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Suggestions needed re: a short Zion/Bryce Trip in August

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Flowers, May 3, 2014.

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  1. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first post on this board. I'm FFlowers on another board, the FFlowers that is DBueler's Vegas travel buddy. (We just had a great trip and I had a chance to briefly meet with another LV friend there as well though I don't know her name on this board.)

    Not sure where to post this question but, in any event, I'm looking for suggestions about travel companies and itineraries for a short trip to Zion and Bryce in August.

    I've been to Vegas MANY times and will be there again this August celebrating my 50th. I'll be in Vegas for a week (I like long trips) and would like in the late morning or early afternoon on the day after my 50th to head to Zion/Bryce. This would be right in the middle of my trip so I'll be returning to my Vegas hotel room for 3-4 more days after the trip.

    I know more time is ideal but I don't think I want to be away 2 nights though I could be convinced to make that move. I am looking, however, at at least one night, so getting to Bryce or Zion by the late afternoon on Day 1, spending the night one of those places, visiting that same park in the early morning of Day 2 and touring the second park for the rest of Day 2, returning to Vegas in the evening of Day 2. As noted, however, I have considered two nights so returning to Vegas by the afternoon of Day 3. (I am expecting to participate in a CET tourney and registering on what would be the afternoon of Day 3 so I would need to be back by then.)

    DBueler and some non-Vegas friends will be with me for my birthday but they are departing on what would be Day 1 so my non-Vegas trip will likely be solo. My brother and his fiance will be there as throughout my trip but he will likely want to stay in Vegas the entire time. That's okay. I have this vision of being in a beautiful valley or on a peak on the first day of what I hope is the second half (I hope to live to be a 100!) of my life. :)

    I want to stay in a comfortable place the one or two nights while touring the parks and maximize the experience, so for example, a bus tour that is more efficient/shorter, I'm willing to pay for it. I am in okay shape so can handle pretty much any hike except truly advanced ones. Price, within reason, is not a factor.

    Suggestions appreciated. Thanks!

    Flowers (aka FFlowers)
     
  2. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Just my suggestion,from our trip

    I would leave LV early am ,drive to Zion .You can see most of Zion in a few hours unless you take a long hike or something that kills a lot of time. Later in the afternoon drive to Bryce area,if I recall it took a while to get there,mostly secondary roads unless someone knows a better way. Check into your hotel ,get up the next am ,visit Bryce and head back to LV in afternoon. We stayed two nights in the Bryce area in a town called Tropic a couple miles from the park. Found a nice motel where the rooms were separate log cabins ,clean and free breakfast. The 2nd. day we took the scenic highway drive ,beautiful scenery,toured an indian museam and stopped for lunch in a remote town .Not a whole lot near Bryce canyon ,theres a hotel restaurant complex at the park entrance,Tropic UT where we stayed,no night life, a few restaurants .If your main focus is Vegas ,I wouldnt stay more than one night in Utah.
     
  3. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    First, welcome to VMB.

    I've done a few road trips to Zion from Vegas, including one which also included the Grand Canyon NR and Bryce Canyon NP. I strongly suggest 2 nights in Utah to truly enjoy your stay and not feel rushed (or dead tired).

    Also, I've also participated in CET tournaments, and they ALWAYS have "late registration" during the first morning of tournament play (allowing you to arrive back in Vegas in the late afternoon / early evening of Day 3).

    Day 1: Leave in the morning to get to Zion before lunch (3+ hours). There are places to stay near the west park entrance. They have shuttles to take you to various points of interest. The hike to Angels Landing is somewhat strenuous but worth the hike. Easier hikes include the canyon hike near the tunnel (to the east part of the park) and a shorter hike to The Grotto. There are some nice hikes in the NW portion of the park (Kolob Canyons) but you won't have time to hit them this trip. Taking a shuttle through the park and hitting a few hikes will take you through the rest of the day (7 hours), staying in or near the park west entrance.

    Day 2: Either take an early morning hike / drive before heading to Bryce or go straight to Bryce (about 2 hours). Bryce will have better (more in number and better scenery) shorter / moderate hikes. You should drive up through the entire main park drive at least once. In the afternoon, you really want to consider taking the Navajo Loop trail (3 miles), which you should give yourself some time for, has elevation to/from but is well worth the trip. You'll also want to hit Piracy & Rainbow Points.

    This brings you to the end of Day 2, and you are looking at a 4-5 hour drive back to Vegas at night, and you'll feel tired the entire drive and at least the following day in Vegas. Stay the second night near the park, catch a sunrise and maybe a short hike before heading back to Vegas on Day 3.
     
