pits and vault toilets. No drinking water is available here.

Kings Bottom Campground

Kings Bottom Campground, a BLM campground located along the Colorado River, has 21 sites. 11 are drive-in, and 10 are hike-in. The campground has toilets but no running water.

Places to Eat Near Arches National Park

Jailhouse Cafe

101 N Main St, Moab, UT 84532

Jailhouse Cafe is the perfect place to grab waffles, pancakes, and omelets at the local morning hangout. It is located in a historical building that was the county courthouse in the late 1800s.

Moab Brewery

686 S Main St, Moab, UT 84532

Moab Brewery is the place to stop for local craft ales and IPAs. The brewery also offers a variety of meal options, including salads, burgers, wraps, and sandwiches.

Day 6 & 7: Canyonlands National Park

The last national park of Utah’s Mighty 5 is Canyonlands National Park, Utah’s largest but least visited national park. The park has several sections, so you’ll want to explore Canyonlands for at least two days.

The Island in the Sky district is only 30 minutes from the Arches National Park entrance. On your second day here, check out the Needles district, south of Moab. From there, continue to loop back to Las Vegas via Monument Valley and Page!

Druid Arch in Canyonlands National Park in Utah.

Things to do in Canyonlands National Park

Grand View Point Overlook and Trail

Grand View Point Overlook and Trail is at the end of Grand View Point Road, the furthest you can drive into Island in the Sky. It’s a spectacular site where the Colorado and Green Rivers meet deep in the canyons below.

Mesa Arch

Hike just a 0.6-mile loop to see this spectacular arch, perfectly framed by the deep canyons and distant La Sal Mountains.

Green River Overlook

The Green River Overlook is another impressive vista in Island in the Sky and the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the jaw-dropping canyon.

Needles District

Head to the southern district of Canyonlands National Park to check out the Needles District. The Needles are colorful sandstone spires that tower across the landscape.

Shafer Canyon

Shafer Canyon is a deep canyon in the park accessed from Island in the Sky and descends into The Maze. Unfortunately, the road isn’t suitable for an Escape Camper Van. If you hope to enjoy this part of the park, off-roading tours are available starting from Moab.

Canyonlands National Park Camping

Island in the Sky (Willow Flat) Campground

Island in the Sky Campground, also known as Willow Flat Campground, is a 12-site, first-come, first-served campground. It’s open year-round and has toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. There is no water at the campground.

The Needles Campground

The Needles Campground is a 26-site campground in The Needles district of the park. It has picnic tables, fire rings, and toilets, but no water. Sites are first-come, first-served most of the year, with reservations possible from spring through fall.

Places to Eat in Canyonlands National Park

Moab Diner

189 S Main St, Moab, UT 84532

It’s not an official road trip if you don’t go to a retro local diner! Moab Diner is a great spot to indulge in all-day breakfast, lunch, dinner, root beer floats, and more!

The Blu Pig

811 S Main St, Moab, UT 84532

Enjoy brews, blues, and BBQ at The Blu Pig. This BBQ joint is known for its slow-smoked meats and live blues music.

Zax Restaurant

96 S Main St, Moab, UT 84532

Zax Restaurant in downtown Moab is the perfect place for classic American comfort food. The menu includes pizza, pasta, burgers, steaks, salads, and more.

Day 8: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Rather than driving the same route back to Las Vegas, you might as well visit a couple more Utah and Arizona highlights. As a bonus, it won’t add extra time to your drive! Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is worth a stop, less than three hours from The Needles district of Canyonlands.

Things to do in Monument Valley

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Visitor Center

The Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Visitor Center is worth visiting. Learn about the history and importance of the Navajo Nation Reservation.

The visitor center offers panoramic views of some of the most photographed buttes. It also features a film to learn more about the Navajo and a gift shop to buy native crafts.

Monument Valley Scenic Drive

The Monument Valley Scenic Drive is a 17-mile self-guided loop showcasing the most impressive beauty in the park. Take in sites of the red-sandstone desert buttes and spires. Most people spend about 3 hours driving the loop to take photos and enjoy all the magnificent sites.

Monument Valley Camping

The View Campground

The View Campground is new in Monument Valley, featuring world-famous views of the iconic buttes. With limited camping options throughout the Navajo Nation, The View Campground is one of the best places to stay.

Day 9 & 10: Page, Arizona

Lastly, on your Utah Mighty 5 road trip, you should spend a few days in Page, Arizona, before returning to Las Vegas. This will round out the road trip loop, and Page is home to many picturesque geological features you don’t want to miss.

Page, Arizona Things to Do

Lake Powell

One of the most obvious sites on the page is Lake Powell. Lake Powell is a popular spot for scenic vistas, swimming, kayaking, boating, and other water activities.

Antelope Canyon

Located just outside Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon offers some of southern Utah’s most striking slot canyon sites. Since it’s on Navajo land, you must book a guided tour to explore this desert wonder.

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is one of the most photographed spots along the Colorado River, just a few miles south of Page, Arizona. Accessible via a 1.5-mile out-and-back trail, this magnificent landmark is notable for the 270-degree meander of the Colorado River.

Marble Canyon

About 45 minutes south of Page is Marble Canyon. The Historic Navajo Bridge crosses over the Colorado River here.

Page, Arizona Camping

Wahweap Campground & RV Park

Wahweap Campground & RV Park is a 112-site campground on Lake Powell. It has fire rings, picnic tables, bathrooms with showers, laundry, a camp store, potable water, a picnic area, and a swimming beach nearby.

Page Lake Powell Campground

Page Lake Powell Campground is a private campground in town. It has bathrooms with a shower house, laundry, an indoor pool and a hot tub, a playground, a fitness room, and an on-site store.

Beehives Campground

Beehives Campground is a small 6-site campground in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with distant views of Lake Powell. There are picnic tables but no running water or restrooms.

Places to Eat in Page, Arizona

Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery

714 N Navajo Dr, Page, AZ 86040

Stop by the Page location of Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery for 20 tasty local beers on tap. The brewpub has a large dining and gaming area and serves burgers, sandwiches, build-your-own pizzas, and more.

El Tapatio

25 S Lake Powell Blvd, Page, AZ, 86040

Enjoy comfort Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes at El Tapatio in downtown Page. The casual restaurant serves all the classic American dishes to your liking.

Why Rent a Camper Van for a Utah Mighty 5 Road Trip from Las Vegas?

Renting an Escape Camper Van for your Utah Mighty 5 road trip itinerary from Las Vegas is the best way to explore the state. Camper vans are easy to use, compact, and mobile. Unlike an RV you don’t have to worry about sewer and electric hookups. Parking is easy, and you have all the comforts with you!

Reserve with Escape Campervans for your Utah Mighty 5 Road Trip from Las Vegas

If you’re heading out on a 10-day Utah Mighty 5 road trip, you want comfort and ease. With so many destinations along this route, you don’t want to pack up a tent every morning and set it up each evening. With Escape Camper Vans, you’ll have your home on wheels wherever you decide to adventure!

With our convenient Escape Camper Vans Las Vegas pick-up and drop-off location, you only have to book your flight and hit the road today!

Explore Utah's National Parks

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