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Is 4x4 needed for Utah National Parks?

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Is 4x4 needed for Utah National Parks?

Hi,

We are planning a road trip around Utah National Parks (Bryce Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands). We will try to throw Antelope Canyon, Arizona in as well (we've got 23 days planned for that part of America).

While planning a route, we realised that we need to ask ourselves a simple question. Do we need to hire a 4x4 or a normal car?

I know that there are paved roads with hiking routes from the viewing points in many places. We will obviously do hiking, but don't want to miss out on seeing some great places by making a mistake of hiring the wrong car.

Any suggestions? Your help will be much appreciated. Many thanks, Magdalena

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4 replies to this topic
Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
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5,181 posts
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1. Re: Is 4x4 needed for Utah National Parks?

All major roads within the parks are paved. A standard 2WD vehicle would be fine and you will be able to access the major points of interest. I would select the vehicle that you will feel most comfortable traveling.

There are dirt roads in some of the parks, in which to access more terrain. Doing this, however, will void most car rental contracts. One option is hiring an outfitter. In Capitol Reef you can hire a guide to go to Cathedral Valley. You could likely hire guides to explore the Shafer Trail in Canyonlands too.

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Capitol Reef Resort
Capitol Reef Resort
1,567 Reviews
Torrey, UT
Shafer Trail
Shafer Trail
164 Reviews
Canyonlands National Park, UT
Torrey, Utah
Destination Expert
for Torrey, Capitol Reef National Park
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1,652 posts
71 reviews
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2. Re: Is 4x4 needed for Utah National Parks?

It's probably cheaper to take a tour with an outfitter than to rent a 4x4 for your whole trip and you'll see more, won't have to drive on unfamiliar dirt roads or worry about getting stuck or lost. If you are interested in a Capitol Reef back country tour please send me a PM.

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Capitol Reef Resort
Capitol Reef Resort
1,567 Reviews
Torrey, UT
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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65,357 posts
249 reviews
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3. Re: Is 4x4 needed for Utah National Parks?

Al rental vehicles including 4wd are restricted to paved roads, by contract.

As Bob said, it will be more cost effective to book guided tours for any off road adventures than to pay for a properly credentialed rental 4wd.

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14 posts
68 reviews
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4. Re: Is 4x4 needed for Utah National Parks?

Thank you very much for your suggestions. We will look into those guided tours:) Thank you again.

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