Author Topic: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs  (Read 2563 times)

mozar

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National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« on: May 12, 2016, 08:31:36 PM »
I am going to to Utah next week!
I am planning on visiting Zion National Park, Bryce, Arches, and maybe Canyonlands. Do people think it's worth it to get a year's pass? We are spending a week visiting these parks. 2 days in Zion, maybe 1 day in each of the rest. Assume that we would not have the opportunity to use the year pass again.

There is also a difference between pedestrian entrance fee and car fee. We either plan to leave the car at the hotel (Quality Inn and Suites) and walk to the entrance or take a shuttle to the entrance to Zion? We definitely don't want to drive while we are in the park. We want to take the shuttle. So will we be able to pay the pedestrian fee? Bryce has a shuttle but we might drive in, and we are definitely driving in for astronomy night. The other parks don't have shuttles as far as I know.

More questions if you are still reading: Do people have recommendations for what company to go river rafting with in Moab? We want to do the afternoon river rafting with lunch. All the places have like 5 star reviews so it's hard to make a decision.

Lastly, we are staying in Utah the last night, then flying out of Las Vegas. Does this mean that we can leave Utah an hour later because it is an hour earlier in Nevada (I'm not used to crossing time zones, it kinda blows my mind).

mm1970

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2016, 08:44:10 PM »
I'd get the annual pass.  The annual pass is $80.  And you are going to go to 4 of them.  Annual pass can be used for 2 people.

We spent a week in Utah over spring break and went to Zion and Bryce.  Bryce was fantastic.

Zion: $30 per car, $15 per person
Bryce:  $30 per car, $15 per person
Arches: $25 per car, $10 per person
Canyonlands: $25 per car, $10 per person

It's better to get the pass.

On the flight...yeah, I think so... you'll be an hour ahead in Utah.  But don't quote me!

mozar

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2016, 07:45:04 AM »
Oh, I didn't know the pass could be used for 2 people, how does that work?
And is walking in less than driving in? The website says pedestrians are 15 and a car is 30.

boarder42

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2016, 08:02:49 AM »
best trip i've ever done !  and i take a lot of trips. 

we took a campervan out of vegas - 2 nights zion - 1 night bryce - 2 nights arches - 2 nights in an around the MOAB area(camp on colorado or up near canyonlands is pretty easy to get) - 3 nights in page

arches in a day is a stretch IMO.  You also should take the drive up thru captial reef.  if i were to do it again i'd do 2 nights in bryce and at least one night at capital reef.  its gona be a busy week moving around that much. 

ekimatuan

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2016, 08:40:49 AM »
We live in Utah and have visited all the National Parks in Utah. We get a parks pass about every year. When we were on vacation back east last month, we used it for several parks in VA and NC.

Here is information on using the pass: http://store.usgs.gov/pass/annual.html

You can have up to 2 'owners' of the pass.  It is good for you and 3 more adults, or a full non-commercial vehicle if there are not per-person fees charged:
Each Annual Pass admits pass owner/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas; and pass owner + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free).

One pass covers the vehicle at sites that charge "per vehicle".

I think you'll enjoy Utah. We moved here 10 years ago from Los Angeles and have loved it. Generally LCOL, tons of outdoor activities, the big 5 National parks, tons of State parks. Low unemployment (effectively 0% in the tech sector).

As for Vegas, yes, you will gain an hour once you cross the state line into Nevada. So, if you cross the border at Noon Utah time it will instantly be 11 am Nevada time.

Enjoy your trip!

ekimatuan

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2016, 08:45:27 AM »
As for rafting in Moab, we did this last year with some friends. My buddies in-laws were supposed to come, but backed out at the last minute, so my friend offered me the in-laws slots since they had already paid and were use it or lose it.

Since I didn't pay or set it up, I can't comment out that. Other than to say that it seems all the rafting companies (or at least most) use the Moab Adventure Center as their base in Moab.  I think they basically act as a consolidator for several companies.
http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/.  We did an all day run with lunch and had a blast.

boarder42

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2016, 09:27:37 AM »
i would raft in conjunction with canyonlands b/c arches you can stay in all day long. 

mskyle

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2016, 11:07:01 AM »
Oh, I didn't know the pass could be used for 2 people, how does that work?
And is walking in less than driving in? The website says pedestrians are 15 and a car is 30.

