Southern Utah National Parks - May 2021

This year for our annual motorcycle trip we decided to hit all the National Parks in Southern Utah, starting first with Glen Canyon Dam, also known as Lake Powell. So from Salt Lake City we headed south to Bullfrog at Lake Powell. Then day 2 we headed over to Moab, Utah to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Day 3 and 4 we spent touring those two parks. One of those days we rented jeeps to do some more technical trails. On Day 5 we then headed to Capitol Reef National Park, taking the very beautiful and scenic Hwy 12, and ended the day at Bryce Canyon National Park. Day 6, after touring through Bryce Canyon, we headed for Zions National Park, and spent two days there. On day 8 we headed back to Salt Lake City.

Day 1 - Bullfrog, Lake Powell

Lake Powell is at historic lows. Water levels have dropped below the end of boat ramps, and they are trying to sure up a base to allow boats to launch and retrieve. We stayed at the Defiance Lodge, and after breakfast, pulled out for Moab.

Day 2 - Moab, Utah

Our first stop today was Leprechaun Canyon. Leprechaun Canyon is a 2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Hanksville, Utah that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and nature trips and is best used from March until October.

We made it to Moab, Utah.

Day 3 - Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks

Arches National Park lies north of Moab in the state of Utah. Bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast, it’s known as the site of more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, such as the massive, red-hued Delicate Arch in the east. Long, thin Landscape Arch stands in Devils Garden to the north. Other geological formations include Balanced Rock, towering over the desert landscape in the middle of the park.

Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah is known for its dramatic desert landscape carved by the Colorado River. Island in the Sky is a huge, flat-topped mesa with panoramic overlooks. Other notable areas include the towering rock pinnacles known as the Needles, the remote canyons of the Maze and the Native American rock paintings in Horseshoe Canyon. Whitewater rapids flow through Cataract Canyon.

Day 4 - Four-Wheeling in Moab

We rented a couple of jeeps and set out for some technical trails.

Day 5 - Capital Reef and Bryce 

Leaving Moab we headed up to I-70 over to Hwy 24 to Hanksville, through Capital Reef National Park, then we caught Hwy 12 t0 Bryce Canyon National Park. The drive on Hwy 12 was epic. It is one of the most beautiful and scenic routes in Utah. At one point we crossed over the "Devil's Backbone" where both sides of the road were drop offs. We ended the day in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Day 6 - Bryce Canyon and Zions National Park

This morning we toured Bryce Canyon National Park and then entered into Zions National Park from the east gate entrance.

Day 7 - Gunlock Reservoir - Snow Canyon - St George

Because Zions had a restricted limit on how many could enter the Park, we missed getting shuttle tickets for entrance into the Park, which was very disappointing. If you didn't call right at a certain time, all the tickets were gone within minutes. So we decided to ride over to St George and tour Gunlock Reservoir and Snow Canyon.

Day 8 - Homeward bound

From Springdale, Utah, where we stayed, just outside of Zions National Park (Which we couldn't go see because of limit restrictions), we headed for home. (Salt Lake City, Utah)

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