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Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

BRONXVILLE
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Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

Thanks, all, for your advice on my spring trip. We're on the eve of heading out to Las Vegas to visit Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon.

I'm now planning for a second visit to southern Utah in October.

On trips to this region, I bring along my mother, who's in her 70s, and can walk a bit, but isn't a hiker.

We like scenery, scenic drives, easy hikes that are more like walks, birding, museums, historic houses, getting a sense of people, place, the creatures & birds of an area, & history. We aren't thrill-seekers by any means, but oh boy, did we both enjoy the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour in Sedona last November, not just for the mastery of the terrain & scenery but also for our fantastic guide.

We like driving around, stopping and looking, but don't like straight-out drives -- not sightseeing drives, the kind where you're solely intent on doing some serious miles -- over six hours. (Our drive from Las Vegas to Bryce this week will be about the longest we like to go.) We prefer to spend quality time in just a few places rather than driving a lot to spend just a little time at many.

Here's what I've got already:

Oct. 22: Fly from JFK to SLC, overnight SLC

Oct. 23: Drive to Moab, Best Western Canyonlands (reservations made, 4 nights)

Oct. 24: Moab

Oct. 25: Moab

Oct. 26: Moab

Oct: 27: Torrey

Oct. 28: Torrey

Oct. 29: SLC

Oct. 30: Fly home to JFK

Here are my questions:

1) Is this too much time at Moab for people who aren't serious hikers? Should I change up the reservation and shave off a day?

2) If we shave off a day, is that going to enable us to do justice to Monument Valley? "Doing justice" would be a good long offroad tour and also driving around a little ourselves, though only on terrain that a rental car could handle.

2) Is two nights sufficient for Torrey and Capitol Reef?

Thanks for any advice you can provide, as you all were great regarding last year's Phoenix-Sedona-GCP-Scottsdale trip, and I feel very good about our impending Las Vegas-Bryce-Zion trip & plan to produce a trip report on that one.

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13 replies to this topic
Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

I think that 4 nights is good for Moab. That’s just 3 full days. You may have some down time. But that maybe OK. Two nights in Torrey May be too much if your Mom isn’t able to hike or walk distances. But if she was willing to chill at your hotel while you do some hiking, two nights would be good.

You need to book your Torrey accommodations now. There aren’t a lot of options and Torrey is very popular in the fall with folks from the SLC area because it’s just a 3.5 hour drive. I recommend Austin’s Chuckwagon Lodge right in the middle of Torrey. It has lovely grounds, pool and a good general store and deli.

BRONXVILLE
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2. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

Connie, thanks, I will do that. Are we better off perhaps going to Monument Valley for a night, then Torrey for a night? Or replacing Torrey entirely with Monument Valley?

BRONXVILLE
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3. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

I just reserved two nights at Austin's Chuckwagon Motel. So, no Monument Valley unless we cancel.

That's okay. This looks like a good itinerary for us.

And I can figure out Monument Valley on a future date, perhaps doing that without my mother and after visiting friends in Albuquerque. I don't need to do everything all at once.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

You made a good decision. We really like Torrey, Capitol Reef and Austin's. We go there several times a year. Actually headed there later this week. Be sure you stop at the Gifford House at Fruita in Capitol Reef for some pie.

BRONXVILLE
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5. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Connie.

Now I will have something to daydream about and to research activities between May and October. I think I enjoy reading up on things almost as much as I do actually traveling. It's the anticipation ;-)

Torrey, Utah
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6. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

"Is two nights sufficient for Torrey and Capitol Reef?"

I've been here for 14 years, it's not sufficient yet...

Salt Lake City, Utah
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7. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

Well, we know that about you Bob. But for the OPs purposes and time frame, 2 nights is good. More than most travelers stay. Two nights isn't enough for us. That's why we keep going back. We'll be there at the end of the week for 3 nights.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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8. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

I prefer two nights in Torrey to two nights at Monument Valley. Capitol Reef is a much larger geographical area, so has more options of things to do. MV has the iconic Mittens and a backcountry tour, but once that is done, you have to go outside of the park for more options.

Capitol Reef has 4-6 days worth of hiking in the front country and weeks worth in the backcountry. You can hire a guide for a half day trip to Cathedral Valley and likely the Notom Road/Burr Trail Loop.

utah
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9. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

Your timelines look good. IMO, skip Monument Valley as you will be plenty busy just seeing Moab and Capitol Reel with your time. The thing you may want to add is some time in Park City or the Alpine Loop (e.g. Sundance) to see the gorgeous fall leaves.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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10. Re: Building an October Trip: SLC-Moab-Torrey-SLC

You have three and a half days in Moab. You’ll want one day for arches. One day for island in the sky and dead horse point. Then maybe a half day for a Jeep tour or raft trip. That leaves another full day. Yes you could spend it in Moab but if it were my mom I’d take her to monument valley. I still enjoy looking at the photo I have of her with the mitten behind her. It was her last trip and the smile on her face was the biggest of the whole trip. You could then take Hwy 95 north to Capitol reef which is a beautiful drive and would make a nice loop.

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