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Utah USA - Mountains and Mesas

Utah USA

Utah USA - Mountains and Mesas

14 Days From €2195 (Per Person)

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Photograph of Utah USA - Mountains and Mesas

Utah USA

Mother Nature put on her best sculptor's apron to create the magnificent American Southwest and in particular Utah. Thousands of years of wind and water carved the red rocks into every possible shape, balancing arches, jutting buttes, hoodoos, towers and canyons. Catch the natural beauty of no less than five National Parks.

Don't forget as Platinum Travel offer a fully flexible tailor made service these itineraries can be mixed and matched and put together for your personal preferences.

Price above is based on low season and is “from” and includes:

  • Return flights from Ireland
  • Accommodation throughout the trip
  • Inclusive car rental
  • Checked bags
  • All airport taxes





Top Tips

-  Keep an eye on your petrol tank: journeys between towns can be long and not all towns have a petrol station so make sure you top up when you can.

− Take lots of water: temperatures can get very high and if you are out hiking for the day then there aren’t usually shops in the parks so having a stock of water is essential.

− Always stop at the visitor centre: each National Park and most State Parks will have a visitor centre, these are great to find out current weather information and any trail updates and they can provide you with the best routes to fit your time frame.

− When visiting more than three or more National Parks in one trip it is more cost effective to purchase the annual America The Beautiful pass which includes entry to the majority of National Parks across the U.S.

Utah USA - Mountains and Mesas

DAY 1: Fly to Salt Lake City, Utah

Arrive into Salt Lake City in the afternoon and collect your rental car. Settle in and try and stay awake to battle the jetlag.
Overnight in Salt Lake City

DAY 2: Salt Lake City

Your first stop has to be Temple Square, the spiritual centre of the city. Take a free missionary guided tour to learn about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first-hand, view the exterior of Salt Lake Temple and stroll through the pristine gardens. Head to the mountainside to visit Red Butte Gardens and the Natural History Museum of Utah, the perfect combination with great views over the city. During spring the gardens are full of colour and aromas. Next door the museum displays an incredible selection of dinosaur bones and living creatures of today. Both attractions are available on the Salt Lake City Connect Pass.
Overnight in Salt Lake City

DAY 3: SLC to Park City (approx. 30 miles)

Head into the mountains with a short drive to Park City. The Olympic Legacy Park is open all year round; adventurous summer visitors can enjoy the alpine slide and zip lining through the tree tops. Take a one hour guided tour to the top of the world’s highest Nordic ski jump and visit the start line of the sledding race tracks. Keep your feet on the ground with plenty of surrounding hiking trails to beautiful basins with mountain backdrops, or take to two wheels to explore over twenty miles of gold awarded tracks. After a day of activity enjoy an evening stroll down the Historic Main Street and a delicious dinner in one of the ‘perfect mountain town’ restaurants.
Overnight in Park City

DAY 4: Park City to Moab - Arches (approx. 240 miles)

Travel south to Moab, the centre of activity for two of Utah’s five national parks – Arches and Canyonlands.
Arches National Park is a wonderland of over 2,000 natural stone arches. Have fun spotting smaller hidden arches and admire the scenery which is a photographers’ dream. Delicate Arch is a must see; it frames a backdrop of mesas, canyons and distant mountains. Get up-close and personal by taking the three-mile roundtrip hike to it from Wolfe Ranch with some off-trail hiking. Or walk to Double Arch and the North/South Arches in around 40 minutes at The Windows section. Alternatively stay with your car, using the 18-mile main road and stop at the various viewpoints to take in the incredible scenery. Still feeling energetic? Then take a 4x4 sunset tour from Moab, known as the adventure capital of Utah.
Overnight in Moab

DAY 5: Canyonlands National Park (approx. 70 miles)

If you didn’t catch the sunset at Arches last night then set the alarm clock for sunrise this morning!
Head to Canyonlands, Utah’s largest National Parks has three sections: Island in the Sky (an easy walk is to Mesa Arch, a natural frame to the canyon below); Needles District (strenuous hikes with over 60 miles of interconnecting trails) and The Maze. Numerous viewpoints highlight stops for photograph opportunities. Just north of the park is Dead Horse Point State Park with panoramic views over the Colorado River. Overnight in Moab

DAY 6: Bluff – Hovenweep National Monument – Monument Valley (approx. 130 miles)

Visit Hovenweep National Monument to admire the remains of six prehistoric villages and a masonry built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. Take one of the ranger led walks through the ruins from the visitor centre to dig deeper into the history of the site. On the way to Monument Valley, take a short detour to Goosenecks State Park, with incredible viewpoints over the twisting canyons of the San Juan River. If time permits enjoy a sunset tour at Monument Valley and watch the incredible colours change against the red-rock as the sun goes down.
Overnight Monument Valley

DAY 7: Monument Valley – Torrey (approx. 203 miles)

