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Telluride, CO to Arches and Canyonlands

Telluride, CO to Arches and Canyonlands

Old May 13, 17, 8:55 pm
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Telluride, CO to Arches and Canyonlands

We will be going to Arches and Canyonlands from Telluride, CO.
We plan to fly out of Montrose, CO because of a car rental unless someone has a better suggestion. SLC doesn't have good flights on American. We need to get back to DC.

How many days would you recommend for Arches and Canyonlands?
I understand that there is road construction in Arches this summer and the park will close at 7 PM.

Should Moab be our base? Recommendations for nicest accomodations for 2 adults.
buena40 is offline  
Old May 13, 17, 9:17 pm
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Montrose tends to be expensive to fly into. Sometimes Grand Junction is a lot cheaper.

Arches highlights can be seen in a day. Canyonlands is two different areas. There are a lot more longer hiking options there.

Moab is where you will base yourself out of.
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Old May 15, 17, 2:26 pm
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A few things...

Arches will be open on Friday and Saturday nights after 7pm. Other days everyone out by 7pm. target days there.

Flying into Montrose is not the best idea.

Look instead at GJT(Grand junction) or DRO (Durango). look at what gives you the best flight+ rental options. this will mean also looking at SLC, DEN., and PHX.

As for planning this summer you are late so unsure what hotels in Moab will be available.

For a visit for Arches and Canyonlands you want to use Moab as a base. Its the only town for 50+ miles--the next closest options are Green River and Monticello both 50 miles away.

for a visit you want to plan on 3 days.... 1 day for each park then 1 day for doing some other activity.

If this is for July/August look at doing this:

day 1 sunrise-11am Arches, 11-3 Moab, 3pm-sunset Canyonlands island in the sky east view points, Mesa Arch, and dead horse point SP
day 2 activity, Arches
day 3 sunrise-11am canyonlands/island in the sky west facing viewpoints, 11am-3pm Moab, 3pm-sunset Arches

add another day if you want to do Needles district of canyonlands or a white water rafting trip

As part of this trip you should also look at including Mesa Verde, US 550 (Durango to Ouray) if you are looking at flying in and out of western Colorado.
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Old May 16, 17, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by buena40 View Post
We plan to fly out of Montrose, CO because of a car rental unless someone has a better suggestion.
Grand Junction or Durango, CO. Unless you plan on driving through the mountains you will have to head north from Montrose to Grand Junction anyway so might as well fly into GJT.

Originally Posted by buena40 View Post
How many days would you recommend for Arches and Canyonlands?
I understand that there is road construction in Arches this summer and the park will close at 7 PM.
I'd say four nights in Moab and maybe a night in Mesa Verde/ 5 nights in Moab.

While Arches is fairly close to Moab, both districts of Canyonlands require quite a bit of driving. Back in 2000s, we arrived in GJT, did the Colorado NM and the Fisher towers on our way to Moab. We did Arches NP the next morning and Islands in the sky (only the route to the Grand view point overlook) in the afternoon and probably left Canyonlands at around 7 pm. On the second day we left Moab and drove down to Mesa Verde and visited Needles on the way.

We didn't do much hiking as the heat was rather brutal. The trail in Arches are relatively easy. Good footwear is however recommended. I saw a couple of tourist really struggling in their flip flops. IIRC the Needles has many multi-day trails.

We reached Moab in the late afternoon and spent the night at the lodge within the park (it avoids quite a bit of distance). We bought the guide tickets for the cave dwellings at the entry to the park and visited the rest of the rest of the park the next day. Flew out of Durango in the late evening.
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Old May 25, 17, 7:58 am
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Some good advice above, definitely try to get into Arches for the Sunset so aim for the days when the road is open after 7pm as advised.

In Canyonlands be patient if you want to get a good photo at Mesa Arch if it is busy!

Also don't miss Dead Horse Point State Park for some fantastic canyon views as well.

Outside of the parks Corona Arch is a fantastic arch to visit, There is a 'relatively' easy trail to follow with a couple of interesting chain climbs that lead to some interesting smaller formation before Corona Arch itself which is simply stunning. (Just google it for trail directions and photos)

I went in the height of Summer a couple of years ago just before sunset and we had the place pretty much to ourselves.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 2:27 pm
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Agree, there is lot's of good information above.

Also a +1 in flying to from GJT, although I'm surprised that SLC doesn't work for you.

With all National Parks the recommended amount of time is proportional to how far you are willing to venture from your car.

We went there with our then 10 y.o. and 4 y.o. and did some short hiking (the 4 y.o. in a backpack for some of the time). We spent 3 days in Arches and 1 1/2 days in Canyonlands. We were not bored and felt as if we could spend more time in either park.

Moab is your only chioce. We stayed at a 2 BR condo that we rented through VRBO. That worked really well for us.

A word of caution if you are there during the hot season. Plan out the amount of water that you want to bring with you, then double it.

Finally, go to the Moab Diner and have the Green Chile.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by AMflier View Post
A word of caution if you are there during the hot season. Plan out the amount of water that you want to bring with you, then double it.
And have more in your car besides.
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Old Jun 9, 17, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
And have more in your car besides.
It's probably the most convenient to stop at grocery store after picking up the car and just put a 30-pack of small water bottles in the back.

Another recommendation for those living nearly all their life within reach of a petrol station is to keep in mind that one may not come across a petrol station so regularly. IIRC last month (or even earlier this year), a tourist from Texas run out of petrol on her way to the Grand Canyon and she was stranded for a couple of days without water. And with spotty phone connections, it's not always that simple to get help.
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Old Jun 9, 17, 9:44 pm
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
It's probably the most convenient to stop at grocery store after picking up the car and just put a 30-pack of small water bottles in the back.

Another recommendation for those living nearly all their life within reach of a petrol station is to keep in mind that one may not come across a petrol station so regularly. IIRC last month (or even earlier this year), a tourist from Texas run out of petrol on her way to the Grand Canyon and she was stranded for a couple of days without water. And with spotty phone connections, it's not always that simple to get help.
Which is why I said to put even more water in your car. While you can avoid running out of fuel you can't ensure there will be no breakdown. Bring lots of water.

Last time we headed out to a location not on the interstate after picking up the rental car my next stop was Costco for a case of water.
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