National Parks in Utah
May 31, 2020 2:18 PM   Subscribe

Please share your advice and experiences visiting Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and/or Zion National Park!

Due to necessity and opportunity, I will be passing through southern Utah in mid-June and I would like visit some or even all of the national parks. Of course, this depends on the current COVID situation in terms of openings and safety. I will have an annual pass to the national parks so that will be covered.

Technically, I would visit all or spend a few days in just one or two. I like to hike, swim, and car camp. My goal right now is just to get my feet wet -- even just a day seeing one major site would suffice this time -- and come back one day to see more. I'll be coming up from the Grand Canyon in Arizona and heading to Colorado next.

Please share any and all logistical tips and anecdotes from your trips. This will be my first time in Utah but certainly not my last. Thank you!
posted by smorgasbord to Travel & Transportation around Utah (33 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Bryce Canyon was my favorite.

That same trip the family van broke down in Canyonlands and we were stranded in Utah for a week. Canyonlands is also where Aron Ralston got trapped and had to cut off his own arm. Avoid Canyonlands, it's fucking cursed.

But the rest is nice.
posted by phunniemee at 2:29 PM on May 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Zion - This one is very crowded and, to manage the crowds, you have to take buses to the viewpoints. No private cars allowed. Who knows what they'll be doing this year?

Bryce Canyon - If you stay at the park lodge, in the motel-style building, you will be just 100 yards from the edge of one of the amphitheaters featuring a wide view of hoodoos.
posted by yclipse at 2:41 PM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Bryce is also very easy to stay just outside the park, assuming the motels are open. Zion is spectacular, but we stayed inside the canyon and I'm not sure I would have felt the same if we'd had to commute in each day.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is actually my sleeper hit in that area. I didn't care for the South Rim (although presumably there won't be busloads of visitors for awhile), but the North Rim was magical. There's almost nothing developed there. The park lodge is terribly isolated back behind a national forest. It's substantially higher altitude than the South Rim. You can stay in your own little cabin! You drive past an (introduced) herd of bison on the way in!

The North Rim isn't on the way to ANYTHING, but so few people go there even during a normal busy year that if you can get there, it's well worth the trip.

Bryce is probably the most directly on your route, though, and it feels like visiting a different planet so the hikes are pretty great. The stargazing is fabulous, too.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 3:06 PM on May 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I car-camped in Arches, and it was beautiful, but the ground was very hard. It is hot and dry and if you're not used to that it is sapping.
We were there for a few nights (maybe 2 nights? Maybe 3?) and we only saw a fraction - but we definitely saw more than people who RV'd in. We got up early, with the beginning of sunlight, went hiking, and came back and napped in the heat of the day before going out for early evening hikes.
posted by cobaltnine at 3:07 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We went to Zion in summer, and it was brutally hot, like 115 F. Because of the buses yclipse mentioned, there was a lot of walking, and no shade. Right after that, the kidney stone launched, triggering my Great Southwest Hospital Tour, so I didn't get to see any of the other attractions.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:50 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've been to Zion and Bryce Canyon. The joke is that you spend Zion craning your neck up to look at things and you spend Bryce craning your neck down.

Zion is crowded. If you want to go to the popular destinations, expect to get up early and take the earliest buses to places, and also to avoid the heat. The Narrows seems like more of a novelty than a real hike, because it's in waist-high water. I would have liked to do Angel's Landing but that's a whole day experience, and I would probably freeze up on the heights. Zion is really large, and I think a lot of it is inaccessible to day-trippers.

I spent a day at Bryce, it was enough. I did the "most popular" hiking trail, 2-3 hours, and that was the perfect amount of hiking that I wanted to do there. There are only so many hoodoos you can see before it gets redundant. The food in the area around Bryce is impressively bad.

Neither compare to the Grand Canyon, but I hiked Rim-to-Rim which was less "look at things" and more "incredible experience and accomplishment".
posted by meowzilla at 3:50 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Capitol Reef seems a little less traveled, and worth the trip IMO. Pretty and green. I really liked the amazing natural landscape there. We didn't spend as much time there as I would have liked. It might be a sleeper hit and perhaps a good place to go that's less crowded. Watch out for rattlesnakes!

