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Must see National Parks/Outdoor locations

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by aaisack, Nov 20, 2014.

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  1. aaisack

    aaisack High-Roller

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    My sister and I are renting a car for 4 days and want to visit a few cool locations during the day instead of breaking up the day with shows..

    Already on the list:

    Zion National Park
    Red Rock Canyon
    Valley of Fire
    Grand Canyon (Debating West vs South rim) + Hover Dam visit

    Any other must visit locations? We want to allocate two days and not feel rushed.
     
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  2. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    That's a pretty good list. Maybe add Death Valley. Plus, I'm not sure there is a West rim. At least not officially. I think North and South are the two big ones
     
  3. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    the logical loop is:

    Valley of fire
    Zion
    Bryce Canyon
    Grand Canyon
    Hoover Dam
     
  4. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    If you decide to stay more local, Mt. Charleston is a quick but interesting visit (weather permitting).

    Bill
     
  5. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    Give the South Rim one whole day incl. the commute.
    So, if you're allocating only two days --- cut that list down.
    *
    I'm thinking Zion might be an entire day trip, as well.
    *
    PS
    The South Rim has an elevation of 5,000 feet --
    so depending upon the season/temperature - be prepared.
     
  6. pokerbum

    pokerbum Tourist

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    .
    *
    I'm thinking Zion might be an entire day trip, as well.
    *

    I agree, and wish I had planned more time for Zion. It ended up being my favorite part my last trip-and next time I plan to spend more time there!
     
  7. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  8. aaisack

    aaisack High-Roller

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    Thanks everyone. My sister is really set on Zion, so we're probably going to dedicate a day to Valley of Fire followed by Zion.
     
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  9. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    I don't think you can do Zion and Valley of Fire in one day. At Zion you must park your car and switch to a shuttle and every time you want to go to a different part of the park you have to wait for the shuttle. I have gone to Zion twice and it is an all day trip and you get back late. But it is beautiful.

    You can do part of Death Valley in one day. You can Red Rock and Valley of Fire in one day.
     
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  10. Bommen

    Bommen High-Roller

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    Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire are are two places you can do in one day and just spend a couple of hours in each place. Then i would spend 1 day in the Canyons and i dont know if you guys are planning on doing any hiking but when i went to Zion this summer i spent 2 days in the park and felt it was to little. I did and Angels Landing and the Narrows and stayed at Desert Pearl Inn and everthing was amazing so thoose i can strongly recommend if you are looking for trails and lodging.
    Also as UK mentioned you want to do north or south rim at the Grand Canyon, sure the west rim is closer to Vegas and thats where the helicopters take the tourists from Vegas. However its not nearly as impressive as the north or south rim.
     
  11. Hawaiianmark

    Hawaiianmark Low-Roller

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  12. marksind

    marksind Low-Roller

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    My wife and I have done all the places on your list except the "west rim," which is really just an arm off the main canyon that has the advantage of being closest to Vegas. We've also done Death Valley and Mt. Charleston. As several have noted, you'll be doing a "drive by" visit if you try to combine any of the farther places into one day. Valley of Fire is a beautiful state park with several scenic short hikes. We spent two days at Zion last September and didn't feel it was too much time (but we like to do some hikes, not just stick to a vehicle). As mentioned, you could reasonably do Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire in a day, or Mt. Charleston and Red Rock Canyon. Otherwise you're likely to find your visit consisting of a few "selfies" in front of the postcard attractions before moving on.
     
  13. aaisack

    aaisack High-Roller

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    Being that the consensus seems to be that Zion should be the only thing on the docket for a day trip, I think we're going to just get up at the crack of dawn on Monday and plan on spending the whole day up there. Thanks for the suggestions.
     
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  14. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    By the way, Mt. Charleston is a great trip if you're in Vegas in the summer and the heat is getting to you. It's a bit cooler up there and it helps a lot. Also, Zion is nice in the extreme heat too because it is cooler and greener. That being said, Red Rock and Valley of Fire are nice in the cooler weather.
     
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  15. eksantirik

    eksantirik Low-Roller

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    If you go all the way to Zion, why not try the North Rim and then head to Page, AZ to see Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon. You can also drive a bit more to check out the Monument Valley. I did all of these during my trip in September, and they were all very cool. Page, AZ itself is a very nice town, worth staying there one night.
     
  16. bobby jones

    bobby jones Low-Roller

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  17. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Zion is gaw-jus! :) Well worth the drive.

    They don't let you drive that far into the park anymore, they make you take the shuttle, which really is a good thing. Hint: The shuttle in the outbound direction tends to be full in the later afternoon, hop on it on the inbound direction.

    There's supposedly a very photogenic hairpin-type river bend up that way somewhere that's on my do-it list to check out and photograph too.
     
  18. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I apologize if I missed this somewhere in this thread, but when are you going? Weather can be a very big factor in some of these places if this trip is coming up through winter.

    As others have noted with overnight suggestions, there is a bit of getting to it with Zion and particularly the South Rim that can turn a visit into a pretty long day of driving and for many once they get there, the realization there's not enough time on the ground. Just something to keep in mind as traveling and how we all like to sightsee are so personal. If you aren't really familiar with the region and distances, head over to AAA and get the requisite maps and then plot some time/distance routes on google maps.

    Snow Canyon State Park outside St. George is a stunning western hard rock country canyon done up in a very compact form, and the town and environs are a fun place to explore, too.

    VoF and the dam can be combined into a "local" day excursion.
     
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