Time for a Break!
Spring is almost officially here! And it’s time for a much needed vacation. Schools across the country are letting students out for a week, and families and friends are planning trips to celebrate. It’s a busy time for travel, so if you’re planning a trip to Southern Utah for Spring Break, we’ve got some tips for you! Here’s what we suggest you do:
Book Everything in Advance
Ten years ago you could just show up and grab a spot at most campgrounds in Southern Utah, but these days you NEED to book everything in advance. Campsites, tour groups, park bus routes, and lots of the most popular hikes – like Angel’s Landing – all require reservations. Luckily, these can all be done online at recreation.gov. So our number one piece of advice is: book reservations for all the places you want to see, and book them as soon as you can.
Check Out Some Itineraries
Crucially, you can’t really book things in advance if you don’t know what the heck you want to see in Southern Utah. The national parks, obviously, right? But if you’ve never been here before, you might be surprised by how much there is to see in each park, and how far apart some of the parks are. So start with some itineraries. Want to see the famous hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, or drive through the wild and wonderful Waterpocket Fold? It pays to read about it all first. We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have a couple itineraries where you can start, as well as our blog, and we also recommend Utah.com, and visitutah.com. If you are coming to Capitol Reef (that’s where we are!) check out the excellent liveandlethike.com.
So Much To Explore…
Ok, you’ve had a great planning session, and now your Spring Break 2022 trip is coming into focus and you’re just about to make the reservations needed for your adventure. This is where we need to remind you that there is soooo much to see in Southern Utah, stuff you may not have thought about. If this is your first time visiting, by all means, hang out in Zion National Park the whole week. But if you want to expand your trip (and avoid some of the big crowds in the popular national parks) try broadening your vision. Utah has a huge amount of public lands – state parks, national monuments, national forests – and they don’t always get the attention they deserve. Start exploring some alternatives and additions here on Utah’s official site. Goblin Valley can be just as fun as Bryce, and Dead Horse is just as scenic as Canyonlands.
Know the Terrain
Southern Utah is a place of immense and sometimes overwhelming beauty. There are sweeping desert vistas, narrow slot canyons, towering monoliths, endless pine forests, and strange and fantastic geological formations. But it is also, in many places, still a wilderness. So you need to be prepared for the realities of hiking in the desert. Temperatures in the spring are generally mild (mid–70s) during the day, but the can spike. And temperatures at night are still cold. So you need to bring warm clothes and cool-weather clothes as you explore the outdoors. Also, and this is most important, you’ll need lots of water. Probably more than you think you will. The desert is a dry place. Most of the national and state park websites have sections that tell you how to prepare for a trip to Southern Utah. (Like this one.) Become familiar with them.
A bit of planning, a little searching for the less-popular locations, plenty of online reservations, and a healthy dose of safety can all add up to a great Spring Break in Southern Utah. Have fun!