Road Trip Itinerary: Utah’s Mighty Five

06/21/2016

Utah is well known for its 5 National Parks, namely Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion. Some people choose to visit all five in 1 trip because each park is relatively close to one another. It actually makes for an epic road trip, if you’d ask me!

My husband and I had planned this trip for 6 whole months, and it was kind of a tedious task to pick and choose which campsites to stay in, which parks to visit first, and which hiking trails to go for each day. We filled our day with activities, while making sure we had enough time to relax.

Below is our 8-day Mighty Five itinerary. Hopefully this helps you plan for your Mighty Five trip in the future!

DAY 1: Drive from Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon National Park (4hours, 30mins)

(We stayed in Las Vegas, NV the night before the trip, to make the drive going to Bryce Canyon shorter)

-Drop by Bryce Canyon’s Visitor Center

-Pitch tent and set-up camp in Sunset Campground

-Hike the Rim Trail: Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, Sunrise Point (3 miles RT)

DAY 2: Explore Bryce Canyon National Park

-Catch the sunrise at the rim

-Hike the Figure 8 Loop: Wall Street, Peek-A-Boo Loop, Queen’s Garden Trail (6 mile loop)

-Head back to the rim at night to view the stars

Bryce Canyon is known to have very dark skies, especially on a moonless night, so it’s a perfect place to go star gazing!

bryce canyon utah

DAY 3: Drive to Capitol Reef National Park in the morning (2 hours, 30 mins), and head to camp in Moab after exploring (2 hours, 20 mins)

-Drop by Capitol Reef’s Visitor Center

-Hike Cassidy Arch (3.5 miles RT)

-Hike Hickman Bridge (2 miles RT)

-Head to Moab to pitch tent and set up camp in Moab KOA campground

Capitol Reef National Park

DAY 4: Explore Canyonlands National Park, and Canyonlands National Park

Because these two National Parks were right next to each other, it was easy for us to drive to one park in the morning, and the other park in the afternoon.

-Drop by Canyonlands’ Visitor Center

-Hike False Kiva (2.6 miles RT)

-Hike Upheaval Dome Overlook (1.8 miles RT)

-Drop by Arches’ Visitor Center

-Explore Arches: Balanced Rock, Double Arch, Window Loop, Turret Arch

Canyonlands National Park

DAY 5: Explore Canyonlands, Moab, and Arches

-Catch a sunrise in Mesa Arch in Canyonlands

-Tour Moab’s backcountry with an ATV/ UTV

-Hike Delicate Arch in Arches National Park (3 miles RT)

Delicate Arch

DAY 6: Explore Moab in the morning, and then head to campsite in Zion National Park (5 hours, 16 mins)

-Whitewater kayaking in the Colorado River

-Pitch tent and set up camp in Zion’s Watchman Campground

-Hike Zion’s Canyon Overlook Trail (1 mile round trip)

DAY 7: Explore Zion National Park

Hike Zion’s Subway, bottom-up trail (9 miles round trip)

*permits are needed to hike the Subway.

Zion National Park

DAY 8: Head back to Los Angeles (6 hours)

We would have squeezed in one more hike before leaving the park, but we felt very tired upon waking up!  We were so drained after that Subway hike.


Utah Mighty 5 ItineraryEssential Links:

CAMPSITES

Sunset Campground (Bryce Canyon) – regular tent site $20/night

Moab KOA – electric/water tent site $40/night

Watchman Campground (Zion) – regular tent site $20/night

MOAB ACTIVITIES

High Point Hummer UTV/ATV Tour

Moab Adventure Center Whitewater Kayak

RESTAURANTS

Bangkok House Too (Moab) – Asian fusion

Thai Sapa (Zion)

Moab & Zion are two places with the widest selection of restaurants, compared to the other parks.

TRAILS

Head over to my Mighty 5 List in The Outbound for more trail suggestions!

Oh, and here are a couple more things to take note of:

-Be sure to book your campsite way in advance. Sites fill up very fast once they become available for booking.

-Take note of the time difference when driving in to Utah. They are in Mountain Time.

-There are gas stations and grocery stores inside the park, but if you want to save a couple of bucks, I suggest making the stops before you get to the park. There are several gas stations and stores outside each park.

-Check out my Road Trip Planning post for more helpful tips to make this trip awesome!

There you have it! Our itinerary for Utah’s Mighty 5! To be honest, I wish we had more days to spare! There was so much more to see and much more places to explore. By the end of the trip we were exhausted..but inspired!

Anyway, I hope you’ll find this useful. Do let me know if this was able to help you out in anyway!

xx Sassy


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14 Comments
      1. Hi Paul! Thank you! Utah sure has the best parks for exploring, and I can’t wait to be back and do it all over again. Definitely so much more to see!

    1. national parks do well for the purpose, unfortunately i have just a few in my country but i appreciate them alot like i do the few you mentioned… thank you for sharing.

      1. Hi Danjuma, thanks for dropping by! I hope to visit other National Parks outside the U.S. in the future, even the small ones! What are the best ones in your country?

    1. Gorgeous pictures! I’ve never been to Utah and honestly it wasn’t on my bucket list. However, your pictures and a few others are starting to change my mind.

      1. Thank you, Tia! Utah’s National Parks are beautiful and inspiring, and i’m sure you will enjoy it out there! Hope you get to visit soon 🙂

    1. The Canyon Park is quite a sight. This 5 day itinerary is jam packed with beautiful sights.

      1. Grateful to be able to spend a couple of days exploring these places! If only I wasn’t bound by a 9-to-5 job, I would’ve stayed longer. There’s just so much more to see out there! 🙂

      1. Oh, no problem Jill! Thanks, as well 🙂 I’m sure you’ll have the best time of your life out there!

    1. I haven’t been… yet! I would definitely like to. It looks so amazingly beautiful. 🙂

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