Yeah, the pass is good for everyone in the car (or the pass owner plus up to three adults), and you can put two people's names on it so either of those two people can use it for the rest of the year. The park service person recommended that since we were traveling together we only put one of our names on the pass so that if we wanted to loan it to someone else we could let them put their name on it too. It's a good deal for the trip you're planning and may have some bonus savings if you spend time on other NPS/FS properties (like, I got the pass for a similar trip, and then used it as a parking pass in the White Mountains of New Hampshire a few times).

We walked in from a B&B in town at Zion.We drove in Bryce, but only spent part of a day there. I second the recommendation for the drive from Bryce to Moab via Capitol Reef - it was one of the highlights of a trip full of highlights.

NinetyFour

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2016, 01:46:48 PM »
You will need your car to access Canyonlands and Arches, but you might know that already.  (I am not aware of any shuttles for those parks, but they may exist.)  Be aware that to get to Canyonlands, you will need to drive about 35 miles from Moab.  Make sure you have plenty of fuel.  I would suggest that you bring binoculars--the views are amazing.

I have a few suggestions for Arches, as it is one of my favorite places. 

Uh oh, I just saw this on their website.

Arches National Park may be undergoing extensive road construction between March and October 2017. Devils Garden Campground may be inaccessible. Due to this potential construction, camping reservations are not available in 2017.

You may want to call them to see how much of the park is open and whether it is worth visiting.


Oh--I now noticed that is says 2017!  Whew!  (Lots of advance notice!)

If you do go there, I would highly recommend hiking up to Delicate Arch at dusk.  You should have a bright moon next week, and I think it is great to get up there at sunset and enjoy the moonrise.  (Bring lights in case you need them on your way back.)

You will need your car to access Canyonlands and Arches, but you might know that already.  (I am not aware of any shuttles for those parks, but they may exist.)  Be aware that to get to Canyonlands, you will need to drive about 35 miles from Moab.  Make sure you have plenty of fuel.  I would suggest that you bring binoculars--the views are amazing.

I have a few suggestions for Arches, as it is one of my favorite places. 

Uh oh, I just saw this on their website.

Arches National Park may be undergoing extensive road construction between March and October 2017. Devils Garden Campground may be inaccessible. Due to this potential construction, camping reservations are not available in 2017.

You may want to call them to see how much of the park is open and whether it is worth visiting.


Oh--I now noticed that is says 2017!  Whew!  (Lots of advance notice!)

If you do go there, I would highly recommend hiking up to Delicate Arch at dusk.  You should have a bright moon next week, and I think it is great to get up there at sunset and enjoy the moonrise.  (Bring lights in case you need them on your way back.)

Here is a pic of me sitting under Delicate Arch.  Sorry it is not great quality.



If Devils Garden is accessible, I would recommend that you go out to Devils Garden and do the hike that starts at the Devils Garden Trailhead and goes all the way to Dark Angel.

Bring lots of water on any hikes that you do.  It will be dry and hot, even this early in the year.

Have fun!!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 01:55:11 PM by NinetyFour »

mozar

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2016, 04:18:12 PM »
We won't be doing much hiking, more sightseeing. Thanks everyone!

mm1970

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2016, 05:11:15 PM »
best trip i've ever done !  and i take a lot of trips. 

we took a campervan out of vegas - 2 nights zion - 1 night bryce - 2 nights arches - 2 nights in an around the MOAB area(camp on colorado or up near canyonlands is pretty easy to get) - 3 nights in page

arches in a day is a stretch IMO.  You also should take the drive up thru captial reef.  if i were to do it again i'd do 2 nights in bryce and at least one night at capital reef.  its gona be a busy week moving around that much.
Yep, we're already trying to figure out how to get back there and see the ones that we missed. Has to be at least 1.5 weeks.  Summer 2017 maybe??

boarder42

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Re: National Parks Pass Utah, other Qs
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2016, 05:51:57 PM »
We plan to buy and RV and cruise national parks during the best times of year when we fire.  When our kids are in school I'll buy one in the winter and sell it for more before labor day. At least that's the plan.