The Grand Circle Road Trip
Updated: Jan 24, 2019
If you’re looking to make a road trip in 2019 – it’s hard to beat The Grand Circle, which is one of the most famous National Park road trips in the country. The Grand Circle begins and ends in Utah!
What parks make up the Grand Circle Road Trip?
Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Zion National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Horseshoe Bend and more
Two to three weeks would be the ideal time for a full National Parks tour. We, however, separated the parks into three different trips throughout 2016.
If you are flying and renting a vehicle you could start and end in Vegas, or consider Salt Lake City, Utah or Phoenix, Arizona; which are major flight destinations. We decided to opt out of flying. My family drove down from the Bay Area and we started the journey in LA for all 3 road trips.
My Personal Arches / Canyonlands / Bryce Long Weekend Itinerary:
We started bright and early at 6AM and drove straight to Moab, Utah.
It’s a long drive from LA to Moab - 10 hours, but blast music and the time just flies!
We checked into Under Canvas for the most epic glamping experience. 100% recommend this luxurious campsite, which overlooks Arches National Park.
We woke up to watch the sun rise over the Arches to start are first full day in Moab.
We entered Arches National Park in the early morning to avoid the afternoon heat. We wanted to hike in the morning and around sunset since we were visiting the park during a hot September weekend.
Arches contains the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches. 2,000 arches are located within the park’s 76,518 acres.
Trails – there are several different trails that can accommodate diverse fitness levels. I highly recommend hiking #DelicateArch for the sunset, but be prepared for crowds to capture the epic Delicate Arch.
After sunset we walked around the quant town of Moab, grabbed a pizza and headed back to roast marsh mellows, drink wine and indulge in pizza in our cozy little tent.
We drove through Canyonlands National Park (25 min drive from Moab).
Explored Dead Horse Point State park before venturing to Bryce Canyon.
Moab to Bryce Canyon is a 4-hour drive, but the landscape is beautiful.
We arrived at Bryce Canyon to watch the sunset at Sunset Point. Bryce Canyon is famous for the spectacular landscape of hoodoos.
We checked into a Best Western Plus, obviously not fancy, but we had limited options and we weren’t planning to camp this time around.
We hiked Queen’s Garden / Navajo Loop
Other Trails to consider
Our final night of our weekend adventure was spent at a wonderful bed and breakfast called Stone Hearth Grille for dinner. A strongly suggest this restaurant for the food and most importantly the ambiance. Outside of the park, but surrounded by stellar views.
Bryce to LA - 8hrs and 30 mins
A FULL ITINERARY (10 - 12 days):
Arrive in Vegas – 1 nights with a possible day trip out to Valley of Fire
Drive to Grand Canyon – 1 night
Drive to Page to explore Antelope Canyon / Horseshoe Bend – 1 night would suffice
Drive to Monument Valley (I haven’t made it there yet) – 1 night
Drive to Moab, visit Arches and Canyonlands – 2 nights
Drive to Bryce – 1 to 2 nights
Drive to Zion – 2 nights
Drive to Vegas – 1 more night