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Day trip - Hoover Dam vs. Zion national Park - your choice?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by 67Euge, Jan 28, 2015.

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  1. 67Euge

    67Euge Tourist

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    Taking the son to Vegas for his 1st time. Looking at taking one 'day trip', and the wife and I can't decide which place to take him - Hoover Dam, or Zion National park.
    Looking for comparisons from those that have been to both. Doing both on this trip is probably not feasible.
    If it matters, none of us are mobility-challenged; meaning, tromping around in the Park for hours would not be a problem.
    Mid-April timeframe, by the way.
    Thanks!!!
     
  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    You're doing 4:30-5 hours in the car round trip to Zion, so factor that in to the time you'd have to do what you want to do. Some will tell you you can cruise the canyon floor, kick a few rocks and be done with it. We tend the other way so would overnight at least one night; lotta stuff around there. You might not have that time allowance. So, since you asked, I'd do Hoover. Plus you can do a Valley of Fire loop after Hoover. April weather could be great, could be snow; you never know.

    Either way, have fun!
     
  3. Jordan

    Jordan Caveman

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    I've done hoover at least 3 times....what's the "valley of fire loop" you speak of? I'm assuming you head back to the strip via Arizona?
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    No, no way to get back across from the AZ side other than the dam. Just west of the dam you take Lakeshore Drive over toward LLV then Northshore Road on up toward VoF. Then back along the 15.
     
  5. Jordan

    Jordan Caveman

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    Ahh ,ok ...thanks...I may try that in a future visit!
     
  6. joaks

    joaks Low-Roller

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    Zion dwarfs Hoover in every way, IMO. It's a much more time consuming trip though. In mid April it could be fairly cool. We go in May, and it tends to be n the 60s-70s.
     
  7. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    I did Zion with my parents on my first trip. I enjoyed it but it will take a whole day out of your trip, if you are okay with that do that.

    But I second Ken's recommendation to do Hoover/ Valley of fire. We did not do the Dam tour when we did that drive cause we were on it the year prior, VoF first to Hoover would be a good trip.
     
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  8. Drambler

    Drambler High-Roller

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    I've been to Zion and that's quite a haul for a day trip. Plus it's such a great area it's worth going to for more than one day. I'd pick the dam.
     
  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    While we're kinda on the subject, I just finished reading "The Emerald Mile," about the 1983 speed run through the canyon when Glen Canyon was vomiting water in historic proportions and some were thinking it was going to go down. As a student of the American West -- literally -- I've consumed much of the literature and scholarship about the river and the plateau region. It's not as deep or polemical are "Cadillac Desert, nor as scholarly at "Rivers of Empire," as it keys as much on river running as river politics, but it goes on the must-read list.
     
  10. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    A big 1+ for Red Rocks Canyon. Very close and very beautiful.
     
  11. flyguyfl

    flyguyfl Low-Roller

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    If you really want to do Zion, stay the night and do Bryce Canyon too. In Zion you look up and in Bryce you look down. Both can be done in a day and a half with an early start.
     
  12. tominiowa

    tominiowa High-Roller

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    hoover dam is something everyone should see once. Take the time to do the tour inside the dam though. That makes it all worth
    it. Not sure if you can pre-pay the tour to maybe not get stuck waiting till they have openings.
     
  13. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I'm sure this means driving up around the lake to the east end of VOF, then doing VOF, then back on the expressway to LV.

    That can be a very nice drive. VOF is most spectacular in the morning or afternoon.
     
  14. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    You gotta read UNREALCITY:Las Vegas, Black Mesa and the Fate of the West.


    Getting back to Zion versus Hoover - so much more to see at Zion. Trying to do it in a day is tough, so maybe drive up to Mesquite and get a room at the Virgin River Casino (about $35) the night before. Get up in the morning, have the buffet for a reasonable price and then have a much shorter drive to Zion. You might even choose to come back and stay for the night and drive back to Vegas the next morning.
     
  15. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    The last time we did Zion we did it easily in a day. Left LV early, had breakfast in Mesquite, and got to Zion early enough to park inside the park. Had more than enough time to do all of the films and such and stop and wander at most of the stops, including maybe an hour at the farthest one.

    Speaking of which, if you stay to the later afternoon, get on the shuttle in the UP direction if you need to and ride it back down. It's SRO at that time.
     
  16. Bommen

    Bommen High-Roller

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    Thats cool but honestly you probably didnt see all that much. Doing some of the hiking trails taking in the views is were the real experience is. Doing The Narrows is at least a full day. Angels Landing i guess will only take a half a day but most people need some rest after that before they go out on another adventure and so on.

    I guess you can see Vegas crusing the strip for 15 minutes or drive pass the Hover Dam in less then a minute. But you wont get the full experience and going to Zion for only a day is similar but i guess its all relative.
     
  17. Username

    Username VIP Whale

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    I would say do the damn tour and if you have time for more, do Red Rock as it's also close to the Vegas strip. I would think both can be done in one day if you just ride around Red Rock and only stop once or twice.

    We did Zion years ago on a camping trip across America..........17 states and Ontario, Canada in 30 days and 6,500 miles behind us. We enjoyed Zion much more the the Grand Canyon
     
  18. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    When you have four people, all (not to admit my real age) mid-late 50, early 60s, one who has a heart condition (not me) and the others (like me) who are more or less out of shape (not that I want to admit it) and not very outdoorsy (I admit that part), I think we had a very enjoyable and worthwhile day trip. :)
     
  19. Bommen

    Bommen High-Roller

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    Im happy to hear you guys had a great time, its a lovely park. All i was trying do is to let people know its certainly worth a few more days if you have the time and enjoy hiking. Some NP like Bryce Canyon and even Grand Canyon will let you get a pretty good overview over the scenary by just spending a day there. I feel that in Zion it takes a lot more time and hiking to get to certain spots that cannot be seen otherwise. Also if you go there on a future visit, it can be worth driving thru the visitor center towards Kanab for an extra 20 minutes. The drive is very nice and takes you along the edge and even thru some mountains for some awesome scenary. Then its easy to turn around at any of the viewpoints whenever you feel like it.
     
  20. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    One thing on my do-it list to shoot is a horseshoe bend in the Colorado located somewhat southeast of Zion.

    I don't want to start to drive up there if the weather is iffy. I want the sunlight over my left shoulder. A few sprinkled clouds in the sky would be nice, but ... :)
     
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