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Places to see in southern Utah?


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My wife and I are planning next year’s vacation and would like to visit southern Utah.  The Big Five national parks have appeal, but can also get quite crowded.

 

what places would folks suggest to enjoy the natural beauty but avoid crowds?  State parks?  

 

What interesting towns, restaurants, or sites should we see?

 

We’ll be staying in hotels or BnBs.  Any interesting lodges that offer exceptional views?

 

Our plans are to travel in late September or October.

 

I appreciate any insight the Saloon can offer.

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Brush up on your early John Wayne westerns and visit Goulding's Trading Post. They have a motel, restaurant, and RV park, as well as the original trading post which was used in a few of the early movies, plus you're in the middle of Monument Valley. The Arches, and other more remote NP are right next door.

 

https://utah.com/monument-valley/gouldings

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I escorted a group of college students through there a few years ago.  Goblin Valley State Park was nice.  Bryce Canyon National Park is awesome, but was a little crowded.  Lots of activity in the surrounding area.  Horseback riding, big lodges with great dining.  Hiking trails everywhere.  The Arches National Park is great, but again...a little crowded.  

 

An out of the way place to eat is Blondies Restaurant in Springdale, UT.  Super great food and great service in a picturesque location.  

 

We also visited the northern rim of the Grand Canyon while on our way back through Arizona.

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3 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

John Browning Museum 

OLG 

Absolutely.  It's down in the old railroad station at the west end of 24th and 25th streets.  It's fun to walk through it saying " I have one of those and one of those, had several of those, had one of those, the Army Marines, etal, issued me one of those, we had those on our ship," etc.  :D

Also look into some of the lesser known canyon parks, like Cedar Breaks.

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What time of year is most comfortable temperature wise? And do the crowds decline noticeably once Summer is over? My Missus and I are discussing the same trip.

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4 hours ago, DeaconKC said:

What time of year is most comfortable temperature wise? And do the crowds decline noticeably once Summer is over? My Missus and I are discussing the same trip.

I recommend October.  The summer rainy season is over, temperatures have declined but winter weather has not started.  Spring also has comfortable temperatures but many afternoons have strong winds.  Fall in the Southwest is not a windy season.  I can't comment on crowds.  Crowding has increased over the years.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
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5 hours ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

Absolutely.  It's down in the old railroad station at the west end of 24th and 25th streets.  It's fun to walk through it saying " I have one of those and one of those, had several of those, had one of those, the Army Marines, etal, issued me one of those, we had those on our ship," etc.  :D

Also look into some of the lesser known canyon parks, like Cedar Breaks.

In Ogden. (just in case :rolleyes:) The Browning Museum. No idea about Cedar Breaks.

Rex :D

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October has the Senior Games which is a great cowboy match and its near several of the parks you wish to see.  The Browning Museum is in Northern Utah worth the visit especially if you also include Hill Air Forces Museum.

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What! Nobody has suggested Kanab? One of the most Cowboy places on earth. The whole town is dedicated to filming cowboy movies and early  TV shows. They even have the movie set cabin from Josie Wales, you can stand inside and shout "Anyone gets hit, sing out. Slap iron to it. It's the fastest way to stop the bleeding.". There are several hotels and motels in town, a couple of very nice RV Parks. Also some restaurants and a couple of grocery stores. We spent a week here and were never bored, about an hour from the south entrance of Zion National Park if I remember correctly.

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Goosenecks State Park, near Mexican Hat, is one of the most inspiring places I have ever seen. YMMV :FlagAm:

 

A3A8B823-2934-4D18-BCAD-2141860711E5.jpeg

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