Arches is amazing. The photos you've seen online just touch the surface.

Canyonlands was also impressive, but know that a lot of the edges don't have much to protect people from just falling over the edge. If you have small children with you, mind them near the edges of the canyons.

Oh, and if you're tooling around Utah, Goblin Valley State Park is worth the stop. REALLY cool rock formations.
posted by cleverevans at 4:08 PM on May 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I loved Zion and would prioritize it if it were up to me. I visited in July and didn't find it overly crowded. It was hot, was a dry heat. I hiked up into the mountains, which I highly recommend, and our car-camping spot was right next to the Virgin River, so when we got down from the mountains we basically laid flat in the river to cool off and it was the best thing ever. The landscape was fantastic - it was the first time I realized that the Coyote vs. Roadrunner landscape was basically a real thing in the world. Amazing views, subtle colors.

Bryce was also fantastic and maybe a little more accessible. I didn't camp there, but I did stay in a motel in the nearby town called Bryce Canyon Resort (it's not a resort) which was modest, clean, comfortable, and super affordable, like $45/night. Had a great dinner at Ebenezer's Bar & Grill (excellent tortilla soup) and a passable breakfast at a good coffee/shop diner nearby. Bryce has some really interesting hiking with a lot of varied trail experiences, the famous hoodoos, lots of up-and-down topography. It is also the place that most fit my stereotypical idea of what a "Western" landscape is. Just gorgeous. THe Lodge is historic and a nice respite, with a restaurant as massively overpriced as all National Park attempts at fine dining are - but pretty decent.

I would have a hard time choosing and would try to do both if I were you. But Bryce is probably more comfortable/accessible and very satisfying place to spend time.
posted by Miko at 4:16 PM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: We went to Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Capitol Reef a few years ago. For the first two, I second what everybody has said above.

Bryce Canyon is lovely for about 36 hours and has great night skies. It's worth seeing a sunrise and a sunset, but I think I'd have gotten bored with it after more than a couple nights. It was crowded. The hikes are all down and back up.

Zion is even more crowded than Bryce Canyon, and the crowds mean you're reliant on a shuttle to get around. The shuttle is fine under normal circumstances, but I don't know how NPS is handing social distancing. Those buses get full. The hikes are generally up and then back down unless you hike the Narrows (which is also uphill, just mostly in a river) or drive out to the Kolob Canyon area of the park (where there's a nice out and back hike that's mostly level). Zion is really beautiful but because you're mostly down in the canyon it's hard to get an idea of scale. It feels smaller than it is, because you can never see a horizon unless you hike up to Angels Landing. We did not do that because of rain and fatigue.

Capitol Reef is definitely the sleeper hit. It's the least crowded of the three, and it has a terrible web site that doesn't really do a good job pitching the park for visitors. A hundred mile long fold in the planet's crust is kind of hard to fathom, and it doesn't photograph well. It's really cool when you see it and drive along it, though. In season you can pick fruits from the orchard in the valley, and the night skies are the darkest of any National Park.

And yeah, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is just lovely. The lodge area is on a tributary canyon and I've heard people complain that the view isn't as dramatic as the South Rim, but the North Rim is quieter and has a much more relaxed vibe. You can take a short hike (a walk, really) out to Bright Angel Point for a view of the main canyon.
posted by fedward at 4:36 PM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I had a day pass at Arches, which was absolutely beautiful. There is also a museum dedicated to the movies shot nearby...which includes a Bollywood.
posted by brujita at 6:09 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh jeez, you can spend a week at each park and not get very deep!

Just make sure you take Utah 12 from Bryce to Capitol Reef. It's a hell of a drive.

