The Grand Circle



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The Grand Circle starts and ends in Las Vegas, and takes travelers through each of Utah's stunning National Parks. This epic road trip can be completed in 9 days, but can easily be stretched to two weeks.

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Author: Alexi


Day 1 - Las Vegas


Fly into Las Vegas to begin the Grand Circle tour of Utah's National Parks. Rent a car for your trip at the airport, then find yourself a clean, comfortable hotel for the night. This will be your last night with the amenities of a big city, so take advantage of them: Eat at the ESPN zone in New York New York, then spend a few hours gambling, playing the slot machines or just people watching. This may also be a good time to have a few drinks, as Utah has some fairly restrictive liquor laws. Go to bed at a not-too-ridiculous hour, because you're going to wake up early and hit the road tomorrow.


1

Palace Station Hotel Casino

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Location:

2411 West Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89102

Contact:

tel: +1 702 367 2411 / +1 800 634 3101
fax: +1 702 221 6511


2

ESPN Zone (New York-New York)

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Location:

3790 Las Vegas Blvd So
New York New York Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Contact:

tel: +1 702 933 3776
fax: +1 702 933 6509


3

New York-New York Hotel Casino

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Location:

3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Contact:

tel: +1 702 740 6969 / +1 888 696 9887


Day 2 - Zion National Park, Springdale, Hilldale


Drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park (166 miles). Be aware that the roads in Utah between National Parks have varying speed limits, and you should allot yourself extra driving time in consideration of this fact. Once you're in Zion, stretch your legs and go on a hike! For experienced hikers who want more of a challenge, Angel's Landing has great views and is an overall incredible trail. If you're looking for something more moderate, or are traveling with children, try one or both of the Emerald Falls hikes for scenic vistas and wildflowers. Later, watch the film "Treasure of the Gods" at the Zion Canyon Theatre; you'll learn all about the history and legends of this fascinating National Park. Have dinner at the Merry Wives Cafe (seriously, you'll want to check this place out) then settle down at your campground by the Virgin River. Too much for one day? Consider stretching it into two - an extra 24 hours exploring Zion is 24 hours well spent.


1

Angels Landing

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Location:

Zion National Park
Zion National Park, UT 84767


2

Emerald Pools-Kayenta Loop

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Location:

Zion National Park
Zion National Park, UT 84767


3

Lower Emerald Pools

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Location:

Zion National Park
Zion National Park, UT 84767

Contact:

tel: (435) 772-3256
fax: (435) 772-3426


4

Zion Canyon Theatre

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Location:

145 Zion Park Blvd
Springdale, UT 84767

Contact:

tel: (435) 772-2400
fax: (435) 772-2466


5

Merry Wives Café

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Location:

625 State St
Hilldale, UT 84784

Contact:

tel: (435) 874-1425


6

South Campground

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Location:

Zion National Park, UT 84779

Contact:

tel: (435) 772-3256


Day 3 - Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon City, Bryce Canyon


Today you drive to Bryce Canyon National Park (83 miles from Zion). Spend the first part of your day eating a leisurely breakfast in Zion, then get hop in the car. Keep your camera nearby, because the scenery along Highway 89 is gorgeous. Aim to get there in the early afternoon so you can catch watch night come on at Sunset Point. Next, grab some high quality diner food at the Canyon Diner. End the night at Bryce View Lodge (when you wake up in the morning and have a chance to admire the view, you'll be glad you did).


1

Sunset Point

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Location:

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


2

Canyon Diner

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Location:

1000 South Hwy 63
Bryce Canyon City, UT 84717

Contact:

tel: (435) 834-5341


3

Bryce View Lodge

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Location:

991 South Highway 63
Bryce Canyon, UT 84764

Contact:

tel: 435-834-5180


Day 4 - Escalante, Bryce Canyon National Park, Boulder


Grab breakfast at the Kiva Koffeehouse, then get your hike on. The Navajo Loop and Bryce Point are both not to be missed; amazing vistas and rock formations await. Have dinner at Hell's Backbone grill. Local ingredients and the cooks' love of food really comes through here. It's a little pricier than the bulk of Utah's Mom and Pop restaurants, but well worth it. Besides, you've been on your feet all day and you deserve a treat. If you've got the energy (and you're visiting during the summer) you should definitely check out one of Bryce's Full Moon Hikes. The canyon is even more stunning at night and this is one of the National Park Service's most popular programs for a reason.


