Trip West - 2018  
  Monument Valley  |  Page Arizona  |  Grand Staircase Escalante |  Zion  |  Moab  |  Capital Reef  |  Bryce Canyon  |  Cedar Breaks   
  This trip will last around 10 days and will go through the states of Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah and northern Arizona. It will probably entail a journey of some 2,000 miles before we reach our final destination at Casa Budde West.

We will depart from St. Louis on Wednesday May 23 and arrive in Driggs around Memorial Day.
  The main photography objectives of this trip are:  
  Monument Valley in northern Arizona
  Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
  Zion National Park
  If we have time, we will also stop by Bryce Canyon National Park (see below) since it will be on the way. After we leave Zion, we will also visit with Ted & Paulette Roche and Andy Odenwald in Salt Lake City on the way to Driggs.  
  This map should give you some idea of where everything is located in relation to the others areas we will be visiting.  
  Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park  
  Destination 1  
  Monument Valley is located in the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. You will probably remember the classic scene from the movie Forrest Gump where Forest is running across the US. He is running done a road with these dramatic spires in the distance.

We can either do this park on our own or hire a guide to take us around.
  Distance from St. Louis: 1285 miles and 20 hours drive time. If we make it to Colorado Springs the first day (800 miles and 12 hour drive time) the second day will entail 485 miles and a 8:35 drive time.  
  Lodging options:
Valley of the Gods Bed & Breakfast (970-749-1164)
Monument Valley: The View Hotel (435-727-5555)
Mexican Hat: San Juan Inn (800-447-2022)
Goulding's Lodge (435-727-3231) - I saw a YouTube video where a fellow stayed here and it was a nice location
  Dining options:
Kayenta AZ: Amigo Cafe, The Blue Coffee Pot
Mexican Hat: Olde Bridge Grill
  Photography Plan:  
  Arrive early afternoon on May 24. Scout for sunset locations. Take photos. Spend May 25 taking more photos and visiting Natural Bridges, Valley of the Gods, Bears Ears and time permitting Rainbow Bridge.

Note: there are tour options we may want to investigate

Drive to Page Arizona late May 26.
  Park Web Site     Map     Info     Video     Drone Flying Southern Utah & Arizona video  
  Attraction: Natural Bridges National Monument  
  This is near Valley of the Gods and Bears Ear described below. The monument protects three natural bridges: Sipapu BridgeKachina Bridge, and Owachomo Bridge. Trailheads and overlooks for each bridge are located along the main driving loop.  
  Distance from Monument Valley Utah: 70 miles and 1:30 drive time  
   Web site    Map     Video     Info  
  Attraction: Valley of the Gods  
  The Valley of the Gods Road runs between Highways 163 and 261. The road forks away from Hwy 163 about 7.5 miles north of Mexican Hat. It winds north and west and then connects with Hwy 261 about 6.5 miles northwest of the point where Hwy 261 forks from Hwy 161..  
  Distance from Monument Valley Utah: 35 miles and 50 minute drive time.  
   Web Site    Map     Video  
  Attraction: Bears Ears  
Bears Ears National Monument is located west of the towns of Blanding, Monticello and Bluff and north of Mexican Hat in southeastern Utah's San Juan County. It is located a few minutes west of Bluff on U.S. 163 en route to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. The best place to see the iconic view of the Bears Ears is from State Route 261 traveling north towards Highway 95.  
  Distance from Monument Valley Utah: 70 miles and 1:35 drive time.  
   Web Site    Map     Video  
  Attraction: Rainbow Bridge National Monument  
  This is located east of Monument Valley close to Lake Powell. Rainbow Bridge is one of the world's largest known natural bridges. Rainbow Bridge National Monument is located between Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Navajo Nation. There are no roads in the vicinity of the monument. Rainbow Bridge can be reached by boat on Lake Powell.  
  Distance from Monument Valley Utah: xx miles and x:yy drive time.  
  Web Site     Video     More  
  Around Page, Arizona  
  Destination 2  
  Distance from Monument Valley Utah to Page Arizona: 120 miles and 2 hours drive time.  
  Photography Plan:  
  Spend May 27 in the area investigating Antelope Canyon and The Wave / Coyote Buttes.