Only a small part of Capitol Reef is on the main road. The rest takes a lot of work to get to.
Arches is set up nicely for a day-trip. However, it can be hell of busy.
Canyonlands is easy to skim, but takes a lot of work to really get to the meat. A sunrise at the end of the Island in the Sky road would be a good start to a day.
Bryce can be touched lightly, although hiking can be really rewarding.
Zion is a great drive. Then park and take the bus out and back.
posted by notsnot at 6:29 PM on May 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I've been to Zion and Bryce. Zion is one of my most favorite places in the world.

It has been a good half-decade since I've been but I do understand things are much busier than it has been. To beat the crowds you will want to start out extremely early. Angel's Landing, Emerald Pools and the Narrows will all be crazy by late morning. I'd also not want to be anywhere near Emerald Pools in the middle of the day. Angel's has a decent amount of shaded area but the last half hour is effectively single file hiking and scrambling which is miserable when other people are around. Although from current guidance on the park website this section is closed. There is an overlook before the final chain section that is pretty...just not as pretty as being on top of Angel's Landing.

Sleeper hits for me in the park are Observation Point and Hidden Canyon both accessible at the Weeping Rock trailhead/bus stop. Sadly, it looks like they are both closed due to rock falls. If it were open you'd hike up an apron, then go through some spectacular slot canyons and then do a milder form of scrambling to get up to the top. On the way back down take a detour into Hidden Canyon. It is a box canyon so you go back as far as you want (and as far as your rock scrambling skills will take you).

A short but spectacular hike/stroll is Canyon Overlook which is accessible immediately after going through the tunnel going east. Easy hike/spectacular view.
posted by mmascolino at 6:42 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ok here's my secret hot tip: Zion is super crowded and the bus is a legit nightmare (we heard about people waiting in line for two hours to get on the bus!!)

HOWEVER it is amazing and you should see it. So: you should rent a bike. Ride your bike along the Pa'rus trail and board the bus at the end of the trail (the trail is paved and easy). Ride the shuttle all the way up to the top, and then ride your bike down the hill, stopping to hike whatever trails you want.

Don't tell anyone. Shhh.

(caveat that I have no idea what things look like right now with the pandemic and all)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 6:49 PM on May 31, 2020 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I agree with others that Bryce is great and doesn't need forever, and is the most otherworldly. Plus, the hiking seemed pretty easy. Zion is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but I'd be leery of those buses. My brother went to Zion and did some hikes outside Zion Canyon (ie the parts you don't take a bus to) and said it was marvelously less crowded and still gorgeous. We started early as many folks recommend, and it was less crowded then.

But yes, the drive between Zion and Bryce was one of the best parts. Arches is cool, but more crowdy. My absolutely favorite landscapes in the area, because they were still jaw-droppingly gorgeous but involved Many fewer people, were in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. We ate (and stayed at) the Hell's Backbone Grill (based on the same New Yorker article that had steered most folks there when we were there). It really is the middle of nowhere, the drive they sent us on in the monument was amazing, and if I were to go back to the area, that is where I'd go spend more time. If solitude and diverse landscapes are your thing, look at Grand Staircase Escalante.

Lastly, when we did on our trip through the area we'd arrive at a park (or monument) in the afternoon, drive around, get our bearings, maybe go for a little walk or dinner. Then we'd plan an hour or two hike for earlyish in the morning, when it was cool. And when we were done with that we'd drive to the next stop, arriving in the afternoon. Too short, yes, but it was a great way to get a taste for the area. Enjoy!
posted by ldthomps at 7:13 PM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I've been to Zion, Arches, and Canyonlands.

In summer, I'd recommend Zion - there is heat, yes, but there are also trees, which means shade, and water. It's lovely - hell, everywhere you go is going to be lovely - but Zion may afford you more chances to just cool off.

However, if you're looking to visit more than one park, you may want to consider going to Moab for the whole week and using it as a base of operations, and hitting up Arches and Canyonlands in day trips. There's also some state parks there that would be less trafficked.

