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Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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There was a recent thread asking about Utah vacation ideas. We just got back from our annual vacation, at this year we spent a bunch of time in SE UT, so I figured I'd share.

The first two days were spent pretty much getting out west from Indiana. WE stopped the first night at Prairie Dog State Park in northern KS. Nice place, but more ticks than I've ever seen in my life. We took a short walk and afterwards I was pulling them off of everybody. Wife woke up screaming in the middle of the night with one one her. It got axe murdered in the trailer, and of course then everybody was "feeling" ticks on themselves the rest of the night. I'll spare you pics of that place.

Day 2 we stopped by Royal Gorge, because I've never been there. Figured we'd just walk out on the bridge, check it out, and get back on our way. Nope. It would have cost $165 for the 6 of us! No thanks. Took this pic and left.

Camped that night at the bottom of Wolf Creek pass off of 160...beautiful place.

After the obligatory stop in Cortez at the Indian jewelry store we drove to National bridges National monument. I wanted to go south and drive the Moki Dugway again, but my wife nixed that idea and we took 95 (if you don't know what the moki dugway is, google of the coolest things I've ever driven). The next day we did a hike in the park. Sadly, the creek at the bottom of the canyon was dried up, so it wasn't quite as fun as last time we were here, but the scenery was still beautiful.

The road by our dispersed campsite was pretty cool, too. You could barely make out monument Valley to the south at sunset, and we found this old Chevy half buried in a wash.

We then drove over to UT 12 through Capitol Reef and some of the most fantastic scenery you'll ever see anywhere.

We spent 4 days camping along UT 12, got some hiking in and explored some canyons. This slot canyon off of Burr Trail Rd was pretty cool:

We also hiked upper Calf Creek Falls. We did the lower falls last time, but IMO this one was much better, with a big pool you could jump in above the falls:

The Trailhead:

From there we went to Tucson to visit some family, but on the way we stopped by Bryce Canyon, Glenn Canyon Dam, and Horeshoe Bend:

Had some excitement...oldest son came within inches of getting bitten by a snake, but thankfully it was after a trout instead of him, and we had to drive 5 hours out of the way to avoid some wildfires around Globe, AZ...but nothing catastrophic and we made some good memories.

I'd love to go back sometime with a 4wd Jeep and get to some of the areas that I didn't feel comfortable taking my ancient RWD Suburban, which I was also relying on to get us home. I know we've got some UT members here...lets see your pics!
Posts: 4539 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
sick puppy
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I’ve always loved photographs of Utah. This is an absolutely gorgeous state! I haven’t explored it nearly as much as i wish i could’ve, especially the southern parts. Thanks for the pictures and stories! Sounds like a great trip!!

While you may be able to get away with bottom shelf whiskey, stay the hell away from bottom shelf tequila. - FishOn
Posts: 7468 | Location: Alpine, Ut | Registered: February 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
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Thanks for sharing! I've made two trips through Utah since retiring 14 years ago. Indeed the vistas are awe inspiring.

Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
Posts: 13051 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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PorterN...take a week, throw a tent in the car and some food in a cooler, and go do it! It won't cost that much, and you won't regret it. The national parks are nice, but very crowded. We camped in National Forest Service campgrounds....fewer amenities, but cheaper and a lot less crowded. There's also a lot of BLM and NFS land that you can camp on for free provided you're ok with bringing your own water and digging a hole to poop in.

I saw a bunch of folks with side by sides and ATVs...that would really be a blast with all the trails and roads out there. It opens up even more possibilities, because a bunch of that area is very remote with no or very bad roads. I can't afford those kinds of toys right now, nor can I fit all of my kids in one...but I have a dream about coming back with some kind of 4x4 later in life and really getting off the road out there.
Posts: 4539 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of LMLarsen
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Beautiful pictures! I need to get back out there…

We few... We happy few...
Posts: 240 | Location: Virginia, USA | Registered: January 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Muzzle flash
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A very nice tour post! Excellent pictures! I've only done a little traveling in Utah, but have visited Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Arches NP (with a hot-air balloon ride), and Canyonlands NP (with a boat cruise). Moab is an interesting little town.

My photos of those places are part of this Collection:


Texan by choice, not accident of birth
Posts: 25470 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: May 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Rumors of my death
are greatly exaggerated
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Great pics. Glad you had a great trip.

"Someday I hope to be half the man my bird-dog thinks I am."

Posts: 10287 | Location: Commirado | Registered: July 23, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
A day late, and
a dollar short
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Truly some scenic pics!

NRA Life Member, Annual Member GOA, MGO Annual Member
Posts: 12957 | Location: Michigan | Registered: July 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for sharing your pics. Beautiful country.
Posts: 5690 | Location: Treasure Coast,Fl. | Registered: July 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serenity now!
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I love the desert southwest - I can't get enough of it. Glad you made some great memories with your family!

Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice - pull down your pants and slide on the ice.
ʘ ͜ʖ ʘ
Posts: 4708 | Location: Highland, UT | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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