Friday, July 29, 2011

southern Utah itinerary!

Everyone: What follows is an itinerary. Let me know if you agree, disagree, want changes, etc. We also might want to put together a don't-forget list and a to-do list. Happy excitement.

[Tuesday, 08/09/2011]

Drive to Utah from California (or from within Utah). Adie and Mandy will be meeting up with us from Great Basin National Park. Jealous.

Camping: Snow Canyon State Park. We have sites SC28 and SC29 reserved, with primary occupants listed as Matthew Beatty in one and Heather Beatty in another. This campground has flush toilets, water, and showers.
Costs: entrance cost to the state park is $6 per car. Camping costs $24 per site, per night ($16 for the site + $8 reservation fee, per site).

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[Wednesday, 08/10/2011]

Eat breakfast and pack up camp.

Explore Snow Canyon State Park (check out the park brochure PDF for more info). Snow Canyon is right by, almost part of, the wonderful Red Cliffs Desert Reserve -- an interesting Washington County conservation area. Pretty beautiful over here.

Recommended activities:
--Pioneer Names Trail: really short, where you can see pioneer names graffiti written on the sandstone using wagon wheel grease, from the 1800s
--Jenny's Canyon: a cool little box canyon right at the beginning of the park
--Sand dunes: there is a large natural sand dune area right at the beginning of the park
--Petrified Dunes Trail: a very cool trail that leads up these frozen sand dunes to a beautiful view
--Lava Flow Overlook & Trail: this one looks pretty cool (we haven't done it)

Here is our blog from when we came before (also Zion). If we have extra time, there are other great nearby attractions that we would all love:

Santa Clara River Reserve / Land Hill / Ivins Petroglyphs -- An awesome, easy walk along cliffs atop the Santa Clara River, where there are tons of petroglyphs etched into the rocks (and carved into the cliffs if you're daring). Easy to find, just take the first left at a dirt road after you drive through the little town of Santa Clara (outside St. George, on the way in to Snow Canyon), right after the Jacob Hamblin home, and it'll take you straight there. We've been there twice (once and twice). Below is some extra info on it:
--BLM PDF document
--BLM area of critical concern
--BLM public use site
--map and info
--someone's Flickr photos

Kayenta -- An artists enclave, known for its Coyote Gulch Art Village. We haven't been there, but I've heard a lot about it.

Jacob Hamblin pioneer home -- An easy free tour that is interesting. Cotton grows out front. It's right off the main road on the way into Snow Canyon, after Santa Clara.

Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm -- In Washington, north St. George area. They have tons of dinosaur footprints here, lying right where they were discovered in situ. They had to get special building permits to build the building overtop the footprints so close to the roadway, so that they wouldn't be destroyed. Cool dinosaur displays too, pretty cheap, an easy stop.

The Narrows -- A slot canyon that is literally in St. George. I have never been here, but I want to. Easy to get to, virtually in downtown St. George. You can wander a nice little slot canyon.

We might want to stop at the DI on the way out of town? It's easily accessible. I realize this is a lot to do in a short day. Just some ideas. If we were up to it, we could possibly eat in Springdale on the way into Zion. Springdale is right outside the park entrance. The drive from Snow Canyon to Zion is at most 1 hour 15 minutes.

Camping: Watchman campground in Zion. We have sites BO17 and D025 reserved, with primary occupants listed as Adrienne Beatty in one and Matthew Beatty in another. We will congregate around one site, whichever one is closest to the Virgin River, probably. There are no showers here, but that should be okay, since we will be swimming the next day.
Costs: Zion National Park costs $25 per vehicle. Lasts for 7 days. Whichever car Dad is in will be free (he has a senior pass). And the America the Beautiful federal lands pass will cover it too. Watchman Campground is $16 per site, per night. According to Adie there were no reservation fees for these sites (but we might want to doublecheck this).

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[Thursday, 08/11/2011]

We will want to get up at a good time and pack up camp, because today is the day with the most limited time for the whole trip (so that we can fit in the swimming hole and still drive the almost two hours to Bryce Canyon area). We will stop and park our cars at the visitor center, spend a little time there probably. From there we will take the shuttles, which are required up Zion Canyon this time of year, and explore Zion National Park. I think we should do a smattering of the shorter trails.