Drive to Grand-Staircase Escalante the morning of May 28.
  Lodging: Page Arizona  
  Attraction: Antelope Canyon  
  Distance from Page: 8 miles and 15 minutes drive time.  Guided tours into Upper Antelope Canyon are subjected to passenger limits, we highly suggest booking a tour in Advance, from the months of March to October Reservations are Required (see Park Web Site link below)

Our tours into the Upper Antelope Canyon begin at our office located at 22 South Lake Powell Boulevard, near the intersection of Lake Powell Boulevard and North Navajo Drive in the heart of Page, AZ. Look for the monster trucks! Call or email for directions.
  I suspect that being able to take photos without a bunch of folks in them will be quite problematic. We might want to skip this. The Lower Canyon tour is supposed to be less crowded than the popular Upper Canyon. It is however quite a bit more strenuous to navigate and requires some climbing.  
   Park Web Site    Map     Video  
  Attraction: The Wave / Coyote Buttes  
  Distance from Page: 45 miles and 1 hour drive time. This requires a hike of 5.5 miles to The Wave and back. See web site link for more details.  
   Park Web Site    Map     Info     Photos     Video    Video  
  Attraction: Horseshoe Bend  
  Web site     Best time to visit      
  Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument  
  Destination 3  
  Distance from Page Arizona to Tropic Utah: 155 miles and 2:40 drive time but there will be some stopping along the way for photography.  
  Photography Plan:  
  On May 28, stop and take photos at Lower Calf Creek Falls, Grosvenor Arch and Kodachrome Basin State Park along our northerly drive. Head on over to the other "loop" and take photos of Devil's Garden and Dancehall Rock.  
  Note: we might want to consider a tour  
  Lodging options  
  Boulder: Boulder Mountain Lodge (435-335-7460), Circle Cliffs Motel (435-335-7333)  
  Escalante: Canyons Bed & Breakfast (435-826-4747)  
  Dining options  
  Escalante: Burr Trail Grill, Cowboy Blues, Circle D Eatery  
  Boulder: Hell's Backbone Grill (reservations recommended )  
  Torrey: Cafe Diablo  
  Attraction: Lower Calf Creek Falls  
  A delightful hike that ends at a 126 foot waterfall. The trailhead is in the Calf Creek Recreation Area, which is on Utah State Highway 12, about 15 miles east of Escalante, UT.

See web site for more details about this attraction.
  Web Site     Video  
  Attraction: Upper Calf Creek Falls  
  Upper Calf Creek Falls Trail is a 2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Boulder, Utah that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate.  
  Web Site  
  Attraction: Grosvenor Arch  
  Grosvenor Arch trail is a 0.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Cannonville, Utah  
  Web Site     Video  
Attraction: Kodachrome Basin State Park
  There are several trails here to explore this park... Trails Grand Parade trail and Angel's Palace trail. Click on the web site link below for more details. From the write-up it would seem that the second would be preferred for photography. Each is listed as 1.5 miles in length.  
  Web Site  
  Attraction: Devil's Garden  
  A short 0.5 mile hike. From Escalante, Utah, take the main road, Highway 12, east through Escalante. The road will head in a southeastern direction. Follow Hwy 12 for five miles, and as the highway makes a left curve, the unpaved Hole in the Rock Road will be on the right side of the road. If you were to go straight instead of take the curve that would turn into Hole in the Rock Road.  
  Web Site     Video  
  Attraction: Dancehall Rock  
  About 42 miles south of Escalante, back-country travelers will find Dance Hall Rock.  
  Web Site  
  Attraction: Coyote Gulch  
  Coyote Gulch at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, offers photogenic views of natural arches above a present-day watercourse. Access to this canyon is by backpacking along a trail that follows the creek. You’ll need to frequently walk in the creek, so choose appropriate footwear.  
  Web Site     Another     Video  
  Hike of 11.5 miles round trip - although this is really, REALLY beautiful, we will probably skip this.  
  Grand Staircase Escalante Hikes  
  Bryce Canyon National Park  
  Destination 4  
  Distance from Boulder: 80 miles and 1:45 drive time  
  Drive from Grand Escalante on May 30 to Bryce and then Zion  
   Web Site    Map     Video     My photos     Hikes  
  Zion National Park  
  Destination 5  
  Distance from Bryce Canyon National Park: 85 miles with a 2:00 drive time.  
  Lodging: Springdale, La Verkin, Hurricane or St. George. Last time I stayed at Rodeway Inn in Hurricane Utah (~ $83 per night).  
  My main objective here is to catch some photos of The Watchman at sunset with the Zion River in the foreground.  
  IMPORTANT: Rodney Henry says there are major delays getting into the Park from the south entrance due to road construction. He suggests we go in through the east entrance.  
  Photography Plans:  
  Leave base for Grand Escalante the morning of May 28 and drive to Zion National Park. Be on the bridge to take sunset photos of the Watchman.

