Utah Trip – Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef and Zion National Parks

Another amazing trip RV’ing to a place in the good ol’ USA! We drove our RV from Southern California to Cannonville Utah where our “base camp” would be for the first half of our trip. Cannonville is just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park, our first sightseeing stop!

Camping in Utah

Our drive to Utah.  We are headed to the Cannonville KOA.  I like to post road and scenery pictures so you will get an idea of what the drive will look like.

A pamphlet I picked up at our KOA – Scenic Side Trips in Utah’s Bryce Canyon Country and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  Click on each image to view larger.


We stayed at the Cannonville/Bryce Valley KOA located on Hwy 12 Red Rock Dr. We were in site #47. As you can see in the photos, there are no shade trees. It was VERY hot here in August. We did have our awning out and a pop-up awning, but it was just hot hot hot. We went down to the pool one day and there weren’t too many people, but the following few days, the pool was full!  Very happy to have air conditioning in our RV! If I stayed here again, I would make sure to reserve a site at the bottom across from the pool. You might be by the Highway, but there were some shade trees and grass.  One day the wind picked up, we ran to take our awning down, grabbed it but the wind had it’s way and the awning broke..


We went as far as Bryce and Paria points/views. We will finish the park the next day.

We started on Sunrise point and then walked to Sunset Point.


 We got up at 6 am and after some breakfast, headed to Bryce to finish traveling through the park. We wanted to see Sunrise Point as close to sunrise as we could. We stopped at Swamp Canyon, Fairview Point, Piracy Point, Natural Bridge, Agua Canyon, Ponderosa Point, Rainbow Point, Yovimpa Point, Black Birch Canyon, Fairyland Canyon (which is at the beginning of all of the Points, we had missed it on our way into the Park)

Bryce Canyon



Now time for some “off roading”. We had stopped at the Red Canyon Visitor Center and picked up “A Route Guide to Scenic Byway 12” and it shows the Scenic Backways. We took #3 on the map – East Fork Sevier River. This was Forest Road 87. We drove down to one fork in the road and then back up and took #105 back a ways. We saw some Deer and it was really pretty back there!



Sunday August 17, 2014 – We went by the visitor center in Cannonvile to get some information on taking Cottonwood Canyon Road through the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument to Highway 89. Our first stop was the Kodachrome Basin State Park. We drove back to Chimney Rock and took some pictures. It was really hot, so Max got a cooling off in the campground area.



Down the road a bit is Grosvenor Arch –



We then headed down Cottonwood Canyon Road – 30 miles to Highway 89.  The scenery along this road goes from green, to brown, and then what looks like Mars!




We drove into Kanab and had lunch at Calvin’s Smoking Gun BBQ & Saloon.  It was okay.  They had a patio and Max could join us for lunch.  You have to really search for places where dogs can join you.  Always hoping for a patio!


Click on images to view larger


We took for Captial Reef. We had debated making the 1 1/2 hour drive (one way) to see it, but we are SO GLAD WE DID !! We drove out Highway 21 .. Really cool road off of one turn, everyone stops to take pictures.


When we got back to the KOA, it was supposed to rain and rain was predicted for the next day. We decided to move camp to a campground (Bryce Zion Campground) off of highway 89 in Glendale. It would be closer to Zion. We saw this campground when were were headed back from that road through the middle of nowhere ;). I’m so glad we moved. But … I tried to call to make a reservation and there was no answer and you couldn’t book online. At the KOA, you could use a phone to call 800 numbers or local. Since there was no answer I wanted to call their local number and the KOA phone wasn’t letting me .. I guess it wasn’t local enough. So .. no pay phone at the KOA. We drove into Tropic and guess what … no pay phones! Our cell phones didn’t get service until were closer to Bryce. The lady at the market let me use their phone .. thank you very much … and I got through and made a reservation. The place ended up being pretty empty, so we could have just pulled in .. but I didn’t want to chance it.

I’m SO glad we moved.
There were trees, shade, grass, big ants :-O … horses, turkeys …

We enjoyed a day off of doing laundry, watching a movie and eating popcorn!
Thunder and lightening that night!!


1st stop some breakfast! There was a German Bakery and Restaurant on Highway 89 on the way to Zion. One small problem .. even though they opened early, they didn’t serve any breakfast! But they did have a savory sandwich of ham, cheese and tomato. That worked. I bought a few pastries for later and the chocolate croissant was to die for!!

Driving into the park we saw juvenile bighorn sheep!

I did my research about having a dog in Zion and there was only one path you could take a dog on. What I didn’t know was that you couldn’t drive to the scenic view points because of the time of year. You would have to take a shuttle. And, guess what? No dogs allowed on the shuttle. Disappointed we didn’t get to see Zion.

I have a lot of pictures of the Pa’rus Trail that we walked with our dog Max.

We walked the trail, drove to Springfield and had lunch at Oscar’s Cafe. Dog friendly patio, and great food!! We drove back “home” with a stop at an antique store. Fun day. we head back to Zion tomorrow.


We head back to and through Zion. We are heading to the Kolob Terrace Road up to Lava Point. We packed a lunch (we typically did pack our own lunch and a lot of water each day).

We drove through Zion and through Springfield to the Kolob Terrace Road.

We drove up to Lava Point and pulled into one of the campsites and had our lunch. We saw a deer. It was very quiet and peaceful!

On the way back through Zion we saw Bighorn sheep! Very cool!!


Our last day on vacation!
We visited the Coral Sand Dunes State Park.  Worth the time to see!