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The Ultimate Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary

The Ultimate Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary

Are you dreaming of an epic outdoor adventure?犹他州国家公园公路旅行是该国最好的国家公园公路旅行之一!

There are five national parks in Utah- Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands- and each has something special to offer families.Use this Utah national park road trip itinerary to plan your own dream vacation.每间站都包括徒步旅行的建议以及餐饮和住宿的建议。

Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary

拱门国家公园的精致拱| Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

Begin in Las Vegas

If your visit to the national parks in Utah will require a flight, fly into Las Vegas.Flights into this major tourist hub arrive from all over the country as well as the rest of the world. Because Las Vegas is such a popular destination, it is relatively easy to find discounted flights.

Utah national park road trips are extremely popular from Las Vegas, so van and RV rentals are plentiful. Best of all,Las Vegas is only 2 1/2 hours from Zion National Park, the first park on your itinerary!

Spending time in Las Vegas? Here are our picks for thebest things to do in Las Vegas with kids.

Utah National Park Road Trip

Utah National Parks Road Trip Days 1 & 2: Zion National Park

Zion National Park is the first stop on your Utah National Parks road trip. Ideally, your family should spend two nights in this park to get a chance to fully explore it.This park is the most popular of the Utah National Parks because it is within a day’s drive of several metropolitan areas.拉斯维加斯,洛杉矶,凤凰和盐湖都在一天的车程。

Zion receives four million visitors per year. Most visit the park between April and September.During the busy months, the park service closes off the main road into Zion Canyon to public traffic and operates a free shuttle service.The shuttle is frequent and stops at major trailheads and attractions throughout the park.

阅读我们的完整指南Things to do in Zion with Kids

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Zion National Park Hikes

A Utah National parks Road Trip Should include a stop at Zion National Park
Trail Along the Virgin River in Zion National Park | Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

One of the most popular activities in Zion National Park is hiking.This park offers some diverse hikes that are great for families. During the summer months, it is recommended that youget out on the trails early to avoid crowds, enjoy cooler weather, and avoid afternoon monsoons.

Emerald Pools

Hiking to theUpper and Lower Emerald Poolsis a popular activity for families. The trailhead can be accessed via the Zion Lodge Shuttle Stop. Kids will love walking under a waterfall and scrambling on the rocks near the Upper Emerald Pools.

Riverside Walk and The Narrows

距离Sinawava班车庙停下来的另外一家受欢迎的徒步旅行目的地。在这里,您可以享受疯狂的流行Riverside Walk, a paved trail which is mostly shaded by the looming cliffs of Zion Canyon.

TheVirgin Riveris a popular place to splash and cool off during the scorching summer heat. It can be very cold and swift during the spring snow melt. By the end of the summer, it is often running slow and low, making it ideal for hiking through the Narrows or floating in inner tubes.

The Narrowsbegin at the end of the Riverside Trail. Here, hikers wear hard-soled shoes and wade into the water to start their exploration of this dramatic canyon. Feel free to hike in as far as you would like, just be aware that water levels can vary (you may even have to swim in some spots) and the river bottom is rocky.

Be sure to check with Park Rangers to verify there are no flash floods in the forecast before heading out.This hike is epic, dirty, scenic, and fun!

Read about more Zion National Park hikes in our guide tohiking in Zion National Park with kids

Where to Stay Near Zion National Park

电缆山旅馆in Springdale | Photo byjared422_80

Most people visiting Zion National Park either camp inside the park or stay in the gateway city of Springdale which sits at the park boundary.There is a free shuttle that stops at several hotels in town as well as the Zion National Park Visitor Center. At the Visitor Center, parkgoers can connect with the Zion National Park shuttle.

The most popular campground in Zion National Park is theWatchman Campground露营地有176个常规网站和6组网站,靠近游客中心和斯普林代尔镇。维珍河旁边有几个景点。露营地有漂亮的浴室,但没有淋浴。幸运的是,镇上有干净的工资淋浴。

The电缆山旅馆is a Trekaroo family favorite。Rooms feature full kitchens and plenty of space for large families in their suites.Rocking chairs on the patio overlook a grassy area with views of the vibrant Zion cliffs. The lodge’s pool area has lovely red rock views as well. Cable Mountain Lodge is a short walk from the park entrance, restaurants, and shopping.

Cliffrose Springdaleis another great option for families. Rooms run the gamut from standard to 2-bedroom suites with full kitchens. Families also enjoy the pool with waterfall hot tub, playground equipment, beach access to the Virgin River, and a central location.

TheLa Quinta Inn and Suitesis a good option in Springdale. The hotel is quite new and has a nice pool, free continental breakfast, and adjoining rooms. The location is excellent as well; 100 yards from a shuttle stop and within walking distance of several restaurants and shops.

Where to Eat Near Zion National Park

Photo via Zion Pizza and Noodle

After a long day of hiking in Zion, a carb-loaded meal definitely hits the spot.Zion Pizza and Noodleis popular with families because the pizzas are great and their pasta dishes are tasty and creative.If you aren’t in the mood for pizza, try the homemade calzones or the Thai chicken pasta. You can also order you meal at Zion Pizza and Noodle as takeout and enjoy it at your hotel pool or playground.

Jack’s Sports Grillis another popular option. Their eclectic menu features salads, sandwiches, rice bowls, BBQ, burgers, and brats. Their location is family-friendly and a fun spot to catch the game.

Oscar’s Cafeis a good place to eat if you want a variety of options. They have TexMex options like burritos and shrimp tacos but they also have ribs, pork chops, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Oscar’s a great choice for breakfast as well. They serve up breakfast burritos, omelets, and more!

Utah National Parks Road Trip Day 3: Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah National Parks Road Trip map from Zion to Bryce
Springdale to Bryce Canyon

It is only a short, 110-minute drive from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park, making this the shortest drive of your Utah National Parks road trip.

It is also one of the most scenic drives of the road trip, especially when you are driving through the Mt. Carmel Tunnel area of Zion National Park and on Highway 12 approaching Bryce Canyon.

TheWhite Mountain Trading Postat the Shell Station at the corner of Hwy 9 and Hwy 89 is a great place to stop.有很多有趣的事情需要在美洲原住民珠宝和商品,拉提米动物和各种纪念品等贸易职位内看待。

Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its incredible hoodoos, tall sandstone spires that are carved into creation by erosion. No doubt, Bryce Canyon is one of the most scenic spots in the entire country.

Bryce Canyon National Park Hikes

Be sure to include Bryce Canyon National Park on Your Utah National parks Road Trip Itinerary
在布莱斯峡谷国家公园的不祥之中徒步旅行|照片由Sharlene Exprhaw

Navajo Loop & Queens Garden

Our favorite hike in Bryce Canyon is the 2.9-mile loop we created by combining the Navajo Trail with the Queens Garden Trail。This allowed us to walk down into the canyon and experience the famed sandstone walls of “Wall Street”, as well as a marvelous garden of handmade hoodoos created by fellow hikers. The hike is steep in spots but my kids have always handled it like champs.

We have hiked the Navajo Trail twice. The first time my kids were almost three and we did the traditional loop. It is steep and the drop offs are considerable, so we just made sure to hold hands the entire time and keep the kids on the inside during the switchbacks.

Wall Street is absolutely incredible and the hoodoo sky scrapers are dizzying.在你走进圆形剧场之前,你真的没有经历过的布莱斯。

The second time we took the Navajo Trail my kids were older and we did it in conjunction with theQueens Garden Trail。我更喜欢这个循环,虽然它更长,2.9英里的往返。我的孩子们对这条路有零问题,我发现使用皇后花园来备份,因为它陡峭的陡峭。

Bristlecone Loop

You also don’t want to miss theBristlecone Loop Trail。It is only one mile in length and relatively flat (only gaining about 200 feet in total elevation).

It begins nearRainbow Point,the highest portion of the park at over 9,000 feet in elevation, and makes its way through a forest of ancient bristlecone pine trees.Some of these trees are almost 2,000 years old!

这条小路的观点也异常膨胀。Expect to see eastward for over 100 miles. Be aware that the weather is typically cooler at this elevation and the air is thinner.

Mossy Cave

如果您的家人在溪流中播放并快速漫步到一个漂亮的地方,请乘坐0.8英里的徒步旅行Mossy Cave。This trail follows a stream (perfectly for playing in) to a grotto where water drips down to feed a green carpet of moss on the grotto’s ceiling.

Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon National Park

Where to stay at Bryce Canyon National Park - Lodge at Bryce Canyon
Cabins at the Lodge at Bryce Canyon | Photo byBPPrice


TheLodge at Bryce Canyon是唯一位于公园内的四壁住宿。It is a historic lodge located within steps of the majestic, hoodoo-filled, Bryce Canyon amphitheater.There are typical guest rooms as well as cabin rentals available here.

Campers can choose from two different campgrounds inside the park.North Campground’s sitesare all first come, first serve.Sunset Campgroundspots can be reserved during the busy season (April through October). There are no sewer, water or electrical hook-ups available.