The only caveat with Arches and Canyonland is the heat - it is deceptive, because there's no humidity and you don't really realize how hot you're getting and how dehydrated you are until later than usual. I visited Arches once in mid-day in July, and thought that I'd be okay because I was mostly riding in an air-conditioned car and getting out for occasional brief hikes. But then as I was driving back to the park exit I glanced into the distance ahead and for a split-second I hallucinated that there were giant flaming Hebrew letters carved across a cliff face ahead of me. I recalled a sign in the park stating that hallucinations were an early warning sign of heatstroke and I paused at the gift shop to purchase a couple two-liter bottles of water and drink it all on the spot.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: They all have Facebook pages. I have learned from them that Zion is getting over 100 degrees now. I went to Zion and Bryce in October a couple of years ago. It was wonderful. I’ve not been to the other parks.
posted by kerf at 8:39 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you want to camp near Arches, there is a campground along the Colorado River on the edge of Moab. This campground is on the other side of the river from Arches. Another site near Arches is an amazing place called The Island in the Sky. It is a 27 mile long, arrowhead shaped mesa, that comes to a point at the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. With the air more clean from the shutdown, the view out over The Green River Overlook will bring you to tears. It has the most amazing views from all sides. The Island is accessed via a 60 foot wide neck of the arrowhead mesa formation, this is near Dead Horse Point State Park. The Green River Overlook none of the photos I can find quickly do it justice. There are three great overlooks there, and it is well worth the drive. It is on the other side of the highway from Arches.
posted by Oyéah at 9:12 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've been to all of the parks several times, and have also taken deeper dives, multi-day hiking/mt biking/canyoneering.

One thing to know is that the entire area has epic scenery, and the drives between the parks can be as awe inspiring as the parks themselves, and offer some solitude.

You are heading west to east, but from the grand canyon you might not want to backtrack to zion.

Bryce is a great place to start, because it's manageable in one day. from there head east on 12 which is an epic drive. you will pass through capital reef at Fruita, and you will be along the Fremont river, which offers several easy places to get your feet wet. there are swimming holes right along the river, just be careful to gauge the flow and be safe. If you've got another day do the Cathedral valley drive. it's fantastic and not so much on the beaten path, but it takes some navigating to drive the route and a vehicle that can cross a river (any 4wd should do if it's not in flood and it's a great adventure)

From Hanksville you have a choice. Limited time says head north. goblin valley is a quickish hour or two of coolness on the way to 70, then blast over to 191.

Most of Canyonlands is back-country -- but---Island in the Sky is the jewel of the park, and close to Arches, so do both. Arches can be done from the car, or as a series of short to medium length hikes and worth it.

Head to Colorado on rt. 128, fab scenery the whole way.

there are so many many cool things to do in that area that no matter how much you see you will feel you've missed something and want to go back, so don't sweat it, just plan another trip.

Happy trails.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:17 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: if you ever get the chance to go to Zion in winter, I highly recommend it. I got really lucky and drove in late during a snowstorm. It wasn't dumping so the driving was no trouble, and in the morning I suspect the views were even more stunning than usual. The white of the snow contrasted against the the red cliffs, with big storm clouds going by overhead.

I stayed at the lodge in the park, which was nice enough but it's more about location, location, location. I went to walk from my room to breakfast but never made it. I ended up hiking around in the snow for much of the morning starting at about 6:30. At first I had the place almost to myself. On the way back in there were crowds hiking outbound, but nothing like the pictures I've seen from summer.

Anyways, it's fantastically gorgeous. I ended up stopping constantly and taking a million pictures. And as others mentioned, the drive to the park is fantastic as well. I really want to go back and spend weeks wandering around Utah and Arizona.

Have a great time!
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 9:27 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I agree with some others that Capitol Reef is a sleeper hit. The Navajo Knobs trail was a big standout for me. I was there in early autumn, though, so it wasn't too hot; there is no shade on that walk so take plenty of water.