Recommended activities:
--Emerald Pools Trail: We should have time to do all three of the pools if we like. If there's been water lately we may see a waterfall.
--Weeping Rock: Very short (.25 miles), but a definite staple of the park.
--Zion Lodge: We can get out at almost every shuttle stop to check out the short walks and views and the lodge.
--Riverside Walk: The easier walk that talks you to the beginning of The Narrows. Along the Virgin River. At the very upper-north end of Zion Canyon.
--I wish we could do Angels Landing--another staple, necessity--but it's longer and difficult and there won't be much time.
--Canyon Overlook Trail: An easy trail just east of the tunnel. Great views from the top.
--check out Checkerboard Mesa on the east side of the park

You can see some of what our friends the Roots did on their recent trip there. They camped in Watchman too (you can get a good idea of what the river's like there). We were down here briefly in April, also in 2009 (+ Snow Canyon), and our first time in 2008.

I plan to have us done, at our cars, around 3:15 pm, so we can make it to park at the swimming hole by 3:30 pm. This gives us 1 hour to swim there, to leave the park at 4:30 pm. We will drive through the tunnel, through east Zion, and it should be about 1 hour 45 minutes to Red Canyon, where we'll camp for the night. This US Forest Service campground is first come, first served, so there's a chance we can't get anything (in which case we can head out toward King Creek Campground, a little further out of the way but it never fills). However, this is a Thursday, and their chances of filling are pretty slim, so I've been told. They also have a tent camping overflow area, so even if it does fill, we will have a place to be. This area is really beautiful, where redrock meets forest.

Camping: Red Canyon Campground (US Forest Service campground west of Bryce Canyon, campsites are first come, first served). There are showers, flush toilets, and water here.
Costs: Single campsites are $15.00 per night. If we can, we will get a multiple site (like a double campsite) to hold all of us, for only $24 per night. There's a day use fee of $4 here, but it shouldn't apply to us since we're camping.

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[Friday, 08/12/2011]

We will want to get up at a good time again and pack up camp. We can stop in at the small Red Canyon visitor center (Forest Service) if we want, then head east over to Bryce Canyon National Park. We have only been here once before (in November with some snow), so we haven't done many of the hikes. First stop would probably be the visitor center. Then we can drive to the end of the road (where we did the Bristlecone Loop Trail before). Views are amazing the whole way. We can stop to see Natural Bridge (right off the road). But I would really like us to actually hike among the hoodoos, on the Rim Trail around Sunset, Sunrise, and Inspiration Points. I think we can spend a LOT of time in there. Some good photos too.

Just today, our piano teacher (who is sick and in the hospital--Amy and the kids visited him) recommended that we check out the Fairyland Loop Trail. You can drive out to Fairyland Point (1 mile off the main road), and then hike down Fairyland Canyon on that loop trail. We could do it all or just a portion of it. I think this must also be a must-do. Check out the Bryce map on the NPS website.

We should plan to leave Bryce by around 6:00 pm. I think we should do the short Mossy Cave Trail as we leave the park, on the east side of it on Highway 12 (it's like maybe 1 mile roundtrip and leads a mossy grotto cave). We will head over to our next campsite in Kodachrome Basin State Park, where we will be for the next two nights. It should take a little less than an hour to get there, even though it's only about 27 miles. Now we're in the high desert, Grand Staircase-Escalante country. We should make sure we have firewood on this trip. Kodachrome sells it there, and the nights get cooler, so we will probably want a fire each night. The other campgrounds should have firerings too.

Camping: Kodachrome Basin State Park. We have site KO21, a double site, where we can all fit. This campsite has flush toilets and water, but no showers.
Costs: Bryce Canyon National Park costs $25 per vehicle, but the same thing will apply here as it did at Zion (as far as passes go). The double site at Kodachrome is $32 a night, plus an $8 reservation fee. So the total for the double site for two nights is $72. Not bad for all of us. We may have to pay extra for additional cars ($6 per car). I think we are technically allowed two.

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[Saturday, 08/13/2011]

We should plan to get up as early as we can today--no need to pack up camp--so we can get a good start on the Lower Calf Creek Falls hike, before it gets too hot, AND while there's parking left. This will be a little bit of a pain, because it's about 1 hour 15 minutes just to drive to the trailhead from Kodachrome. (For the record, camping at Calf Creek Campground, where we'll be later today, could've worked, but it's first come, first served, plus a small campground, and a weekend, so it would've been hard to guarantee sites.) The hike is a good one--3 miles each way--and can get very hot. We should bring plenty of water. Also swimsuits because you can swim at the falls at the end. A lot of this hike is in the sand.