Just a short drive from all the main attractions in Bryce Canyon National Park, you will findRuby’s InnandBryce Canyon Grand Hotel。Both are under the Best Western Plus branding and great options for families.

Ruby’s is the original and has a gift shop, general store, post office, restaurant, and indoor pool. The Bryce Canyon Lodge is much newer (built around 2011) and modern. It has spacious rooms, a complimentary breakfast buffet, and modern amenities. Both offer great access to the park.

Where to Eat Near Bryce Canyon National Park

Steak from Ruby’s Cowboy Buffet and Steak Room

There is adining room at the Lodge at Bryce CanyonIt is a popular place for all three meals of the day and is known for its burgers, sandwiches, steaks, and salads. Expect to pay a bit of premium for location, location, location.

Valhalla Pizzeria and Coffee Shopis also located within the park. It serves up —you guessed it—pizza and coffee drinks, as well as beer, wine, salads, and pastries. It is open for lunch and dinner only.

Ruby’s Inn Cowboy Buffet and Steak Roomis one of the most popular spots to eat for those staying just outside the park.It has been an area staple for years. The menu includes a variety of steaks, fish, chicken, pasta, and sandwiches.

If you are craving barbecue, make the drive into Tropic, 20 minutes down the road, and head toIDK Barbecue.It is known for its brisket, pulled pork, and ribs.


Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef National parks Drive

Take the scenic, 2 1/2-hour drive from Bryce Canyon National Park to Capitol Reef National Park along Utah’s famed Highway 12. This drive will provide some of the many scenic moments rivaling any other you may see on your Utah national parks road trip.

While this drive may take less than 2 1/2 hours to complete, expect to be drawn to make several stops along the way.You will pass by Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Dixie National Forest, and the Henry Mountains, home to the nation’s only free-roaming bison.

KodaChrome Basin State Park也值得侧面旅行。这款恰当的公园被命名为彩色电影KodaChrome,并招手孩子们探索其独特的石头雄性。


Capitol Reef National Park is a great stop on a Utah National Parks road trip
希克曼大桥徒步在国会礁国家公园|照片由Sharlene Exprhaw

Capitol Reef is the least visited of Utah’s “Big 5” National Parks, mostly because it has the most remote location. But trust me, it is worth the drive!

Capitol Reef’s Fruit Orchards

国会礁最大的画the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile-long sandstone buckle in the Earth’s surface filled with narrow canyons and interesting geologic features. The pioneer settlement of Fruita, with century-old orchards still in use today, is a unique draw as well.

由先锋种植的19世纪果园充满了樱桃,杏,梨,桃子和苹果。You are welcome to pick fruit from any unlocked orchard and eat it inside the orchard for free!

TrekarooTip:Stop by the Gifford House across the street from the orchards and enjoy homemade mini-pie or fresh-baked cinnamon roll. Popular flavors can sell out early, so arrive sooner rather than later!

Grand Wash Trail

Your $10 national park entrance fee allows you to enjoy the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive and its hiking trails. TheGrand Wash Trailleads you through a gradually narrowing canyon, eventually becoming 600 feet high and just 16 feet wide at one point.

My kids loved climbing in the various crevasses and alcoves in the wash’s sandstone walls. Walk in as far as you’d like. It eventually meets up with Highway 24, three miles in.

Cassidy Arch

If you are looking for more of a challenge, take the 1.7-mile trail (one way) toCassidy Arch。沿途,它的高度涨幅共有950英尺。您的努力获得了该地区的广泛意见以及庞大的Cassidy Arch。我建议在凌晨服用这次徒步旅行前的热情(缺乏阴影)使东西变热。

Capitol Gorge

At the end of the scenic drive you will find theCapitol Gorge Trail。Here an easy hike through a narrow canyon takes you past petroglyphs drawn by the Fremont people who lived in this region from 600-1200 AD.

Further in, you will come across aPioneer Registry在峡谷的一侧。在19世纪后期和1900年代初期来到该地区的先驱蚀刻并将其名字烧成砂岩墙壁。

Hickman Bridge

If you are going to hike one trail in Capitol Reef, make it the jaunt to Hickman Bridge.我这个2英里小道慢慢爬n elevation until it reaches the 133-foot arch known as Hickman Bridge. The bridge is impressive and the area around the bridge offers lovely shade from the often relentless desert heat.

Highway 24 Pit Stops

There are plenty of great sites to experience along Hwy 24. Coming from the town of Torrey, the park’s small gateway city, your first stop should bePanorama Point.You will seeChimney Rockon the left just before reaching the turnoff to the point.

