When it comes to taking an adventure filled road-trip, it doesn’t get much better than Utah. Home to five National Parks, hot springs, forests, thousands and thousands of hiking trails, epic campsites, rock climbing, lakes and movie-worthy views. The best part? You can do most of these activities in one trip with an RV! Not only is RVing more cost-effective than the traditional rental car and hotel travel experience, but it also unlocks unique opportunities…think sleeping in a comfy bed under the milky way in a free campsite, down a dirt road, in the middle of the desert.
If you are ready to discover this great state in an RV but don’t know where to start, read on!
About Renting an RV
Renting an RV has never been easier. Using a peer-to-peer rental marketplace like RVshare, helps you find a variety of price points and vehicles. If you are new to the RV rental world, here are some of the best tips to get started! To make the best RV selection for you, consider the size of your group and ask yourself these important questions. Do you feel comfortable towing, or would you rather drive the RV? How comfortable do you want to be… do you want multiple bathrooms and bedrooms, or are you okay with a smaller and simpler setup?
This will help you narrow your options and find the perfect home on wheels for your adventure. If you need more information to make your decision, listings on RVshare include amenities, descriptions, photos, and easy contact with owners to ask questions.
Now to the best part.
RV Road Trip Itinerary
You’ll want to start your trip from Salt Lake City, a major city hub, making it easy to fly in/out and find many rental options. This itinerary is a round trip through the bottom half of the state. Salt Lake City will be your start and ending point making your trip planning even easier! You will find two different route options: one for a shorter trip that includes two National Parks and second one for a longer trip with three National Parks and two major attractions (Horseshoe Bend and Monument Valley) along the way.
In Salt Lake City you can pick up your RV rental and get familiar with your new home. If you have time, head out to the salt flats in the RV, it’s an incredible landscape to explore, and driving through it makes it even better!
When you are ready to start the roadtrip, head south towards the first National Park of the route, Bryce Canyon! You are looking at a 4-hour drive, around 250 miles south of Salt Lake City. In this area you will also find Dixie National Forest, a great place to escape the crowds and discover this unique desert terrain. You’ll want one or two full days here to make the most of what the area has to offer.
Moving along, 75 miles south, you will find your second National Park and a crowd favorite, Zion National Park. This stunning park is famous for incredible hikes like Angels Landing (which now requires a permit, so if you want to do it make sure you book your pass beforehand on the national park service website). This park is unique in that no private vehicle is allowed to drive into the park, you’ll be taking a shuttle bus from town into the park. Make sure you allow time and plan for this!
To make the most of Zion National Park, consider staying for two days. There are lots of free public land campgrounds in the area, but this could also be a good time to book an established campground to refresh the RV and your energy. The Zion Canyon Campground and RV Resort is a great option for its location, amenities, and views.
This is the turning point for those on a short trip to Utah. Make the turn to return to Salt Lake City after exploring Zion National Park. Two different parallel highways go north/south from this area to the city. Take i-15 north on your return to discover new sites and experiences.
Ready to drive through the desert?
If you have additional days, following your time in Zion National Park head east towards Kanab, Utah. Here you can apply for a lottery permit to hike ‘The Wave’, an incredible sandstone rock formation. The area is filled with amazing trails and views, so even if you don’t get the permit it is worth the stop.
Next up, Page, Arizona. Home to Horseshoe Bend, this stop is one you shouldn’t miss. You don’t have to allot for more than half a day here and if possible highly recommend visiting for the sunset!
You’ll want to start your next part of the roadtrip fresh in the morning, heading from Page towards Moab, Utah. This drive is 270 miles of stunning desert views, including the famous Monument valley where the film ‘Forrest Gump’ was filmed. Along the way you will pass many public land campsites if you wish to break up the drive.
Once you reach Moab, you’ve made it to your third National Park, Arches!
This park offers lots of hikes, trails, and stunning rock formations but absolutely no shade, so come prepared and pack lots of water. Moab is an outdoor enthusiastic town offering much more than just a national park. Here you can go on river expeditions, take all sorts of vehicles into the desert, rock climbing, canyoneering, and so much more. You’ll want to have at least two days to explore the area before making your final 200-mile drive back to Salt Lake City. The drive back doesn’t offer much in terms of sightseeing or attractions along the way so no need to allot extra time.
The best seasons to visit this stunning part of the country are Spring and Fall, not only to help avoid the summer crowds but also makes for a more budget and weather-friendly trip! Book your Utah adventure with RVshare and get ready to experience the desert like no other!
See you there!