Has anybody mentioned Natural Bridges yet? It's not one of the "big" national parks but WOW! Hikes down into the river valleys provide a good contrast with the exposed rocky landscape above. Uh, avoid when there's any danger of flash floods, obviously.
posted by inexorably_forward at 10:21 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I did Capitol Reef and Bryce and loved both. Stayed in Boulder, UT in a tiny motel and enjoyed that, too. (There is a road through a slot canyon just outside Boulder which is a neat drive, though it doesn't go anywhere, per se.)
posted by maxwelton at 10:31 PM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The Anasazi museum in Boulder is worth an hour or two to poke through, as well. Plus when I was there the taco truck in the parking lot was to die for.
posted by maxwelton at 10:33 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer:
If you want to camp near Arches, there is a campground along the Colorado River on the edge of Moab.
There are a couple such campgrounds on BLM land, actually. If you camp in one of them be careful how you secure your tent and whatever belongings you leave in your campsite. That may sound ridiculously obvious but.. in at least some of the campsites (most, I would guess..) the ground is rock and you will have trouble staking your tent.

But if you do what I did the first time I visited the Moab area and set up your free-standing tent and load some gear into it to hold it down while you go into town to do some laundry at the coin-op laundromat, you should know that as the afternoon progresses towards sunset a canyon wind often arises along the river and you'll be lucky if you find your blown-away tent a quarter mile downstream on a muddy sandbank in the middle of the river.

My pillow bit the dust but after another trip to the laundromat I *mostly* got the mud out of my tent and my sleeping bag. Thank goodness things dry quickly in the desert.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:44 AM on June 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I've been to Zion and Bryce, and thought both were marvellous. I was camping in Zion, and had to book a spot several months in advance, but I guess that may be different now. As everyone has mentioned, I would get up very early, and be on the bus at around 6am. This was in early May and temperatures were pretty hot for me, although it is dry. I wore long sleeves and a big hat. I skipped Angel's Landing and went up to Observation Point instead - it was incredible and you can look down into the whole canyon. Swimming in the river afterwards was bliss.

Bryce had some great hikes, and I stayed just outside at Ruby's Inn in a very basic cabin (there were thunderstorms and I didn't want to camp), which was just right for me. A realish bed and a heater included. On the way there, I did a bit of an explore in Red Canyon which was completely empty and a great way to get used to the landcape (coming from Scotland, I was incredulous).

North rim of the Grand Canyon was also spectacular - I camped in the park campsite, again, booked in advance. I didn't go all the way down into the canyon, but I did some great hikes along the top, and it was very quiet, except for when I got chased by a pheasant. There were quite a lot of people running generators at the campsite, which was a bit noisy.

My surprise hit in that area was Kodachrome State Park. Incredible scenery and wildlife, very nice park rangers, and basic camping (Bryce view campground). I didn't have to book - just turned up. I think there are some cabins there too and website says it is open. I ended up staying 3 nights and visiting some nearby arches. You can see the sun setting on some of the hoodoos in Bryce from the campsite in Kodachrome.
posted by sedimentary_deer at 4:21 AM on June 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: There is possibly no finer country than Utah desert. However, summer is not a pleasant time to go. Unless you love the blasting sun (and know how to stay safe under it), or you're able to hike in the very early morning, I wouldn't plan much hiking and etc. I would probably do a quick and dirty trip that emphasizes car travel.

Bryce Canyon is great for a quick car tour. Arches is also very doable by car; you'll want to walk around some, but you won't miss much by skipping the longer hikes up to Famous Things (which crawl endlessly with people, anyway). Bring binoculars, and you can see things like Delicate Arch from afar. As for Zion, I have actually only driven through. Nice as I'm sure it is, it's one of the few parks where I really felt the weight of it just from passing through.

(Btw, if you want to drive through anyplace fast, you can often get away with coming in shortly past sunup, before the park opens, and not paying fees. Not that I'm suggesting parks don't deserve to be paid, but if you literally are just driving through, not bumbling back and forth and deliberately's pointless to wait for the park to open, sit in a line of vehicles, and pay the full fee to get in.)

If you did want to spend a full day at one park, I would choose Capitol Reef, the most underrated national park maybe in the country. It's less crowded than the others, and it's spectacular. Horseshoe Canyon also has my favorite pictographs not just in Utah, but anywhere.