On May 31, take a trip down to Vermillion Cliffs. Head up to Salt Lake City later that day. Spend Friday June 1 with Ted and Andy.

Drive to Driggs on June 2.
  Park Web Site     Map     Guide     Video     Outdoor Photographer     Joe's Guide to Zion National Park  
  Photos I want to take: Court of the Patriarches     Watchman  
  Attraction: Vermillion Cliffs  
  This area is due south of Zion National Park.  
  Distance from Zion National Park: 50 miles and 1:35 drive time  
   Park Web Site     Info    Map     Tours     National Geographic Photos     Video  
  Drive from Vermillion Cliffs to Salt Lake City: 365 miles and 5:50 drive time. The drive from Salt Lake City to Driggs is 285 miles and a 4:20 drive time.  
  Scharff Family Adventure  
  Colorado National Monument  
  This looks to be a very scenic drive. Since the drive from Granby to Moab is just over 5 hours, you may want to consider taking a side trip through the Colorado National Monument around Grand Junction.  
  Web site     Map  
  Around Moab Utah  
  Based in Moab, you can take in Arches, Highway 128, Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands. I stayed at the Rodeway Inn & Suites (~ $190 per night). They had a pool as I recall.

Note: driving distance from Granby to Moab is 310 miles and just over 5 hours drive time.
  Attraction: Arches National Park  
  I was last here in the spring of 2015.  
  Distance from Moab: 4.5 miles  
  Main attractions: Park Avenue, Three Gossips, Courthouse Towers, Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, Turret Arch, North & South Window, Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, Double O Arch  
  Park Web Site     Map     Outdoor Photographer     My photos     Video  
  Attraction: Highway 128  
  This is a right hand turn just before crossing the Colorado River on the way to Arches National Park coming from Moab.  
  Distance from Moab: 3 miles  
  Map     Info     Video  
  Attraction: Dead Horse Point State Park  
  I was last here in the spring of 2015. As you can see from the photos above, this is a "don't miss" scenic opportunity! This can be combined with a day trip to Canyonlands National Park.  
  Distance from Moab: 32 miles  
  Web Site     Link     Map     Video  
  Attraction: Canyonlands National Park  
  I was last here in the spring of 2015. This is reached as a daytime drive from Moab Utah.  
  Distance from Dead Horse Point: 12 miles  
  Main attractions: the various overlooks, hike to Mesa Arch  
   Web Site    Map     My photos     Video  
  Driving West from Moab  
  If you want to continue westward from Moab for a bit here are some options you might want to consider.  
  Attraction: Highway 12  
  This is a beautiful scenic drive that you can take if you are going to visit some of the other places listed below.  
  Driving Utah's Scenic ByWay     Scenic ByWay 12  
  Attraction: Capital Reef National Park  
  I was last here in the spring of 2015.  
  Distance from Moab: 140 miles and just over 2 hours drive time.  
  Main attractions: Hickman Bridge (above),  
  Park Web Site     Map     Video     My photos     More photos  
  Attraction: Bryce Canyon National Park  
  I was last here in the spring of 2015. This area is famous for its "hoodoos". I stayed at the Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn in Bryce City. (~ $155 per night)  
  Distance from Capital Reef National Park: 120 miles and 2:20 drive time  
  Distance from Bryce City Utah: 2 miles  
  Main attractions:  
   Web Site    Map     Video     My photos     Hikes  
  Attraction: Cedar Breaks National Monument  
  I was last here in 2015. This is a high altitude location... around 10,000 feet. I stayed at the Days Inn in Panguitch Utah (~ $90 per night)  
  Distance from Bryce Canyon National Park: 55 miles and 1:10 drive time  
  Distance from Panguich: 31 miles and 40 minutes drive time  
  Distance from Cedar City Utah: 45 miles and 35 minutes drive time  
   Web Site     Info    Map     Video  
  If you are feeling really ambitious, you could drive all the way to Zion National Park (see above). 70 miles and a 1:30 drive time