Head into the ancient Navajo Tribal Park of Monument Valley, the set of so many famous westerns synonymous with John Wayne and the wild west. If there wasn’t a chance yesterday to see the sunset, catch an awesome sunrise. Or take a trip to Mystery Valley to see the ancient homes, pictographs and petroglyphs (both tours available from Gouldings Lodge).
Drive towards Capitol Reef National Park, making a stop at Natural Bridges National Monument, before experiencing the incredible views driving Utah’s Bicentennial Highway Scenic Byway (95). Capitol Reef National Park is defined by its unique geology, a nearly 100-mile-long warp in the
earth’s crust formed between 50-70 million years ago. Stop at Fremont Petroglyphs viewing area and use binoculars to see the ancient petroglyphs left by inhabitants of the park around 2,000 years ago. After dinner, head back into the park for an evening of stargazing in this designated International Dark Sky Park; depending on the time of year a ranger led program may be available.
Overnight in Torrey

DAY 8: Capitol Reef National Park – Scenic Byway 12 – Escalante (approx. 65 miles)

Start your day with a cruise along the Scenic Drive (15.8miles) to witness the impressive scenery, towering cliffs, mesas and buttes. Gooseneck Overlook is a short trek to a dizzying viewpoint over Sulphur Creek and the San Juan River where canyons wind back to back. For a moderate hike take the spectacularly scenic trail to Hickman Bridge.
Experience some of Utah’s most spectacular scenery on Scenic Byway 12. Suggested stops include: Homestead Overlook (an exciting drive which provides dramatic panoramic views from 9,400ft); Anasazi State Park Museum (with some easy trails to the old settlement ruins); Calf Creek Recreation Area (Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail is a moderately strenuous, loop hike to a 126-ft waterfall) or drive the Burr Trail (a Scenic Backway winding through a deep slickrock canyon and rolling desert forest – allow 2 hours).
Overnight in Escalante

DAY 9: Escalante - Scenic Byway 12 - Bryce Canyon National Park (approx. 50 miles)

Continue along Scenic Byway 12 towards Bryce Canyon with your choice of suggested stops: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park (one of Utah’s most accessible displays of petrified wood); Powell Overlook (at an elevation of 10,188-ft above a badland); Kodachrome Basin State Park (more than 60 upright chimneys called sand pipes, ranging from six to 170-ft).
Bryce Canyon National Park has some of the clearest and least polluted night skies and ranger-lead programs run from the Visitor Centre on selected evenings where you may even spot the Milky Way. Enjoy the sunset and an evening under the stars!
Overnight at Bryce Canyon City

DAY 10: Bryce Canyon National Park – Scenic Byway 89 – Kanab (approx. 80miles)

Watch the sunrise in Bryce Canyon National Park at Sunrise Point before exploring the park (sunrise varies throughout the year so check times first). Explore one of the world’s largest collections of hoodoos and spot the ancient Bristlecone Pine. Descend into the canyon on The Queens Garden trail then take the Navajo Loop back to Sunset Point. Horse rides are available on certain trails.
After lunch depart for Kanab; Moqui Cave, a natural history museum, is a good stop en route. Kanab is an ‘up and coming’ town with a diverse range of dining and cuisine, teamed with microbrews and craft cocktails, surrounded by sandstone cliffs that has lured many filmmakers over the years.
Overnight: Kanab

DAY 11: Kanab - Zion National Park (approx. 45miles)

Take a short drive to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, where mountains of red sand can move up to 50 feet per year. Explore on a half-mile walk along the nature trail to the visitor centre, or for some exhilaration hire a sandboard or try an ATV ride across the dunes. There are also many tour companies in Kanab offering sightseeing and adventure tours of the stunning surrounding landscapes including Peek-a-Boo slot canyon or the hoodoos and fossils of the Grand Staircase-Escalante. On the way to Springdale catch a taster of Zion National Park through the windows of The Zion Mount Carmel Tunnel showcasing the grandeur of the park. Overnight in Springdale

DAY 12: Zion National Park

Take the tram along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and explore to the extreme, walking high up the plateaus and down along the river-bed. The Angels Landing route is a strenuous six mile hike high on the canyon walls… not for the faint-hearted. Or another vantage point try Upper Emerald Pools trail, a moderate hike above the waterfalls and the Virgin River below. Drop in at one of the adventure outfitters to hire the equipment you need to hike The Narrows, a slot canyon along the bed of the Virgin River, with cliff walls up to 2,000-ft deep and running for 16 miles. Go as far as you like before heading back. You will be spoilt for choice in the evening with Springdale’s many restaurants, before heading out to try some star gazing which can be arranged at the park’s visitor centre.
Overnight in Springdale

DAY 13: Zion National Park – Las Vegas (approx. 150miles)

Spend the morning at Zion National Park before heading to Las Vegas for your return flight home.

DAY 14:

Land back home

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