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Old 07-05-2012, 10:11 PM   #1
disneyaussiemum
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Grand Circle - Zion, Bryce Canyon, Moab, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon and Anaheim

We have decided to come to the USA for a 4 week trip from Australia in September. We are going to spend a week at Disneyland and then 2 weeks doing a "Grand Circle loop".
The plans are to go:
Las Vegas
Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon
Capitol Reef National Park
Moab - Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
Monument Valley
Grand Canyon
Return to Grand Canyon.

There will be 4 Adults and 1 Child (5 year old, boy).

We will spend a fair bit of the time hiking but What do you think are the must see bits in this area and have we missed anything major?

We are going to have a week in Anaheim and as well as spending lots of time a Disneyland we plan on visiting Legoland, La Brea Tar Pits, Discovery Science Center. Anything else that you think is a must see?
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:44 AM   #2
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You might want to try to fit Death Valley into your schedule.

Keep in mind that several of your "grand circle" stops are at considerable elevation (7,000 plus feet). If you live close to sea level you might have some issues, particularly if anyone has asthma or other lung problems.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:53 AM   #3
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I'd recommend that you consider adding Kodachrome National Park, Four Corners and potentially Mesa Verde.

You are close enough to Four Corners with the NPs you're planning on hitting to add it in. And it is one of those things that is on the itinerary of most road trips in this region. Kodachrome is along the way.

Mesa Verde is a detour, but it might be worth taking a look to see if it appeals to you and the family.

Depending on your time, there is the possibility of adding Sedona to the trip.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
IMesa Verde is a detour, but it might be worth taking a look to see if it appeals to you and the family.
I was going to say the same thing. We did the Utah and the Southwest car tour thing about 10 years ago. Took 3 weeks, most of it in the various NPs in Utah. But Mesa Verde was the absolute highlight of the trip! I know of no other place where you can crawl around (with a ranger guide, of course) through such a well-preserved archeological site. It's fascinating, and absolutely worth the bit of a detour.

-Bob
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandBob View Post
I was going to say the same thing. We did the Utah and the Southwest car tour thing about 10 years ago. Took 3 weeks, most of it in the various NPs in Utah. But Mesa Verde was the absolute highlight of the trip! I know of no other place where you can crawl around (with a ranger guide, of course) through such a well-preserved archeological site. It's fascinating, and absolutely worth the bit of a detour.

-Bob



Seems like you and I have similar likes for road tours!




OP - One other place to consider, depending on your route is the town of Paige, Arizona. We loved Antelope Canyon but you need to make sure you book in for a tour around the midday sun.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:20 AM   #6
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Thanks CPT Tripss, Princess in OZ and Grand Bob.
Death Valley and Kodachrome are on the list to do.
Off to investigate Four Corners, Mesa Verde and Antelope Canyon.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:54 PM   #7
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If you have an iPhone, there is a nice app on Bryce Canyon, every stop, they will show u a video. It helps point out things you dont see on the sign. Its quite interesting. Bryce Canyon is a must!!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
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Bryce Canyon is a must!!!
Yes, I liked Bryce also. Even more than Zion, which surprised me. For our 3 week grand tour trip, Bryce and Arches were about tied for 2nd place in my mind. But both were still a very distant 2nd to Mesa Verde. That place is amazing!

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Old 07-17-2012, 03:51 AM   #9
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I agree with four corners. Its sort of a neat thing to do
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:47 PM   #10
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Sounds like an amazing trip. If you are doing the south rim of the grand canyon, you need to try and spend at least one day in Page, AZ on your drive up to or from Bryce Canyon.

The following are the must sees of Page and Lake Powell

Rainbow Bridge

Antelope Canyon

Colorado River Rafting

Odds are you will not be able to get all three of these activities in but you cannot go wrong with any of them.

We stayed at the Lake Powell Resort when we went and I would highly recommend this resort.

I promise you, you will not regret spending sometime in Page.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:09 PM   #11
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Greetings from just outside Zion! September is a fantastic time to visit. It won't be nearly so hot as it is now. It looks like you have a fantastic trip planned, very jealous. If you can squeeze it, look into Tuacahn in Ivins, UT. They are a wonderful outdoor theater that happens to be doing Aladdin and Hairspray this season. Disney loves their work (this is their 3rd year doing a Disney production), and they have been given Mary Poppins next year! DH and I always wait till Sept or Oct to go because its just too hot otherwise.
Just up the road from the theater is Snow Canyon state park. Very pretty. If you have seen the Good Luck Charlie movie, parts were filmed there.
Also, we highly suggest Oscars for food in Springdale (just outside the park). Its our favorite!
Goblin valley in the eastern half of Utah is really cool too. Lots of weird rock formations. The rock planet in Galaxy Quest is actually this location.

If I think of anything else, I'll let you know

ETA: DH says to look into a Utah State parks pass. They are a better deal if you are doing enough state park visits. $70 for unlimited day use at any Utah state park, and you don't have to be a resident to buy one. Most Utah State parks have a day use fee of $5-10 with camping additional.

Also, don't forget that the National Parks also have an annual pass. Last time we bought one it was $80. You are definitely going to enough parks that you would get your money's worth on this one. Most National Parks charge $25 for seven days, but it's only good at the one park and you can't pay for fewer days. Not sure if it is available for international visitors, but check to make sure. It's well worth it for your trip.
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