Conquering The Big 5
Business Traveler|October/November 2020
Conquering The Big 5
An unforgettable luxury road trip through Utah’s spectacular national parks
By Ramsey Qubein

An unforgettable luxury road trip through Utah’s spectacular national parks

Landing in Salt Lake City, my eyes were wide open peering over the famous lake that gives the city its name. This is just the start of the natural beauty to come on my journey through Utah’s Big Five national parks. Five parks in five days: that’s the challenge for this quick adventure.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, national parks and domestic road trips have risen in popularity, and I noticed lots of eager visitors ready to enjoy the great outdoors. The parks had plentiful signage encouraging social distancing and mask usage. Most people were wearing masks even when outside, which was appreciated at scenic overlooks and visitor centers. Of course, when you’re alone on a hike, masks are not as much of an issue.

Since my trip was centered around driving, I wanted a rental car that would be both comfortable and stylish for such a long journey and decided to go with Silvercar by Audi. It’s a rental car alternative with all Audi luxury vehicles. Drivers can pick up a car in nearly two dozen cities, but the best part of all is that the car can be conveniently delivered to you. You enter your address in the app, and someone drops if off(versus the traditional airport car rental desk).

My Audi Q5 was the perfect mode of transportation to take me through the vast and rugged terrain of Utah in comfort. When my new SUV arrived, the Silvercar representative explained how the car’s free wireless Internet and SiriusXM satellite radio worked. Those were appreciated perks for this fast and furious journey.

Armed with my “America the Beautiful Pass” – an $80 annual ticket for unlimited access to hundreds of national parks, monuments, and landmarks – I was off.

My trip would take me from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas via Moab, five national parks, and St. George before returning my Audi Q5 in Las Vegas. Most visitors to these parks spend much longer making this iconic road trip, but my time-crunched experience is meant to be a “sampler” visit for first-timers to inspire some ideas for a longer journey.

MOAB AND ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

Moab was my hub to visit both Arches and Canyonlands parks, with my evening filled with exploring the bustling downtown’s shops and restaurants. Just a short drive from Moab is the entrance to Arches National Park, which ended up being my favorite of the five (if I’m allowed such a thing). Its famous namesake arches are postcard-perfect and with just one road winding through the park, it is hard to get lost. The road is easy to follow with ample viewpoints where you can stop for photos, and for those who want to get out and really explore, there are marked paths and trails, too.

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October/November 2020