For lovers of the great outdoors and stunning scenery, it is difficult to imagine a better destination than the fabulous state of Utah. With five major national park, 43 state parks and two national recreation areas, countless activities such as 4-wheel-drive tours, rafting, biking, horse-riding and biking, it is not difficult to understand why Utah has become one of the top destinations in the USA. Come dazzle your senses and see for yourself why Utah is one of the top destinations in North America.
Day 1. Arrive Salt Lake City. Day 2. Salt Lake City. Day 3. Salt Lake City to Cedar City (approx. 250 miles). Day 4. Cedar City to Zion National Park /Springdale (approx. 57 miles). Day 5. Zion National Park. Day 6. Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park (approx. 114 miles). Day 7. Bryce Canyon National Park to Capitol Reef National Park (approx. 86 miles). Day 8. Capitol Reef National Park. Day 9. Capitol Reef National Park to Monument Valley (approx. 199 miles). Day 10. Monument Valley to Moab (approx. 142 miles). Days 11 & 12. Moab (Arches and Canyonlands National Parks). Day 13. Moab to Park City (approx. 234 miles). Day 14. Park City. Day 15. Park City to Salt Lake City Intl. Airport (approx. 37 miles).
Day 1. Arrive Salt Lake City. Upon arrival at Salt Lake City International Airport make your own way to your hotel in the city centre and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon and evening exploring the city. The city’s Lightrail System (TRAX) allows visitors to travel to the heart of the city from the airport in just 10 minutes. Overnight: Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites (Standard) or Grand America (Superior).
Day 2. Salt Lake City. A whole day to enjoy the sights and culture of this wonderful city. Founded in the mid-1800’s by the Mormon pioneers, Salt Lake rapidly grew into one of the West’s most important commercial and transportation centres, yet still it retains much of the flavour and charm of the Old West. The historic downtown is filled with parks, galleries, restaurants, pubs and shops. Temple Square, the city’s tree-lined centre is home to numerous attractions including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Salt Lake Temple, Family History Library and several museums featuring early pioneer life. The Natural History Museum of Utah is now housed in the Rio Tinto Center and exhibits thousands of artifacts from Utah’s history and prehistory. Nine themed galleries allow a hands-on approach to dinosaur fossils, plants, minerals and archaeological artifacts, providing you with useful background knowledge for your forthcoming tour of the state. Overnight: Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites (Standard) or Grand America (Superior).
Day 3. Salt Lake City to Cedar City (approx. 250 miles). Collect your rental car this morning and embark upon your great tour of Utah! En route to Cedar City make a stop at Cove Fort Historic Site. The fort was built in 1847 to protect pioneers who were travelling through and settling in this area. Arrive this afternoon in Cedar City and if time permits visit the nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument. Overnight: Best Western Town & Country (Standard) & (Superior).
Day 4. Cedar City to Zion National Park (approx. 57 miles). Linger a while in Cedar City this morning and enjoy the small town atmosphere before taking the short drive to one of the crown jewels of the American West – Zion National Park! Enjoy an afternoon in the Park. In the evening enjoy the many restaurants and shops of the small town of Springdale at the entrance to the park. Overnight: Majestic View Lodge (Standard) or Zion Lodge (Superior).
Day 5. Zion National Park. A free day to explore and marvel at this fabulous national park. The free park shuttle allows you to park your car and enjoy the views as the shuttle takes you all through the valley of the Virgin River, stopping to let you on and off at the many trail-heads, visitor centre and scenic locations. Local operators in Springdale offer a range of escorted 4-wheel drive tours, canyoneering, hiking and biking tours of Zion and the surrounding area.
Day 6. Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park (approx. 114 miles). A very leisurely and spectacular drive this morning takes you out of Zion’s deep canyon climbing through the hairpin bends and through the tunnels of the east entrance, via Mount Carmel Junction to Bryce Canyon National Park. Anyone whoever tells you that all national parks are the same, has never been to Utah! Bryce’s amazing landscape leaves most visitors speechless. The towering hoodoos, fins and rose-coloured spires inspire wonder and awe in all who are lucky enough to spend some time here. Stroll along the rim, take the free park shuttle to the various scenic overlooks and make sure you find a tranquil spot to watch the sun go down. The nearby community of Bryce Canyon at the entrance to the national park offers several restaurants, shops, petrol, evening rodeos, cowboy entertainment, scenic flights and biking. Overnight: Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn (Standard) or Bryce Lodge (Superior).
