Utah, February/March 2024

Utah – don’t know where to start!  We really had to drag ourselves out of the state even after five weeks of touring.  Utah was a favourite of ours after our previous visit in 2016 and it’s still up there.

Utah, we love you.

The weather pretty much decided our route as we were initially stuck between two storm fronts – snow to the east and torrential rain to the west.  The weather in Utah was pretty perfect though.

Free park ups like this on BLM land.

Southern Utah has some of the most stunning landscapes and we spent most of our time in the National and State Parks hiking and drooling over the sandstone formations.  

Delicate Arch with us for scale 

It’s worth noting that some places control visitor numbers by requiring a permit or pre-registration especially during the busier months.  Arches National Park, for example, requires that from 1st April to 31st October you go to their website to get a timed entry slot.  There is no cost above the usual park entry fee for this.

Just beyond here we started to reverse as the snow got deeper.

Just as an aside, The America The Beautiful Pass costs USD80 for a year and gives you free access to a long list of national parks, monuments and other sites.  If you visit more than two parks then you’ll cover the cost of the annual pass so it’s great value for money.

Gooseneck State Park.

Several sights run lotteries for visitor permits.  The Wave allows 64 visitors a day and the application process is online with a cost to enter the lottery as well as the cost to visit the actual sight.  We tried to get permits for the Wave near Kanab in the daily lottery but after five attempts at a cost of $9 per try we gave up!

Stunning slot canyons

Some places are on Navajo land, eg Antelope Canyon and require guides to visit.  We like to explore on our own and whilst we missed the most well  known, we found plenty of other slot canyons which were free to visit.

Nice little hike to the Calf Creek Falls, just off State Route 12.

One road deserves a special mention – State Route 12, designated a Scenic Byway and is the only All American Road in Utah. Along its 123 mile length it runs through part of Bryce Canyon, Grand Escalante National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park.  The Hogback follows a narrow ridge with steep drop off on either side of the road and to the eastern section rises to a height of 9,600ft through pine forests.  We have now driven this road three times and loved it so much the first time, we have a framed geological cross section of the route hanging at home!

From the Dugway Geode Beds you are allowed to take away a certain amount Geodes

We finally dragged ourselves away to begin our journey north.  We’ve done quite a bit of driving on gravel/mud roads in Utah and we did another 50 miles or so in the centre of the state.  We followed part of the old Pony Express Trail to the Dugway Geode beds where we indulged our rock collecting habit and dug for geodes.  We didn’t find any whole ones but did find some good pieces.

Our last real stop in Utah was Wendover and the Bonneville Salt Flats. We had to visit Wendover here as Bob can trace his ancestors in Wendover UK, through his mum, back to the 1600s.  The two towns couldn’t be more different and we were a little disappointed with the US version.

The Bonneville Salt Flats

The Bonneville Salt Flats were, however, well worth a visit.  The flats are known for the land speed records set at the Bonneville Speedway although at the time of our visit much of the area was underwater so there weren’t too many vehicles out there!

There are quite a few Petroglyphs in Utah.

We did make a quick stop in Salt Lake City but mostly for shopping.  It was pouring with rain when we arrived and when we woke up the next morning with a plan to visit the city, it was snowing so we decided to move on.  That decision was also taken due to the amount of construction going on making getting around a little difficult.

Some routes are easier than others.

Just to say that whilst we post a few photos here, our Facebook page, ClewleysOnTour, is the best place to see photos of our travels and we are currently, slowly, posting the Utah photos, place by place.


Driving an RV in the southwestern US outside the big cities is so easy.  The roads are wide (even the “narrow” roads are 2 lanes) and the choice of overnight spots is beyond words.  We’re using iOverlander on a daily basis to find park ups, water, dumps and laundromats.  

In Southern Utah we used a lot of the first come first served campgrounds in the parks.  As it was winter, no services other than vault toilets were provided but prices were great value for the locations.  Prices ranged from $15 to $25 per night but from the campgrounds we could walk right out onto the trailheads of some amazing hikes.

We found some of the cheapest diesel here at $3.60 per gallon (around 75p a litre) but also paid $4.50 per gallon although that equates to about 95p a litre so still much cheaper than a the UK! 

LPG, or propane, is easy to get and prices are pretty much as they are at home.