From the parking lot you will find short walks toGoosenecks Overlookand the shortSunset Point Trailwhich overlooks the Fremont River down below.

As you continue down Highway 24, be sure to stop at the果儿校舍。孩子们会爱上学校后面,发现过去的孩子在岩石中留下了他们的标记。

Then, check out thePetroglyph Lughout.这具有巨大的传物面板,雕刻到由树木阴影的木板走道上方的砂岩墙上。

Where to Stay Near Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef Resort Teepees
Teepees at Capitol Reef Resort | Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

The only lodging options inside of Capitol Reef National Park is campgrounds.There are three primitive campgrounds in remote portions of the park as well as the 71-siteFruita Campground。Sites at Fruita can be reserved March 1- October 31 and include a picnic table and fire pit, but no hookups.

Capitol Reef Resortsits in between the national park entrance and the town of Torrey. It offers a great variety of lodging options for families.There are spacious traditional rooms with private patios, large teepees framed by the dramatic red rock of the Waterpocket Fold, and covered wagons circling a shared fire pit.

Kids will love playing in the pool, running around on the expanses of grass, and roasting marshmallows with new-found friends.Horseback riding and llama hikesare also available on desert trails paralleling the property. The resort has a restaurant which offers a buffet-style breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.

Where to Eat Near Capitol Reef National Park

Gifford House Pie in Capitol Reef National Park
Enjoying Pie at Gifford House | Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

As mentioned above, you don’t want to miss the在Gifford House的馅饼和甜点在公园里面。但除此之外,国家公园内没有用餐。

Across the street from Capitol Reef Resort is theRim Rock Restaurantand theRim Rock Patio. 这个时髦的小天井自称是“意大利面西式咖啡馆”。这里可以欣赏到国会暗礁的美景,还有一个马蹄坑,让孩子们在等你吃饭的时候有空。

RIM Rock Patio菜单很简单,只需几个选项(思考披萨,意大利面,烧烤三明治和沙拉),但他们所做的,他们做得很好。我发现价格令人难以置信的价格实惠,特别是考虑到他们的偏远地点。

Rim Rock Restaurant is more upscale (but still casual) and features a variety of pastas, steaks, fish, and poultry options.


Utah National Parks Road Trip should include a stop in Moab

Expect it to take a bit more than 2 1/2 hours to drive from Capitol Reef to Moab. This drive is remote but still beautiful. At last you will reach Moab, an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.

There are so many great things to do in and around Moab, that it is easy to spend several days in this slick rock wonderland.

Moab is popular with mountain bikers,and is a great spot to take aJeep tourorrent an ATVfor the day. You can even book arafting trip down the Colorado River to Lake Powell.It is also the perfect home base for exploring two national parks, Canyonlands and Arches National Park.

Arches National Park Hikes

Windows Trail Arches National Park
Windows Trail in Arches National Park | Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

Arches National Park is only five miles outside of Moab.There is an 18-mile scenic drive which leads to several of the park’s 2,000 arches. Services are limited inside the park but plentiful just outside of it. Pack in any food and water you might want to enjoy inside the park.

Read our full guide toArches National Park with kids

Double Arch and The Windows

If you are looking for a great place to enjoy some easy hikes to impressive arches, head to the Windows section of Arches National Park. It is especially mesmerizing (plus cooler and relatively empty) during the sunrise hours.

Double Arch Trailis a great place to climb around and explore underneath the park’s tallest arch. It is basically a quick walk from the parking lot on a quarter-mile trail. Kids love to scramble about in the sandstone bowl of Double Arch.

On the other side of the parking lot, theWindows Trailleads you to three massive arches on an easy, 1-mile loop. This is a great place to stretch your legs while packing plenty of “wow factor” into a relatively short hike.


The longest arch in the world is Landscape Arch.The 1.6-mile round-trip hike to this arch includes views of a couple arches along the way. It is a fairly easy hike, but shade is limited so time your visit properly and bring plenty of water.


Delicate Arch

The most famous arch in the world is probably Delicate Arch.有些人可能知道它是“犹他州车牌”拱门。徒步旅行只有三英里,但公园服务将其列为艰苦。我个人认为它适度。

没有阴影,几乎完全跟踪exposed, so I suggest hiking this trail early in the morning(with plenty of water), especially during the summer months. Much of the trail is on slickrock which should be avoided if rain is in the forecast.

Don’t worry, the beauty of this arch is well worth your efforts. Children as young as two were on the trail during my family’s visit.