If we get a chance, I would really like to see the gorgeous Hundred Hands Pictograph panel, which is kind of hard to find, at least a close-up way to see it. I am hoping to ask a ranger about it. It is supposed to be very near the parking area for Lower Calf Creek Falls, and there may or may not be a climbable trail leading up to it.

If we're up for it, we can try to get to Upper Calf Creek Falls, FAR more unknown and seldom visited, and there appears to be a rad swimming hole. I think we should be up for it.

After these falls--part of the heart of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, I think it'd be fun to do some short rockhounding. By Escalante State Park there are some petrified wood fragments you can find. And if you head south a little on one of the desert roads (Spencer Flat) there are moqui marbles--awesome iron ore balls that are almost perfect spheres. I think it would be cool to try and collect some.

We can also stop in the small town of Escalante, potentially for dinner or winding down. We will have another 1 hour 15 minutes drive back to Kodachrome at the end of the day, so we need to plan for that accordingly.

Head back to camp, make dinner. Relax. Today we will most likely be parting ways with Adie and Mandy as they up Highway 12 and through Hanksville over towards Moab.

Camping: Kodachrome Basin State Park again.
Costs: Everything today should be FREE.

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[Sunday, 08/14/2011]

This morning we need to get up and pack up camp. No rush. We can finally explore Kodachrome Basin State Park and its pipes and chimney formations. There are lots of trails here.

Before we leave, we will drive out further into the monument to see Grosvenor Arch. It's a pretty amazing double arch with a short walk to visit it. It requires about a 10 mile drive from the Kodachrome turnoff.

I recommend everyone coming back to Provo this night, to crash and sleep and shower. Then you can leave in the morning, drive across the Bonneville Salt Flats (and Amy may accompany you guys). This way you also don't need to book another campsite for Sunday night. Let me know what you think. The drive from this point back to Provo is about 5 hours.

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[Monday, 08/15/2011]

drive back to California


Amy Beatty said...

Wow honey!! Thanks for putting all the details in - again. I love you xo

moonshinejunkyard said...

SO SO EXCITED!!!! i love all your attention to detail and all the varied options of things we can do each day. no matter what we are going to see so much beauty and feel so much good magical desert love that our skin will be tingling. i can't wait. thank you so much for all your hard work planning matt. you are a genius for this, you should run an adventure company. in particular i will put in my vote for upper calf creek...sounds rad. WOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!

AdieSpringB said...

MATT! I am sooo soo excited! I will send this link to Mandy ASAP. We got two nights at the Lazy Lizard Hostel in a cabin for saturday and Sunday...sadly we will have to part ways Saturday evening.

WHOOO HOOOOOO My fondest dreams came true! To do this trip with the family all there! YAHOO!!!

Papa Dan said...

Thanks for the hard work putting this agenda together. I know it's fun for you in addition to being time consuming and arduous, but it is soo appreciated. Looking forward to this time together. Love from Dad

Joseph Beatty said...

dang da-dang! this is quite thorough, so awesome, and completely stoke worthy. really looking forward to this. excellent job, im gonna spend the next week and half checking out all these places online.

this is joey.

Joseph Beatty said...

i want to go to Upper Calf Creek!!!!

mooncowboy said...

I think Upper Calf Creek Falls is a go. I've got pretty specific directions. Also: there is a small waterfall near the Zion swimming hole called Lower Pine Creek Falls, about ten feet high with a small swimming hole under it. So we have multiple options there.

Susan Spring Wenzel said...

Wow, what a lot of work putting this agenda together Mattie. I'd like to know what exactly you guys did do on that trip. Jack and I are so excited to go to Utah next week. It has been 2 and a half years for me!! I can't wait to see your new home. Has anyone put up a blog of your whole trip you guys did in August. I am trying to catch up on blogs and get everyone's current blogsites. Can't wait to see you. Love you, Momma

mooncowboy said...

yeah mom, heather did some awesome blogs about the trip here:

and amy did one here: