Traveling to Utah in Early September. Starting trip with two nights in Zion (Springdale), 2 nights in Bryce (Tropic) a stopover in Teasdale/Torrey (one night) then on to Moab for a few. When I started planning the itinerary and how to fit in best photo times with travel I hadn't considered Escalante Grand Staircase but have since seen some great photos and would like to try to get that in somehow. Can anyone recommend any good Escalante photo locations that wouldn't require a significant detour? (Hwys 9 to 12 to 24 probably). Thanks.
I would definately recommend Escalante - i know that when i went to the devil's garden, i regretted it at the time, isnce there seemed to be a high school or juniour high field trip in the Devil's Garden area. There were 30 or 40 rude and obnoxious kids running around, climbing on top of the arches and playing tag and writing their names on the rocks. This despite the fact that there were signs that said groups were limited to parties of 6 or 10.
I didnt' come away with too many shots bcoz of the damn kids who were pretty much left to do what they wanted by their useless teachers, but I'm glad i did get to see the area Metate Arch is definately on my list of places to go back to. I believe the Devils Garden (where Metate Arch is), is around 30 minutes from the town of Escalante. It was around a 2 hour detour for me, which is why i was even more upset running into the kids at the park (i should probably be more upset at their teachers).
If you are spending two days in Bryce, i would recoommend coming in late and spending the extra time in Zion and then leaving early on your second morning. Bryce is pretty much a sunrise/early morning park, and you are better off spending the evenings at another location.
If i was starting at Zion and had the number of days you do, i'd probably do Zion, Bryce, Page, Monument Valley and then Moab. If i recall correctly, Tropic is fairly close to Bryce, so i wouldn't spend the extra night there.
You can see some of the formations of the Grand Staircase Escalante aroud Page, you also have the slot canyons, horse shoe bend, coyote buttes.
I don't know what you return route or what the rest of your itenerary is, but you may want to go back through Capital Reef if you are heading back the same way (i.e if Las Vegas is your point of entry). During my first trip to the SW, i think my route was Grand Canyon, Sedona, Page, Monument Valley, Moab, Captial Reef, Bryce, Zion and then back to vegas. Each of my 4 subsequent trips have been driving from Calgary to moab.