The Grand Circle tour is the legendary tour of all five of Utah’s national parks. It is the perfect road trip at any time of year, including winter. The winter is much milder in most of southern Utah, providing a welcome escape from the northern part of the state. Also during winter, there are far fewer crowds in the national parks.
We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch suggest this Grand Circle route. We are assuming that you are coming from Salt Lake City. Of course, you can start the circle tour from many different points. (If you are coming from Las Vegas check out our alternate version here.)
Drive from Salt Lake to Bryce Canyon National Park via Interstate 15.
Bryce Canyon is, without a doubt, a beautiful national park. However, if you are pressured for time, we at the Lodge recommend spending only one day in the park. See some of our Blog posts on Bryce Canyon.
Drive from Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park via Highway 89.
You should plan on staying in Zion for at least two days. For suggestions about what to do in Zion National Park, please check out some of our other Blog entries.
Drive from Zion to Canyonlands National Park via Natural Bridges National Monument, Monument Valley National Monument, and Lake Powell.
Canyonlands is the least visited national park in Utah. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do. See our suggestions for what to do in the park here.
Drive from Canyonlands to Arches National Park via Highway 191.
Arches National Park is known for its natural arches and bridges. But it is more that a one-trick-pony. See what else there is to do in Arches here.
Drive from Arches to Capitol Reef National Park via Highway 12.
This is our favorite part of the Grand Circle Tour. We love Highway 12 and we love Capitol Reef. Budget a couple of days to explore the park. For recommendations on what to see, check out our Blog.
After visiting Capitol Reef drive back to Salt Lake via Interstate 15. The Grand Circle Tour is one of the greatest adventures that we know about. We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch hope you have a great trip.