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Grand Canyon or Yosemite?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by brownies95, May 5, 2012.

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  1. brownies95

    brownies95 Low-Roller

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    We are thinking about changing things up a bit for our upcoming trip in July. We are flying in on a Wednesday and departing the following Wednesday. The plan was to head up on Thursday to Zion National Park and stay the night, coming back Friday afternoon.

    Now, what we are thinking about doing is flying in on that Wednesday, picking up our rental car, and heading out to either Yosemite or Grand Canyon for 3 nights. The other 4 nights we would spend in Vegas!

    Problem we are having is which park to go to. Yosemite looks awesome. However, I googled to see the distance from Las Vegas and I get times anywhere from 6-9 hours.

    On the other hand, it is the Grand Canyon and everyone should go there at least once in their lifetime...right??

    For those of you that have been to either place, or both...which one should we choose and why?

    And for those of you that have driven from Vegas to Yosemite....how long did it take you to get there?

    Thanks,

    Tim:peace:
     
  2. AOchoa95

    AOchoa95 Low-Roller

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    Living only one hour Yosemite in Merced. It's at least an 8 hour drive to Las Vegas.
     
  3. larryg

    larryg Low-Roller

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    Of the parks you mentioned, my order of preference is Zion (best), Yosemite, then Grand Canyon -- but all three are very good choices.

    Which one is best for you? That depends on what you plan to do. Are you inveterate hikers (of either the overnight or day hike persuasion)? Are you looking for a wide variety of outdoor activities? Does food or lodging matter to you?

    I've been to Yosemite in the beginning of May, and it was wonderful. However, July is a little different. Expect very warm days in the main valley area (average high around 90; cooler in the higher elevations). Also, waterfalls start to dry up in the summer. Add to this the very dry conditions this year, and I'm not sure what you'll see. Oh yeah, about driving times: I don't know, as I didn't come from Las Vegas.

    Now, on to the Grand Canyon. I assume you're talking about the most common destination -- the area known as the South Rim. The discussion about South Rim versus North Rim versus "West Rim" is a huge conversation in itself. Suffice it to say that I think the South Rim is the best choice for a first visit, especially if it may be your only visit.

    The South Rim will be pretty warm (average high in the low to mid 80's), but with dry air. Temperature becomes a big issue if you plan to hike below the rim. Temperatures rise quickly the further down you go, with highs around 105 or so at the very bottom.

    Lastly, about the length of stay. Unless you plan serious hiking, 3 nights is a bit long for the Grand Canyon. Two nights will allow for a day's worth of hiking, plus time to drive/take a bus to many overlooks. One night is enough to see the overlooks, and perhaps take a quick hike as well.

    Lodging is a consideration for both destinations. Get this taken care of as soon as you can. It's possible that the prime locations are already booked solid.


    If I were to choose, I'd choose Zion in July for two nights. Given the heat (Zion will be HOT), I'd hike up the Virgin River for one full day. Add on a couple of short walks/hikes, and that fills up the rest of the time. If not Zion, then I'd probably choose the Grand Canyon. Yosemite would be reserved for a spring trip, perhaps starting in San Francisco instead of Las Vegas.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  4. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Yosemite is nice, but I'd see the grand canyon first. It's a long, long drive to yosemite, you would basically blow 2 of those 3 days just driving.

    Personally, I liked death valley more than either of the other two.
     
  5. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    My Grand Canyon (South Rim) game plan

    Have done this twice: Leave LV by 8-9am ,drive to Flagstaff AZ ,about 4hrs.
    Check into hotel,drive 45 min south to Sedona AZ beautiful area ,have dinner there drive back to Flagstaff. Next morn ,drive to So. Rim ,about 1hr. 15 minutes. If you check map theres an entrance at the Eastern end of the park where you can avoid traffic at main entrance. Spend day,back to Flagstaff,spend night,drive back to LV or go back to Canyon for another day and one more night in Flagstaff. Embassy Suites in Flagstaff good bet ,free breakfast and evening cocktails if you make it back in time.
     
