Top National Parks to Visit in the Winter

Winter in Bryce Canyon

Winter in Bryce Canyon

Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon and Yosemite National Parks were named the top National Parks to have some fun during the winter! Exploring the National Parks isn’t just for the summer months. Southwest Adventure Tours can help you plan your perfect winter exploration to any of these parks and more!

http://www.thegearcaster.com/the_gearcaster/2013/12/best-national-parks-to-visit-during-winter.html

Arches National Park Spotlight

Arches National Park is located just outside of Moab, UT and is known for the over 2,000 natural stone arches within its boundaries, along with pinnacles, fins and balanced rocks. You can get lost in its sandstone beauty and unique landscapes.

 Book your trip to Arches National Park with Southwest Adventure Tours TODAY!

Double Arch

 What is an arch? An official stone “arch” has a hole that has an opening of at least 3 feet (1 m) long in any direction. A natural “bridge” is formed by running water and spans either a present or former waterway. A “window” is a descriptive term that is often given to rock openings high on a rock wall or fin and usually are given the term if they give a great view of the landscape beyond, “framing” the picture. For more information check out the National Park Service.

 Popular Hikes:

  • Delicate Arch (3.0 mi/4.8 km) – There is an elevation gain of 480 ft/146 meters with no shade. Don’t forget your water! Great to view at sunset.  One of the most photographed arches in the park.
  • Broken Arch (1.3 mi/2.1 km) – Easy trail across open grassland.
  • Balanced Rock (0.3 mi/0.5 km) – This is a great short hike that is paved and wheelchair accessible.
  • Landscape Arch – (1.6 mi/2.6km) This is the longest arch in the entire world and is one of the most visited places in Arches National Park.
  • Fiery Furnace – This area is a mazelike labyrinth of narrow canyons made out of sandstone. To enter the area, you must obtain a permit. Only 50 hikers a day are allowed to explore to help sustain the area.
  • Windows Section – This section of the park is a series of scenic arches that are all close to one another with lots of different rock formations. They are all easy trails. Well-known sights in this area are Double Arch, Turret Arch and the North and South Windows.
Book your trip to Arches National Park with Southwest Adventure Tours today!

Balanced Rock

Some helpful hints for planning your trip:

  • Fees for vehicles ($10), Fiery Furnace Self-Guided Permit is $4 for adults, $2 for children (5-12). If you would like to take the Guided Walk through the Fiery Furnace it is $10 per adult or $5 for children.
  • The Visitor Center provides a self-guiding booklet and audio tour for the drive.
  • Remember there is no food or lodging within the park, so make sure to pack appropriately for the trip.  Always have water with you at all times!
  • Avoid visiting the park on really busy weekends/holidays.
  • Sunset is usually busier than sunrise, so try and get to the park early.
  • Parking lots can get very full for the popular hikes. Try carpooling or leaving your car at the visitor center. Please note there is no shuttle service offered by the park. There are local taxi companies that provide pick up and drop off service in Arches (Check them out here).
  • Don’t forget to check out the park at night! The night sky is absolutely pristine and covered in beautiful stars in Arches.

 Places to Stay:

There aren’t any hotels within the park, so nearby Moab is your best bet.

  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab– closer to the park, but further from the restaurants and town.
  • Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn
  • Best Western Plus Greenwell Inn – comfortable and centrally located. They have a great breakfast for the morning.
  • Red Cliffs Lodge
  • Sorrel River Lodge

 Arches National Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. The visitor center is open every day except for December 25th.

 For more up to the date info and photos, check out the Arches National Park Facebook page!

 

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Southwest Adventure Tours offers several small group trips to Arches National Park and the surrounding areas and can also customize trips:

Contact us at 1-800-970-5864 or info@southwestadventuretours.com for more details!

After learning about Arches National Park, do you want to travel there? 

Southwest Adventure Tours Tour Spotlight: Utah Mighty 5 Tour

Just the 45th state incorporated into the Union, Utah maintains an aura of frontier mystery that still captures the minds of adventurers and westward wanderers today—and it’s easy to see why. With some of the most diverse geography in the western hemisphere, the nation’s “National Parks Capital”—it boasts five total— is an amalgam of creamy cascading sand dunes, vibrant pine forests, and sunset-red deserts that draw thongs of visitors to marvel at its natural wonders year after year. And thanks to Southwest Adventure Tours, you can let Utah leave its mark on your bucket list with a tour of its most memorable natural landmarks.