1

Kiva Koffeehouse

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Location:

Hwy 12, Mile marker 73.86
Escalante, UT 84726

Contact:

tel: (435)826-4550


2

Navajo Loop

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Location:

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


3

Bryce Point

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Location:

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764


4

Hell's Backbone Grill

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Location:

PO Box 1397, 20 N. Highway 12
Boulder, UT 84716

Contact:

tel: 435-335-7464


5

Full Moon Hikes

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Location:

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 84764

Contact:

tel: (435) 834-5322
fax: (435) 834-4102


Day 5 - Moab


Get ready to log some serious hours behind the wheel - today you drive to Capitol Reef National Park (125 miles) and then to Moab (144 miles). If you'd like to spend a day in Capitol Reef you certainly can, but if you're looking for a more "efficient" way to see Capitol Reef, I suggest a scenic drive through the park (about 25 miles). Grab dinner in Moab at Milt's Stop and Eat. Milt's has been around a long time, and a dinner of burgers and fries here is a Moab tradition. Stay the night at the Gonzo Inn for a truly unique lodging experience (did the name give it away?).


2

Milt's Stop and Eat

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Location:

356 Millcreek Dr
Moab, UT 84532

Contact:

tel: (435) 259-7424


3

Gonzo Inn

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Location:

100 West 200 South Street Moab
84537 Moab, US

Contact:

tel: 435-259-2515


Day 6 - Arches National Park, Moab


Today you explore Arches National Park. Be sure to see all three of the most famous rock formations: Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch and Balanced Rock. All the trails to these landmarks are quite easy. If you're feeling ambitious, add in the trek to Fiery Furnace. The glowing red rocks and stunning views will blow you away. Eat dinner, then hang out for some after-dinner nightlife at Eddie McStiffs. Hang out with the other tourists and compare road trip stories.


1

Fiery Furnace

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Location:

Arches National Park
Arches National Park, UT 84532

Contact:

tel: (435) 719-2299
fax: (435) 719-2305


2

Delicate Arch Trail

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Location:

Arches National Park
Arches National Park, UT 84532


3

Landscape Arch

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Location:

Arches National Park
Arches National Park, UT 84532

Contact:

tel: (435) 719-2299
fax: (435) 719-2305


4

Balanced Rock

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Location:

Arches National Park
Arches National Park, UT 84532

Contact:

tel: (435) 719-2299
fax: (435) 719-2305


5

Eddie McStiff's Restaurant

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Location:

57 South Main Street
Moab, UT 84532

Contact:

tel: (435) 259-2337


Day 7 - Monticello


Start out with an awesome breakfast at the Peach Tree Juice Cafe, then gather your sunscreen, water bottles and swimsuits for a white water rafting trip. Today is a day spent mainly on the water; rafting in Canyonlands is an exciting way see some truly breathtaking scenery (and get the adrenaline pumping). Let the experienced folks at Tag-a-Long Expeditions be your guides; they're knowledgeable, friendly and will make sure you have a blast. If you'd like to spend an extra day in Canyonlands hiking, driving or mountain biking, you certainly can. There is enough to do in this National Park to keep you occupied for many days. Dinner at the K&A Chuckwagon is fast , friendly and GOOD.


1

The Peace Tree Juice Café

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Location:

516 N. Main
Monticello, UT 84535

Contact:

tel: (435) 587-5063


Day 8 - Goblin Valley State Park, Canyonlands National Park, Monticello


Today should be a day trip to one of the many nearby attractions. Take a quick drive to Goblin Valley State Park for some of Utah's most impressive (and entertaining) rock formations. Head to Lake Powell for sandy beaches and lush scenery. Visit Monument Valley and the Anasazi Ruins. Take a bike ride with Escape Adventures. The possibilities really are endless...or at least as endless as your vacation time. Whether you want to set aside a day or a week to really soak up all that Canyonlands and its surrounding areas has to offer is up to you; chances are you'll be glad if choose to stay a couple of extra days.


1

Goblin Valley State Park

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Location:

Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park, Utah 84734

Contact:

tel: (435) 275-4584


2

Island In the Sky

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Location:

Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park, UT 84532

Contact:

tel: (435) 719-2313
fax: (435) 719-2300


4

MD Ranch Cook House

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Location:

380 S Main Street
Monticello, UT 84535

Contact:

tel: (435) 587-3299


Day 9 - Grand Canyon, Las Vegas


This is your last day in Utah; drive from Canyonlands to the North rim of the Grand Canyon to Crazy Jug Point for yet another fantastic view. Next, it's time to drive back to Las Vegas (266 miles). It' your decision whether you want to break up the trip or just barrel through to Sin City. Either way, you should end the road trip on a high point with a fantastic meal (you can accomplish this in a literal sense at Top of the World Restaurant). Pat yourself on the back - you just completed the Grand Tour. I'd give you a high five if I could.


1

Crazy Jug Point

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Location:

Forest Road 292 B
(32 miles southwest of Jacob Lake)
Grand Canyon, AZ 86022

Contact:

tel: 928 638 7888


2

Top of the World Restaurant

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Location:

2000 Las Vegas Blvd S
The Stratosphere Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, NV 89104

Contact:

tel: 702 380 7711


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