  6. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    I haven't been to Yosemite, but the Grand Canyon is, well, grand.

    You mentioned the original plan being Zion; have you been there before? Since it's three nights, you could consider doing both Zion and Bryce canyons; both are spectacular.

    Another consideration: Are you planning to hike at all? I would think that Yosemite or Zion/Bryce would be better destinations for a little hiking. For pure sightseeing, they'd all be magnificent. That's why they're all national parks. :)
     
  7. Jeffery

    Jeffery Tourist

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    If you like hiking camping nature and wildlife, Grand Canyon and Yosemite are two of the most awsome places on earth. If you have only 7 day to travel this year, I would skip Las Vegas and spend the whole week at one of these amazing National Parks.
     
  8. TuneinTokyo

    TuneinTokyo High-Roller

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    Forget Yosemite. Too far and too much to see in one or two days. You have to drive a lot just to get around it.

    Canyon is closer and better fitted for a Vegas trip.
     
  9. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Would appreciate any Death Valley tips

    Thinking about driving out there this coming week when were there. Were seniors so we dont want to go to crazy out there.
     
  10. brownies95

    brownies95 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for all the replies so far!:wave:

    It looks like we will have to save Yosemite for another trip. Seven to eight hour drive is a little long for just a couple day stay. One down.....two to go. Zion or Grand Canyon.

    We are leaning towards Zion. Looks like there are more hiking trails than at the Grand Canyon. Our hotel is also located in Springdale on a shuttle bus stop to the park. We can park the car and walk everywhere once we get there. That's always a plus!

    However, it is the Grand Canyon! Millions of people can't be wrong...lol. It would be a shame to be only 5 hrs away and not make the trip out.

    My wife is no help. When I ask her where she would like to go, her response, "it doesn't matter to me, just put me on a plane and I'm happy!":evillaugh

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  11. TuneinTokyo

    TuneinTokyo High-Roller

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    I've haven't been to Grand Canyon, it's on the plan for the next trip. I have been to Zion.

    From what I have researched and learned my opinion says Grand Canyon.
     
  12. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    If you can afford three days you can hit several NP's. If you want spectacular without the crowds, head for the north rim of the GC and stay at the lodge there (may be already too late to make reservations though) On the way, you can see Zion, Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks. Doing this you can kill four birds with one stone. You will love the north rim.
     
  13. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    No brainer for me, an avid hiker - scratch the GC plan and do either Bryce or Zion.
     
  14. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Have you hiked capitol reef,(a couple hours past bryce), that was the bomb! Plus the drive there was fantastic.
     
  15. brownies95

    brownies95 Low-Roller

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    Zion it is!!

    We will be picking up our rental car soon after arriving in Las Vegas, and be headed up to Springdale, Utah. We are staying at the Desert Pearl for two nights. This will allow us to spend two days at Zion hiking around.

    We will head back to Vegas on Friday and check in to Bally's sometime in the afternoon where we will be staying until we leave Vegas on Wednesday!

    Thanks again to those who gave suggestions!!

    Tim:peace:
     
  16. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Do both!

    Yosemite is absolutely gaw-jus, and if I had to choose one, I would probably do Yosemite.
     
  17. Film-Noir

    Film-Noir High-Roller

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    Go to the Canyon


    Grand Canyon, South Rim, A Must see.
    North Rim sky bridge is a tourist trap, not worth the $$.

    Wow, Unexpected beauty from Death Valley
    A distant drive, up a mountain in Death Valley & Blam Danties View!
    Amazing!
     
  18. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    merlin,
    Capital Reef is one of few places in southern Utah we haven't done. Been a few miles away from its border while doing the Grand Staircase. Hope to get there this fall perhaps. It's between that and a return trip to Canyonlands.
     
  19. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Yup, I've been to dantes view, it's amazing, first you spend time exploring the floor,etc, and then you get to Dantes and see everywhere you were from above, loved it.

    Plus that was the steepest road I've ever been up that last qtr mile or so.
     
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