Day 1: 
This morning we will pick you up at your hotel and depart for Zion National Park. This unique park will give you the opportunity to traverse a canyon over 3,000 ft deep consisting of red and white monoliths that tower around you. As we explore Zion you will have the opportunity to visit the Temple of Sinawava, East Canyon Overlook, Weeping Wall, Angels Landing, Emerald Pools, and many of the other areas within the park. Afterwards, we will enjoy a wonderful dinner and lodging in nearby Springdale, UT. Lodging for the night.

Day 2: 
After a relaxing night and a wonderful breakfast, we will depart Zion Canyon and climb over 2,000 ft up the east canyon and through the Zion Canyon Tunnel. As we travel to the east entrance of the park, we will experience the beautiful red and white rock layers, Ponderosa Pine trees, and slot canyons. We will then travel Highway 12 (Car and Driver Magazine calls Highway 12 the most beautiful highway in America) on our way to Bryce Canyon. From slot canyons to 11,000 ft mountain peaks, your drive across Highway 12 will be one you won’t soon forget. Bryce is in the top ten most popular national parks in the U.S. and one of the most beautiful. Spectacular rose and white colored “hoodoos” of different shapes and sizes provide a very moving experience to all who view their splendor. We have the options of touring the key viewpoints throughout the park or if you are physically capable we can descend below the rim and walk among the “hoodoos.” There are multiple hikes of varying difficulty that will offer you a unique experience not found at the top of the rim.

Day 3: 
For those who want to get up early, the sunrise at Bryce is spectacular. After enjoying the sunrise, we have an excellent breakfast buffet and then we will continue on Highway 12 towards Capital Reef National Park, Utah’s most remote and least visited national park of the five national parks in Utah. We will enjoy the unusual and beautiful Waterpocket Fold, some very interesting Fremont Indian petroglyphs, and formations that reminded the early settlers of the Capitol dome in Washington, DC. For those who are feeling a little more adventuresome, you can hike to Hickman Bridge, Grand Wash, or Sulfer Creek. We will lodge for the night in Torrey, UT.

Day 4: 
After a superb breakfast and a beautiful sunrise, you will travel through the rest of Capitol Reef with a few more stops before departing to Moab. You will explore the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands including a hike to Mesa Arch…one of the most photographed arches in Canyonlands. Other great hikes and views are the Grand Viewpoint hike, Upheaval Dome/Sycline loop, Aztec Trail, and others. In the late afternoon, a stop will be made at Dead Horse Point before you travel into Moab in the evening for dinner and lodging for the night.

Day 5:
Today you can explore Arches in depth with a morning hike up to Delicate Arch for Sunrise. Afterwards, you can visit Landscape Arch and Devils Garden for some extensive hiking, possibly to Dark Angel, Double O Arch, Private Arch, Pine Tree Arch and others in this area. Or you can hike through the Fiery Furnace (if permits are available) or Park Avenue, visit Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Cove of Caves, or a hike in the Windows Section of Arches. This will include a hike to Double Arch, North/South Window, and countless others that are scattered throughout this area. You will return to Moab for the evening.

Day 6: 
Today will enable you to explore the other side of Canyonlands, with a trip to Corona & Bowtie Arches or Morning Glory Bridge. Also, a drive along the Colorado River for viewing of the magnificent petroglyph panels found there. In the early afternoon, we depart Moab and return to Salt Lake for your departure.

2014 DATES

March 3-8, March 17-22, March 31-April 5, April 14-19, April 28-May 3, May 12-17, May 26-31, June 9-14, June 23-28, July 7-12, July 21-26, Aug 4-9, Aug 18-23, Sept 1-6, Sept 15-20, Sept 29-Oct 4, Oct 13-18, Oct 27-31, Nov 10-14

PRICING

$1899 per person based on double occupancy.
$2199 per person based on single occupancy.

Click here to learn more or to book for 2014: http://www.southwestadventuretours.com/index.php/mighty-5-tour 

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