  4. Bommen

    Bommen High-Roller

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    Im doing the same trip this summer and this is what i came up with after doing a lot of research. On the first day I'm planning on getting up early so i can get to Bryce around noon. Then i will spend the rest of the day in the park before heading the scenic route towards Kanab were i will spend the night. On the second night Im planning on getting up early again so i can make the short drive to Zion National Park were i will do the Angels Landing hike before checking in to Desert Pearl Inn in Springdale. Then on day 3 i will spend some more time in the park before heading back to Las Vegas.

    After Bryce Canyon it will be 20 minutes out of the way to hit up Kanab but spending the night in Orderville could be another option. I choose Kanab because its a bigger place with some restaurants etc. The reason i didn't want to drive all the way to Zion is because the last part towards Zion is suppose to be beautiful and scenic so i want to experience it when the sun is up.
     
  5. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Thanks everyone for the information and the welcome. I don't mind driving solo; I've driven across the country and back visiting a dozen plus parks with an ailing father (who is much better now) but I was thinking about a tour so I wouldn't have to be worried about driving tired. I could just sleep on the tour bus or van for part of the trip going and coming so if anyone likes a particular tour experience, please let me know.

    But, I haven't ruled out driving either, especially if the consensus is the flexibility of the schedule and doing all of the driving myself outweighs less flexiblity with a tour but with someone else at the wheel.

    Thanks again for the comments and suggestions! :blowkiss:
     
  6. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    I like Viva's plan.
     
  7. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 Low-Roller

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    Ruby's Inn is a motel/restaurant complex located just outside of Bryce Canyon Park. Rooms are nothing fancy, but clean and comfortable. Restaurant is always busy, but food and service are great. I stayed there a couple of years ago; had a lot of tour buses loaded with foreign tourists. Taking an early morning hike among the "Hoodoo's" (especially in August) is the ticket. The early monring light casts enough shadows to make the formations stand out. Don't forget to see Thor's Hammer.
     
    Winter break
  8. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the tips. The trip is 15 weeks away but I'm getting very excited about it, especially the Bryce/Zion part. My best friend from college just confirmed she'll be joining me for my 50th.
     
  9. flyguyfl

    flyguyfl Low-Roller

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    I agree with this plan. Mine was slightly different as I left from Vegas after arriving mid day and spent the first night in St George and hit Zion early the next day. Then to Bryce where we stayed the second night after touring the park and drove back early the next morning. I suggest driving yourself vs a tour company.
     
  10. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Welcome to this board! You're a nice person. I remember you fondly from LVA.

    I would not stay at Bryce again if I had an option. Accommodations and food at Bryce are well below the quality and variety of those at Zion. Although YMMV on this, and those hoodoos do have a haunting beauty, I thought Bryce was cold and desolate compared to Zion. The hikes were not half as much fun. We went in October, and Bryce was darned cold. Might still be on the cool side even in August. Zion has some nice restaurants, a funky coffee shop, and good motels. At Bryce there is next to nothing.

    We loved wading upstream in the canyon at Zion, although my wife was not up to going very far. It would be easy in August because there's less water, but watch your footing!

    Much of the fun comes from the scenery between the two places, especially as one gets closer to Zion. Driving alone, you'd miss some of it, which might make a case for a bus tour. However, there are places to pull out, and I know nothing about the bus tours.

    If you spend just one night on this trip, you are likely to feel cheated. One benefit of doing this as a Vegas side trip is that you can go on the weekend when prices in Vegas are always a lot higher.
     
  11. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Thanks again everyone for the advice and Bard for your kind words. I remember you fondly as well. It's great to "see" and hear from you again on these boards. I hope all is well.
     
  12. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    I'm so proud of myself. Did some additional research and have booked/pre-paid for a room at the Zion Park Lodge the day after my birthday and the Lodge at Bryce Canyon the following day. So, I decided to spend two nights and two and half days visiting parks. This is a short time for others but I think will be perfect for me as I don't want to be away from Vegas too long but really pleased that I booked the trip. So, the morning after my birthday, I'll be driving to Zion and then doing some visiting in Zion that afternoon, spend the night at Zion, doing a morning hike on Day 2 and then drive to Bryce Canyon. Enjoy Bryce for most of Day 2 and spend the night there. On the morning of Day 3, one quic walk at Bryce and then drive back to Vegas. I'm thinking without rushing I can be back in Vegas say around 3, 4 pm at the latest. My rooms at Caesars are already booked for the first and second parts of my trip/before and after the Zion/Bryce adventure. I can't wait! :)
     
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