Day 7. Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef National Park (approx. 86 miles). Linger a while in Bryce this morning, perhaps enjoying a sunrise over the canyon before breakfast. Then take Scenic Highway 12 via the small communities of Tropic, Escalante and Torrey and arrive at Capitol Reef National Park. The remainder of the day is yours to either relax at your hotel or start exploring Capitol Reef. Overnight: Capitol Reef Resort (Standard) or Austin’s Chuck Wagon Lodge (Superior).
Day 8. Capitol Reef National Park. The Waterpocket Fold, and enormous wrinkle in the earth’s crust, forms the 99-mile backbone of Capitol Reef. Early explorers described it as an ‘impassable reef of rock’ this giving the park it’s name. The Park’s visitor centre is located in an oasis which has been enjoyed for millennia by native tribes and the abundance of pre-European rock art testifies to this. Early settler’s orchards grace the area and this is wonderful country for hiking and mountain biking. Overnight: Capitol Reef Resort (Standard) or Austin’s Chuck Wagon Lodge (Superior).
Day 9. Capitol Reef National Park to Monument Valley (approx. 199 miles). Another incredible drive ahead of you today and you join Scenic Highway 95 south to Monument Valley. Along the way you will cross the Colorado River at Cataract Canyon and have the opportunity to visit Natural Bridges National Monument. This evening enjoy a Monument Valley sunset – not to be missed! Overnight: Gouldings Lodge (Standard) & (Superior).
Day 10. Monument Valley to Moab (approx. 142 miles). Enjoy a tour of the surreal landscape of Monument Valley this morning with a Navajo guide who will ensure that you get to the best scenic highlights and will provide insights to the life of the modern Navajo as well as the valley’s fascinating history. After you tour make a stop at the Goosenecks State Park to view the San Juan River before continuing to Moab. Overnight: Aarchway Inn Standard & Superior.
Days 11 & 12. Moab. Two full days to enjoy the unbelievable scenery of the Moab area. While you can quite easily see most of Arches National Park with your rental car, enjoying the paved roads and hiking trails, it is completely different with Canyonlands National Park where the unpaved roads are a no-no for rental cars and you need a local guide with a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to traverse the rough park roads. There are several local operators in Moab who offer a wide choice of hiking and 4 x 4 tours of both parks, and offer white-water rafting, float trips, jet-boat tours and mountain biking tours and rentals. In addition to the two national parks, a visit to Dead Horse Point State Park is a must-do. Overnight: Aarchway Inn Standard & Superior.
Day 13. Moab to Park City* (approx. 234 miles). Head north this morning and perhaps make stops at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum, where modern exhibits tell the fascinating history of Powell and other river explorers alongside galleries of Native American history, culture and art. Further north the Western Mining & Railroad Museum in the small town of Helper tells the story of the railroads in the area. Arrive in the old silver mining town of Park City this afternoon. Overnight: Hampton Inn (Standard) or Westgate Park City Resort & Spa (Superior).
Day 14. Park City*. A full day to enjoy Park City and the surrounding area. A major ski resort in winter, in summer Park City is alive with festivals, great shops, restaurants and outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, mountain-biking and scenic drives. Perhaps take the Heber Valley Historic Railroad on one of it’s enjoyable scenic journeys through the lovely countryside of the Heber Valley. Overnight: Hampton Inn (Standard) or Westgate Park City Resort & Spa (Superior).
Day 15. Park City to Salt Lake City Intl. Airport (approx. 37 miles). A relaxing morning, perhaps doing some last minute shopping, before you take the short journey to the airport, return your rental car and take the flight home.
* As an alternative to Park City it may be possible to stay at the Sundance Mountain Resort, home of Robert Redford and the famous Sundance Film Festival. This stunning and very special place offers great relaxation, hiking, horse-riding, fishing and mountain-biking – a great way to relax at the end of your touring holiday. Contact Just America for details.
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* 14 nights hotel accommodation including hotel taxes.
* Maps, guides and itinerary.
Not included: Flights, car rental, national park admissions, meals, optional excursions, petrol, travel insurance and personal expenses.
Location No.nights Standard Hotels Superior Hotels Salt Lake City 2 Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites (Inc.bkfst) Grand America Cedar City 1 Best Western Town & Country (Inc.bkfst) Best Western Town & Country (Inc.bkfst) Zion National Park/Springdale 2 Majestic View Lodge Zion Lodge Bryce Canyon area 1 Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn Bryce Canyon Lodge Capitol Reef National Park area 2 Capitol Reef Resort Austin’s Chuck Wagon Lodge Monument Valley 1 Gouldings Lodge Gouldings Lodge Moab 3 Aarchway Inn (Inc. Cont.bkfst) Aarchway Inn (Inc.Cont.bkfst) Park City 2 Hampton Inn (Inc. Bkfst) Westgate Park City Resort & Spa
Hotels/Lodges are subject to availability at the time of booking.
