Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Great Basin

14 day driving Itinerary

  1. Bay Area -> Barstow (6 hours)
    • Drive
    • [Night in Barstow]
  2. Barstow -> Hurricane, UT (7h30m driving with Mojave, 6h without)
    • Checkout from Barstow hotel
    • Visit Calico Ghost Town
    • Mojave National Preserve
      • Explore Kelso Sand Dunes (Good, 4/5)
        • Tough hike in sand – go prepared with good shoes and lots of water
      • Teutonia Peak Trail (3.2miles, 660feet) – this trail was excellent with great concentration of Joshua Trees. BUT this area burnt down in the Dome fire, so this trail is not as good anymore.
    • Seven Magic Mountains (Meh, 3/5)
      • Two good things about this: (1) It’s free, (2) It’s on the way to Los Angeles. If you flew to Las Vegas, don’t bother with this place.
    • Valley of Fire State Park
      • Atlatl Rock (4/5) – see petroglyphs. Arch rock is lame, skip it
      • Drive scenic drive to White Domes Trailhead
    • Drive to Hurricane, UT
    • [Night in Hurricane, UT]
  3. Zion National Park
    • Checkout from Hurricane hotel.
    • Riverside Walk
    • Angels Landing Hike
    • Lower Emerald Pools Trail
    • The Watchman Trail
    • Pa’rus Trail
    • Canyon Overlook Trail
    • Checkerboard Mesa
    • [Night in Mount Carmel, UT]
  4. Grand Canyon North Rim
    • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park (GOOD, 4/5)
    • Point Imperial. (4/5, GOOD Views)
    • Angels Window and Cape Royal (5/5 GREAT Views). (Good Sunset view from here.)
    • Walhalla overlook.
    • Roosevelt Point Overlook. (Meh, SKIP)
    • Bright Angel Point (5/5 GREAT Views) (Do this at Sunset).
    • [Night in Mount Carmel, UT]
  5. Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park
    • Check out from Mt Carmel hotel
    • Cedar Breaks National Monument
      • Point Supreme Overlook
      • Hike to Spectra Point Overlook (5/5, MUST DO)
      • Drive to Sunset View Overlook (quick stop) (4/5 Good Views)
      • Drive to Chessman Ridge Overlook (quick stop) (4/5 Good Views)
      • Drive to North View Overlook (quick stop) (4/5 Good Views)
    • Bryce Canyon National Park
      • Hike Navajo Loop Trail (5/5, Great Views of Hoodoos)
      • Drive to Inspiration Point (5/5 Best View in Bryce Canyon NP).
      • Drive to Peek-A-Boo Trailhead – walk to Bryce Point.
      • (If time permits) Drive to Bristlecone Loop Trail – see Yovimpa Point. There are MANY good viewpoints along the way
    • Drive to Escalante.
    • [Night in Escalante]
  6. Escalante -> Natural Bridges NM -> Bears Ears NM -> Moab, UT (8h, 400miles)
    • Checkout of hotel in Escalante
    • Get Food and Gas in Hanksville
    • Stop at Hite Overlook (Great View 4/5)
    • Natural Bridges NM
      • The loop has three Arches, in this order: Sipapu, Kachina and Owachomo Bridge.
      • You can do quick walks to viewpoints at Sipapu and Kachine.
      • Stop at, and hike to the bottom of Owachomo Bridge. Little bit of elevation change, but you can hike to right under the arch. (Good 4/5)
    • Stop at Mule Canyon Trailhead and check out Indian ruins (Part of Bears Ears NM)
    • Stop at Butler Wash Ruins Trailhead and check out Butler Wash Ruins (Part of Bears Ears NM) (Good 4/5)
    • See Newspaper Rock State Historical Monument (part of Canyonlands NP) (time permitting) (Alright 3/5)
    • Needles Overlook – without Hyperbole, this is my favorite view in the world, beating Yosemite’s Glacier Point, Yellowstone’s Artist Point, Bryce’s Inspiration Point, etc. It’s a bit of a drive to get there from the US-191, but its worth the drive (MUST DO 5/5)
    • Drive to Moab, UT
    • [Night in Moab, UT]
  7. Arches National Park – Day 1
    • Hike Lower Delicate Arch
    • Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint
    • Salt Valley Overlook
    • Fiery Furnace Viewpoint
    • Skyline Arch
    • Landscape Arch
    • Sand Dune Arch
    • Panorama Point
    • Arches NP Visitor Center.
    • See the Night Sky in Arches NP
    • [Sleep in Moab, Utah]
  8. Arches National Park – Day 2
    • Windows Trailhead – Hike Turret Arch, North Window Arch, South Window Arch and Double Arch.
    • Garden of Eden.
    • Balanced Rock
    • Petrified Dunes Viewpoint
    • Courthouse Towers
    • La Sal Mountains Viewpoint
    • Hike Park Avenue
    • Moab Fault Overlook (quick stop)
    • [Sleep in Moab, UT]
  9. Canyonlands National Park – Island in the Sky District
    • Dead Horse Point State Park
    • Island in the Sky Visitor Center
    • Shafer Canyon Overlook
    • Shafer Trail Viewpoint
    • Mesa Arch (4/5, Meh)
    • Hike False Kiva
    • Hike Whale Rock (optional)
    • Hike Upheavel dome up to the First Viewpoint.
    • Hike Aztec Butte (optional)
    • Green River Overlook.
    • Buck Canyon Overlook.
    • White Rim Overlook
    • Orange Cliffs Overlook.
    • Grand View Point Overlook at sunset
    • [Sleep in Moab, UT]
  10. Capitol Reef National Park
    • Check out of Moab hotel
    • Goblin Valley State Park
    • Little Wild Horse Canyon
    • Panorama + Goosenecks Overlook + Sunset Point
    • [Sleep in Capitol Reef NP (Torrey, Utah)]
  11. Capitol Reef National Park
    • Hike Navajo Knobs Trail to Hickman Bridge Overlook
    • Fruita Petroglyphs
    • Visitor Center
    • Hike Capitol Gorge trail
    • Hike Cassidy Arch
    • Panorama Point, Goosenecks Overlook, Sunset Point
    • See the Night Sky in Capitol Reef NP: Good spots to see: Panorama Point / Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center
    • [Sleep in Capitol Reef NP (Torrey, Utah)]
  12. Great Basin National Park
    • Checkout of Capitol Reef NP hotel
    • Drive to Great Basin Visitor Center
    • Lehmann Caves (SKIP)
    • Wheeler Peak Overlook
    • Alpine Lakes Trail loop
    • See the Night Sky
    • [Sleep near Baker]
  13. Great Basin National Park -> Mammoth, CA (6h15m drive)
    • Check out of Baker, NV hotel.
    • Nevada Northern Railway Museum
    • Lunch
    • Hot Creek Geological Site
    • Devil’s Postpile National Monument
    • [Night in Mammoth, CA]
  14. Mammoth -> Home
    • Check out of Mammoth hotel
    • Devil’s Postpile National Monument
    • See Fall Colors around June Lake
    • Stop at Leavitt Falls Vista Point
    • Drive through Sonora Pass
    • Stop at Donnell Vista
    • Pinecrest Lake Trailhead (Optional)
    • Drive home

Optional second day in Canyonlands NP

  • Needles District Visitor Center
  • Roadside Ruin
  • Cave Springs Trail
  • Chesler Park, Druid Arch
  • Big Spring Canyon Overlook
  • Pothole Point Trail
  • Needles Overlook at Sunset

Optional places to consider visiting

  • Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
  • Horseshoe Bend near Page, AZ
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Monument Valley
  • Four Corners Monument