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Memorial Day 2023. Let’s Do It!

Memorial Day 2023. Let’s Do It!

Posted in: Outdoor adventures, Travel on May 19, 2023.

Ready for Memorial Day

Hey, it’s almost Memorial Day Weekend! And we’ve got some tips and guides and tricks and ideas to share with you to help you make it perfect. Let’s dive in! ’Cause we’re ready to get outside and play in the national parks of Southern Utah!

An arch in the dusky twilight

Delicate Arch at Dusk. Photo by Cayetano Gil via unsplash.com

Go Like A Pro!

It’s time to get serious about Memorial Day Weekend! It’s almost here, and if you’re coming to Southern Utah, you need to have a game plan ready. Because the national parks here are pretty popular this time of the year, it’s a good idea to know what you want to see and when. We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have written tons of guides on all the major locations in Southern Utah. We’ll link here to our guides to Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion. Do some reading and come up with a outline of what you want to accomplish.

Hikers walking among the hoodoos

Hikers on one of the trails in Bryce Canyon. Photo by Casey Schackow via unsplash.com

Trail Tips

If you’re heading to the parks, then you’re probably gearing up for a bunch of hiking. Here’s a handful of tips to help you have the best – and safest – time on the trails. And here is a link to even more pro tips from the National Park Service. Give it a read. It’s important.

  1. Take lots of water with you. A good rule of thumb is a gallon of drinking water per person. It sounds like a lot, but plenty of water is important for desert hiking.
  2. Don’t hike alone. If you get into a bind, it’s always better to have a buddy with you. Plus, it’s more fun to hike with friends.
  3. Plan your activities for the mornings and evenings. It can get very hot here during the mid-day, so it’s best avoid strenuous hiking from about 11am to 5pm.
  4. Grab a map or download an app. There are lots of maps and guides available at the visitor centers of the national parks. (Many are free.) These will help orientate you when you’re on the trail. There are also a bunch of apps that can help too. Just remember that you might not always have reception.
  5. Don’t overdo it. You can get into trouble if you try to tackle a route that you are not up for. Know your limits.

An orange tent with dramatic views of red cliffs in the background

Primitive camping. Photo by Patrick Hendry via unspalsh.com

Where to Stay – If You’re A Procrastinator

So by the time this blog post goes live (May 19th, 2023) Memorial Day Weekend is only a week away. Hopefully you’ve already booked your lodging, because things fill up pretty far in advance here. But if you haven’t, we might still have a few ideas to save your vacation. First, check the national parks’ campsites for campsites. Go to recreation.gov and look around. Now there is a good chance that all of the sites will be full. But don’t give up hope yet. Most of the parks also have primitive campgrounds that you can’t reserve online. For example, here in Capitol Reef, the Cathedral Valley and Cedar Mesa Campgrounds are located in the more remote sections of the park. And even in the busy season, they often have spots open.

But if you don’t want to venture onto the dirt roads of the national parks in search of camping spots, head to the national forests. These are located all over Southern Utah, and they are full of camping sites. Salvation! So, again to use Capitol Reef as an example, the nearby Dixie National Forest has a bunch of sites less than an hour from the park. Go to this official map if you want to find a Forest Service campsite near your vacation spot.

A treelined boardwalk among cliff walls

Petroglyphs Boardwalk. Photo via iStock Photo.

Have a Great Time!

That’s all we’ve got for you for now. We hope that you have a great Memorial Day Weekend, whether you’re staying with us, in the parks, or in any campground you can find. See you on the trail!

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