Las Vegas to Utah
Including five national parks
Editors Note: This is just a sample. An actual Jess.Travel itinerary contains much more detail specific to the trip.
This custom travel plan is the ultimate in contrasting experiences. Glamorous to gritty , man-created to natural, and slovenly to sweat-inducing are some of the themes in this great road trip. Perfect for families with itchy kids and adults wanting to be adults, this road trip will satisfy everyone.
If getting your sweat on with an exciting outdoor experience during the day and sipping on cocktails at night are your thing, get in the car already.
The glitz of Las Vegas, the hidden canyons in Southern Utah, a sweet iced coffee where everyone knows your name in Hurricane, the excitement of an ATV ride to view the perfect sunset in Capitol Reef, a cold beer tasting at a food hall in hipster Moab, and the contradictory cultures in Salt Lake City are calling your name.
Plus, how many of your friends have hiked in 5 National Parks in 7 days? Here's your personal travel plan for the ultimate road-trip.
Day 1: Vacation mode
Welcome to Las Vegas!!!
Upon arrival at McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, pick up your rental car from Hertz (Confirmation #78910). Drive to In-N-Out Burger on S. Maryland Parkway for lunch. You chose this place because you've heard about their legendary "Animal Style" burgers and wanted to try them for yourself. Here's the [directions].
You are only 12 minutes to your hotel, The Cosmopolitan (Confirmation #445566) [directions]. You picked this hotel for its central location on the strip and its family-friendly amenities. Check-in is at 3:00 PM. Once you get to the strip, you won't be moving your car.
Vegas pools aren't famous for nothing. Channel your inner Rat Pack, don your swimsuit and floppy hat, and order cocktails from the nearest pool boy to help settle into vacation mode. You've got all afternoon to soak up the desert sun.
Tonight, head for a walk down the Strip for exploring. The kids will love riding the coaster at New York New York and the adults will love the cocktails at a well-chosen restaurant at a well-chosen time. [directions]
After everyone is full and happy, take the 10-minute shuttle to Fremont Street for their famous light show as the perfect cap to the night. If you dare, there are deep-fried Oreo's for dessert before heading back to your luxurious accommodations. [directions]
Paris Las Vegas
The Bellagio fountain
Day 2: Living your best life
Start your day with breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi in Paris Las Vegas at 9:00 AM (Confirmation #665544). You chose this place for its authentic French cuisine and the romantic Parisian atmosphere. Then, wander the cobblestone streets in the resort ending at the Eiffel Tower. Here's the [directions]
Stroll the strip to walk off your breakfast, stopping in and out of each resort that calls your name. You can't go wrong!
There is shopping, food, and a ton of free experiences in each resort:
-Bellagio: Gardens and street of umbrellas
-Caesar's Palace: Stroll the Roman ruins, buy a purse.
-The Wynn: Pure opulence.
- Flamingo hotel: Ancient by Vegas standards. See the garden and birds inside.
-Ride one of the free trams: MGM to Aria to Bellagio, Mandalay to Luxor to Excalibur, and Mirage to Treasure Island
Head to Alexxa's by 6pm for dinner (Reservation via Opentable). This foodie experience is the more casual option in Paris and totally worth the cost. Enjoy cocktails and dinner, while you watch the Bellagio fountain show from your table. [directions]
Day 3: Hit the trail
Check-out from The Venetian at 7:00 AM. Drive 2.5 hours to Kanarraville Falls. You chose this hike because you've heard it's a hidden gem with fewer crowds. Here's the [directions].
Pulling up to the tiny town of Kanarraville, you'll start to doubt what all the rush was about. Just wait.
Put on your water shoes and grab your picnic of snacks. It starts out slow, but, trust me, this might be your favorite day of the whole trip.
Drive 1.5 hours to check-in at Kanab Glamping (Confirmation #999000) at 4:00 PM. You chose this glamping site for its luxury amenities in the heart of nature. Sunset is at 8pm so make sure to head there well before then so you can get situated and enjoy the sunset. Speaking of sunset, if an adult beverage while watching the sunset would make your night, stop and grab something on the way. [directions].
Camp offers dinner, s’mores, activities, views, and boxed lunches for you to take tomorrow on your hike. Be sure to order those at dinner.
Day 4: Zion Day
Check-out from Kanab Glamping at 8:00 AM. Drive 36 minutes to Zion National Park [Reservation #1278895]. You picked Zion for its breathtaking landscapes and diverse hiking trails. Here's the [directions from Kanab].
The famous Zion National Park is going to blow your mind today! While this park is known for being crowded, you'll experience the magic of Zion from the little known secret of Kolob Canyon.
Head to Kolob Canyons Visitor Center and get your annual pass. It will be well worth it since you are seeing so many parks. Also, checking with the rangers about current weather is always a good idea. [directions]
You'll drive the scenic Kolob Canyon Rd to the end and take the Timber Creek Trail for a quick “aah” moment. This is a perfect place to finish off your coffee, if you are a sipper like me.
Head back toward the visitor center to the Taylor Creek Trail. This lovely 5 miles RT hike will round out your day at Zion. Picnic along the way with that fabulous lunch box from camp.
