So Excited For Our Utah And Arizona Fall Trip
We are headed back to the west for our Utah and Arizona fall trip. On our last visit to some of the U.S. National Parks on the west coast, we missed the Utah parks. And we regretted it. We planned a few weeks trekking through the amazing natural beauty in Utah and Arizona. And will finish up with pampering stays in Phoenix and Tucson.
Not Our First National Park Tour
Our National Park tour started in Yellowstone. While we expected to see geysers, we were stunned with how much more there was to see. Wildlife, hot springs, waterfalls and canyons delighted us on this first stop.
When we stopped in Cedar City, Utah for the night, we realized that we were close to both Bryce and Zion. But we had our sights set on the Grand Canyon. We were so glad we made the time to visit the Grand Canyon North Rim. It was a much wilder, steeper and stunning set of canyons than we envisioned.
The Grand Canyon South Rim was everything we expected it to be. Broad canyons and rainbow colours of rock were stunning.
Planning Our Fall Visit To Utah And Arizona
When we started this year, we had no firm travel plans made. But it turned out to be the year of west coast travel. And road trips. We started in January with a road trip along the California coast. In the spring we headed to British Columbia (BC) and explored the province for 4 weeks. And then we decided to add in a Utah and Arizona fall trip. But we will also head back to California and BC in December!!
The Utah parks have been on our travel wish list since our last National Park tour. We always wished we stopped on our drive south. When we planned our California road trip, we originally planned to start in Arizona. But we were surprised that Arizona was still quite cool in January. So it was natural to bring Utah and Arizona together for our next big road trip.
We debated renting a car or RV for the Utah National Park tour. In the end, we could not find an RV in Utah that we could get as a one way rental. We wanted to stay inside the Utah parks. But we left our planning too late and there were no rooms available. In the end, we picked hotels to add to our Marriott loyalty status that were close to the parks.
We learned a bit on our last National Park tour. Even if we still did not book our accommodations in the park early enough! We know to get the Annual National Park pass that will cover us for multiple parks. And we know that even our great travel SIM may not give us internet deep in the parks!
The hotel rooms on the north end of our trip were planned more for their convenience. As we reached, Phoenix and Tucson, we looked for longer, pampering stays.
Starting In Salt Lake City
We fly from Toronto to Salt Lake City. Since there was no direct flight option, we chose a route that would maximize our Air Canada points. We have a target status level we want to reach this year with Air Canada. And the route through San Francisco gave us a more comfortable flight for the longer leg of the journey.
We have a few days to explore on our own in Salt Lake City. And then we meet up with friends in the area that we met on our China trip. We always love to connect with travel friends when can!
Touring The 5 Utah Parks
We have ambitious plans to tour all five of the Utah National Parks on this trip. We know this will mean a quick visit. But we viewed this as the first of many trips we may take to this part of the U.S.
From our stay in Moab, we plan to visit Arches and Canyonland parks. We plan to rent a rugged jeep one day to do the off-road trek through the Island in the Sky.
We will drive through Capital Reef for a day on our way to Richfield for the night. This allows us an early start to visit Bryce Canyon for the day.
Our next stop is in Virgin, Utah for 3 nights. This will give us time to explore Zion and head back to Bryce if we want to see more. And to find new things in the area.
We have 7 days in the Utah National Parks. This will not let us hike for days. But will give us our first view of the splendour of these parks.
South To Arizona
From Virgin we head to Lake Powell for two nights. We will explore Antelope Canyon, the Colorado River and Horseshoe Bend from here.
Then we move south to Sedona. From here we will visit Flagstaff and hike the Cathedral Rock Trail and do a jeep tour.
We debated several hotel options and durations for a stay in Phoenix. We realized that we would be there for the Columbus Day holiday weekend. Which meant lots of kids at the larger resort properties. In the end, we got a great recommendation to stay at the smaller boutique Hermosa Inn. This should be a relaxing retreat for us!
But we finish this road trip in style! We started our year with a luxurious long weekend at the Ritz Carlton in Montreal. Our beach break was a lovely stay at the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman. So it was fitting that we would finish our Utah and Arizona fall trip with a pampering stay at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain in Tucson. While we may do a few short day trips, we plan to take some down time at this final stop.
Great Variety On Our Utah And Arizona Fall Trip
We were excited when we planned our autumn trip to Utah and Arizona. It provided us the prefect opportunity to see some awesome natural beauty. And then to finish up with a relaxing and pampering stay.
How does our Utah and Arizona fall trip sound? Do you have recommendations for us?
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