The original plan for traveling to Utah included a trip to see all five National Parks in the state.
That plan required revision upon discovering that visiting all five meant spending more time in the car than in the parks.
The new plan became: camp at Zion for a week, taking separate day trips to Bryce and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
I mention this because we discovered that this itinerary — chosen solely based on our looking at a map — turns out to be a “thing.” Most everyone we encountered already organizes their trip around that triangle of parks. The books in the gift shop package the three parks together. Signs everywhere encourage the three park combo, kind of like: strawberry (Zion), vanilla (Bryce), and chocolate (Grand Canyon).
Take a look again at my photos above: pink, white, brown.
My point is that the “Visit Utah’s Five Parks” concept is more marketing than reality. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely want/intend to go back and see them all (again and again), but my feeling that I HAD to see them all in one trip? Gone.
As I kept telling my friend, when we’d start feeling overwhelmed by all there was to see and do, “This is not a once-in-a-lifetime trip. It’s a FIRST-in-a-lifetime trip.”
So then, Utah & Arizona Marketers, please feel free to license my newly branded, more reasonable itinerary (one that most people can manage in a single trip), the “Neapolitan National Parks.” I also like this term: “The ZBGC Triangle.”