You’ve worked hard today! So, grab a yummy local snack for an awesome 2 hour scenic drive to Bryce National Park. Grab drive-thru smoothies at Perk’s, ice cream at Palette Creamery, or visit the Grindhouse for coffee with more substantial food options for your hungry teenagers [directions].
When mapping your route, be sure to leave Cedar City via Center Street for the best route. This is stunning (vs highway) and only adds 4 minutes to the total drive time.
Check in to your cute (and humble) cabin at Bryce Valley Lodging [Confirmation #3482912F], grab a pizza to go, and watch the sunset from Sunset Point.
Day 5: Bryce Day
Up and at 'em! You'll want to beat the crowds to Bryce Canyon National Park. You chose this park for its unique geological formations known as hoodoos. [directions from cabin]
It's a stunning 8-mile drive to the end of the park for views for days. Convince yourself to pass the crowded pull overs for now.
Once you've got your "ooh's" and "aah's" out of the way, you'll head back toward the Queens Garden Trail for your hike. Don't forget to stop at views you passed up.
You'll get your sweat on and some peace amongst the hoodoo's by hiking away from the crowds. It's a constantly changing 2.9-mile loop with something for everyone. Task the kids with picking the perfect picnic spot.
Check-out from Bryce Canyon Log Cabins by 3:00 PM. Drive 2.5 hours to your next hotel, Capitol Reef Resort (Confirmation #192021). You picked this resort for its stunning views and comfortable accommodations. Check-in is at 6:00 PM.
Tonight is for celebrating and relaxing. The hotel restaurant is surprisingly satisfying for how remote it is. And they have stellar adult beverages. Plus, they let you take the rest of your wine to enjoy in your fun cabin, hotel room, or yurt!
Day 6: Capitol Reef National Park: the hidden gem
Check-out from Capitol Reef Resort at 7:00 AM. Drive to Capitol Reef National Park. You chose this park for its less crowded trails and diverse geological features. Here's the [directions].
Then, head on your way to Hanksville [directions from CNP] for your tour. You'll drive the 8 miles through stunning red and orange Capitol Reef National Park and also pass by the pioneer town of Fruita where you can pick fruit from an original orchard created in 1880!
Get ready for some fun as you canyoneering in Robber's Roost [directions] and then a 4x4 ride along not for the faint of heart! Today is all about challenging yourself kissed with the reward of great views and a great dinner in hipster Moab.experience
Drive 1.5 hours to check-in at Moab Springs Ranch [directions from Hanksville] (Confirmation #232425) at 4:00 PM. You chose this place for its close proximity to the adventure activities in Moab. Spend the day mountain biking and relaxing at the resort. Remember to wear a helmet and other necessary safety gear while biking.
Moab mountain biking
Don't break your face
Day 6: Mountain bike Moab
Moab and mountain go together like peanut butter and jelly. This town was made for adventure!
Meet your guide, get fitted to your bike, and get on the trail! There are tons of options for all levels and any of them have views for days. You'll work up an appetite and earn the right for a yummy local lunch.
Back in Moab, you've got your pick of local haunts. Gastropubs, breweries, BBQ, and Thai abound here. And, leave room for the spectacle of Nitro ice cream at The Garage.
Then, hang at your resort pool and soak those bones in the hot tub....you've earned it!
Day 7: Drive to Salt Lake City
Check-out from Moab Springs Ranch at 8:00 AM. Drive 6 minutes to Arches National Park (Reservation #189943HG). You picked this park for its iconic Delicate Arch and other unique rock formations. Here's the [directions]
Arches National Park is a stunner! So, grab your map and head to the back of the park to escape the crowds.
On the way, you'll navigate yourself to these awesome roadside arches so get your camera ready!
- Skyline arch
- Sand Dune arch
- Balanced Rock arch
When it's time for lunch, head to Windows arch parking lot and take your pick of 3 short hikes to 3 separate arches.......it's the most bang for your buck! Lunch in any shade you find and enjoy these anomalies.
After all the scenery you've experienced, the highway drive 3.5 hours to Salt Lake City will bore you to tears! Put on some good music, grab some fancy coffee for the road, and remember all the fun you've had. [directions from Arches to hotel]
Check-in at Hilton Salt Lake City Center (Confirmation #293031) at 6:00 PM. You chose this hotel for its central location and comfortable rooms. Once there, head out on foot for a 15-minute walk to the Utah State Capitol building and grounds and then to Temple Square to see the Mormon headquarters before dinner. Both of these are beautiful to poke around and explore. Here are the [directions].
Good food is abundant in Salt Lake City. You can opt to go commercial or go to the gritty underground bar scene. I'd do both. Pretty Bird has the best chicken sandwiches. If whiskey is your thing, Whiskey Street will pour you a nice one to toast the end of a phenomenal trip.
Day 8: DEPARTURE
Check-out from Hilton Salt Lake City Center at 11:00 AM. Drive 11 minutes to Salt Lake City International Airport. Drop off your rental car (Confirmation #78910). Here are the [directions to the airport]. Your return flight, Delta DL 4321, departs at 2:00 PM.
Exhale! We hope you had an unforgettable adventure and made lots of wonderful memories. Rest up, and when you're ready for your next adventure, we'll be here to help plan it!