Tour prices:The prices shown in the price panels are for the accommodation elements only, they do not include flights or car rental (unless indicated). This enables you to choose the airline and car of your choice and add them to the accommodation package to create your holiday. Our reservations staff will be pleased to help you with flight availability, to suggest which is the best airline for your itinerary and to advise you of any special offers the airlines may have introduced.
Hotels:Hotels featured in our self-drive and independent tours are chosen for their location, value for money and facilities. Whenever possible we offer a choice of Standard or Superior hotels. There is no recognised 'star' system throughout North America for classifying hotels, motels and resorts. The hotel ratings for our tours are subjective and are provided to give you an understanding as to the level of facility. They are either the hotel's official categorisation as per the Official Hotel & Resort Guide, or Just America's. Standards vary from location to location, therefore ratings in the remote areas can differ from those in the cities. Standard hotels would be those classified as Moderate, and Superior hotels would be First Class, in the Official Hotel and Resort Guide. National Park accommodations are more rustic and are chosen almost entirely because of their location. It should not be assumed that because an hotel is listed as Superior that it has certain amenities. Often a hotel is classified as Superior due to its position, views or room standard, it does not always follow that a superior hotel will have a swimming pool, hair-dryers, golf course, room service etc. We will try to provide information on individual hotels on request although the internet is usually the quickest and most accurate source of information. Hotel rooms in North America usually have one or two double beds. Triple and Quad rooms have two double beds. Very few hotels in North America have three or four beds. It is sometimes possible to have a rollaway bed which can be requested, but cannot be guaranteed. Occasionally hotels are chosen purely for their location - i.e. half-way between two points of interest - and may be included as a one night stop to break up an otherwise long journey. Such hotels may not have the full facilities normally associated with a Standard or Superior hotel, but sometimes we don't have any other choice. Where possible hotels providing free car parking have been included, however in some locations, such as city centres, the hotels may make a charge.
Note:Hotels are not usually ready to accept guests until after 3 or 4 pm, so please try not to check in before mid-afternoon. Check out time is usually before 11 am or 12 noon. It is sometimes possible to arrange late check out, or the storage of luggage, but this is at the discretion of the hotel.
Tour notes and itineraries:On several of our tours the tour notes and itineraries are provided at the first hotel. On other tours this information is forwarded with the travel documents approximately 14 days prior to departure. We will endeavour to provide the best information we can to help you, but it is not our policy to provide mile by mile detailed route guides, the frequent changes to local road conditions, layouts etc., makes this impossible. We do provide maps, guides to the major attractions en route, and directions to hotels whenever possible. These are independent self-drive holidays and you will be required to read a map and locate attractions and hotels. Sat.Nav. is available from the car rental companies - at a charge - and you may find this useful, however all technology is prone to failure so we always recommend that you keep the maps handy.
Tailor-made holidays:We will be pleased to discuss your own ideas and itineraries and help you plan your holiday. If you would like to email, fax or mail an outline of your tour with dates, number of people, ages of children etc., to us we will be happy to advise you. We request that you include your daytime telephone number on all correspondence. Where you have chosen the route and we have designed a tailor-made holiday for you, it may not be possible to provide you with a detailed tour itinerary. We suggest that you read up about the area you are planning to visit well in advance, preferably before you book the holiday. Insight Guides cover almost every region of North America and are about the best on the market. Just America can also provide a some tourist information subject to availability, but we do not have detailed route information to cover every area of the Continent. You might find the internet to be the best source of free, up-to-date information.
National Park Passes:Both the US and Canada charge entrance fees for their national parks, and if you are visiting a number of parks, this cost can add up to a significant amount. We recommend that you purchase a Parks Pass at the first national park you visit. For the US the pass currently costs $80 for up to four adults (children under 16 are free). In Canada a family pass currently costs $136.40. Both passes provide unlimited visits to that country's parks for 12 months. The passes can only be used in the country of purchase. Full details available at www.nps.gov (for USA) and www.pc.gc.ca/index_e.asp
Just America specialises in tailor-making holidays and we will be pleased to design this or any of our tours to your specifications.
We can provide details, prices and make reservations for optional sightseeing excursions mentioned in the itinerary.
All mileages are approximate. Hotels/Lodges are subject to availability at the time of booking.