But if I could recommend the true sleeper hit, it's the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument. No, it's not a national park, but it should be. It gets little traffic, but is disproportionately rewarding. You can get into very remote-feeling territory very fast! It has all the features: arches, hoodoos, slot canyons, big geology. Rock art, ruins.

I wouldn't go to Canyonlands on this trip. It's best to go in the not-summer, and trek as deep into the backcountry as possible. You can't casually drive around and sightsee. If you don't have good clearance/4WD, it's not even a question, just don't enter the park.

Have fun. I do hope some areas/parks are open.
posted by desert outpost at 5:41 AM on June 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Never been to Capitol Reef and haven't been to Arches or Bryce since the early 90s.

My take is that while Zion is in a lot of ways the most impressive park, it's also kinda representative of a more generic southwest-ness, Bryce is just fucking weird. The fairyland trail feels like you're walking on a goofy science fiction planet.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:04 AM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: During a cross-country trip we popped into Capitol Reef a few years ago, detouring south off Rte 50/I-70. Wonderful and I'd go again; in fact I wanted to see the Temple of the Sun but it was Winter and travel on the dirt roads used for access to that remote point wasn't advised. Great time to be there however, since it snowed the day before, the contrast between that and the red rocks and blue sky was amazing!
posted by Rash at 8:48 AM on June 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I have camped there on the Colorado by Moab, I am a never say die kind of traveler, so I camp when I am ready to hold the tent down with my body; then get up and go away, to any of the great breakfasts Moab has to offer, or farther down to Monticello where the Peace Tree Coffee place has breakfast, (there is one of those in Moab, too.) Peace Tree recommend, is, of course, if that owner is still doing business.
posted by Oyéah at 8:59 AM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: WRT Grand Staircase, I think it's worth noting that it was twice as big, before Trump removed half of it to allow coal mining. We were in the area the summer following his action, and the locals we spoke with were less than thrilled.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:18 AM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have been to all of the above in the past two years and it was incredible. We stayed in the towns outside the park at Airbnb and hotels and moved in to hike the Narrows, Angel's landing, hiking to delicate arch, etc. We did a road trip looping through the National Forest too past Grand Staircase and up to Bryce from Moab. It went from 90s to snow in an hour. I second Goblin Valley State Park in Utah, especially try to get some time there at night too. The star gazing is fantastic.
posted by doktorj at 12:30 PM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I haven't seen anybody mention Cedar Breaks National Monument yet. It's outside Cedar City, UT, and is another hoodoo-filled amphitheater, similar to Bryce but not as famous (or perhaps as impressive, but it is still quite worth a visit.)

A couple of reasons I mention it:
  • It's far less famous than the national parks and receives many fewer visitors. As a result it may be easier to avoid other travelers there during this pandemic year.
  • The rim of the amphitheater is at about 10,000 feet, meaning it's at a higher altitude than most (any?) of the other sites mentioned so far. In June that may be a real kindness. Wikipedia's climate data for Cedar Breaks suggests the temperature is pretty tolerable even in June, though you should not underestimate the power of the direct sun or of dehydration at altitude wherever you choose to visit.

posted by Nerd of the North at 12:49 PM on June 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Looks like you'll probably pass through Escalante. Kiva Koffeehouse is worth the stop!
posted by benbenson at 2:08 PM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: So I literally just visited Zion last Monday (Memorial Day). Because of COVID, they are severely limiting access to the park. The shuttle system isn't in operation and they are only letting in cars until the parking lots are full. This means that it's <1>
We had a fantastic time even though it got to the mid-90s on the day we visited. My family with three small boys (4, 6, and 8) managed to hike 10 miles by 1PM when we were exhausted. We did the Upper Emerald Pool trail, the hike up to Scout Overlook (the Angels Landing chain section is closed), and the very beginning of the Narrows river hike. The river hike was a great way to cool down.

I don't know how long they'll keep this system in place though. Check their website for updated details. Their Twitter feed is posting daily updates on how quickly it fills up.
posted by John Frum at 6:47 PM on June 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

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