Read more about拱门国家公园徒步旅行

Canyonlands National Park Hikes

梅萨拱门in Canyonlands National Park
梅萨拱门in Canyonlands National Park | Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

Canyonlands National Park酒店距离莫阿布仅有40分钟车程。像拱门一样,这个公园内的服务有限,所以在探索公园时,让自己的食物和水享受。

Canyonlands is made up of three districts.The Islands in the Sky district is by far the most popular and easiest to access.It sits atop a 1500-foot mesa, making it literally an island in the sky.


Try to arrive in Canyonlands early in the day to avoid the heat and enjoy the light as it glows at Mesa Arch, which acts as a window to the sprawling canyons extending for miles and miles beyond. An easy, 0.7-mile loop trail serves as your access to this special spot.

Whale Rock

This fun, 0.8-mile trail climbs up Whale Rock, a dome-shaped monster that offers great views from the top. Kids love looking for stacked piles of rocks which mark the trail and lead the way up to the top. There is plenty of opportunity rock scrambling along the way.


This one-mile trail leads uphill to an impact site. What caused the impact? That is still up for debate, but the most common theory is that a meteorite hit the site approximately 60 million years ago.

大竞争w Point

This trail does a great job of showcasing the expansive views that have made Islands in the Sky so popular. It is a 2-mile, out-and-back trail which leads to the tip of the mesa. The trail is exposed to the sun so be sure to be mindful of the weather and bring plenty of water.


Dead Horse Point State Park is a great stop on your Utah National Parks Road Trip
Dead Horse Point State Park | Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

Just down the road from Canyonlands National Park is Deadhorse Point State Park.It is worth a quick stop on your way from Canyonlands back to Moab to see the famous point.

The trail from the visitor center to Deadhorse Point is nice, but if you’re all “hiked out”, you can just park in the lot near Deadhorse Point and take in the views.



Under Canvas Moab
Under Canvas Moab

Moab is filled with lodging options. Here are some Trekaroo-approved spots:

Moab Springs Ranch– Cozy cabins in a picturesque location just two miles from Arches National Park.

Red Cliffs Lodge– Located 14 miles out of town. Each suite offers views of the creek or river.

Under Canvas Moab– This is glamping at its finest. Have a camping experience without having to pack for one or sleep on the ground.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Moab– Located in the heart of town, we love this hotel for families because of the full kitchen in every room, indoor pool, and central location. It is easy to walk to several local restaurants and souvenir shops from this spot.

Where to Eat in Moab

米格尔的Baja Grill
Fish Tacos at Miguel’s Baja Grill in Moab

There are a multitude of dining options in Moab.Moab Breweryis a popular spot for a meal and something sudsy after spending the day exploring. It is very family friendly and has a variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and Mexican options on its menu. Plus, there’s gelato!

If it is Mexican food that you are craving,Miguel’s Baja Grillis a great option. The fish tacos are great, as are the fajitas, burritos, and margaritas. The outdoor dining in a festive setting helps set the casual and friendly vibe.

Quesadilla Mobillais another great option. It’s a food truck with a permanent location on Main Street that serves up a variety of quesadillas stuffed with all sorts of meats, cheeses, veggies, and sauces. It’s a good spot to grab a bite before you are headed out on your next adventure.

Utah National Parks Road Trip Day 9: Moab to Las Vegas

Moab to Las Vegas

All good things must come to an end. The most direct route from Moab to Vegas is nearly seven hours of interstate driving. This stretch of the country is almost entirely rural.If you aren’t ready to end your trip or are looking for a more scenic route, there are some options below.

Monument Valley, Four Corners and Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde Balcony house
Climbing the Ladder at Balcony House | Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

向南进入四个角落区域,驾驶纪念碑山谷,立即停下来站在四个州,并在Mesa Verde国家公园度过了一些时间,您可以在那里爬上古代悬崖住宅。Here is our complete guide tovisiting Mesa Verde National Park

House Boat Fun on Lake Powell

things to do in Utah lake powell
Lake Powell Tubing Fun | Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

横跨犹他州、亚利桑那州边境附近的页面,是Lake Powell, an enormous lake created by the damming of the Colorado River north of the Grand Canyon. The scenery is epic and the water is beckoning families to splash, play, and relax.

体验鲍威尔湖的最佳方式是租房船。Here is everything you need to know to plan your own鲍威尔湖船屋旅行

Still want more? The Grand Canyon is not too far down the road.We have guides to visiting theNorth Rim of the Grand Canyonas well things to do in theGrand Canyon South Rim

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