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Family Trip to Zion and Vegas (6/19-6/26)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by grockford, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Mods, feel free to move this to non-vegas TR section if necessary. First part of the trip is Zion and Vegas portion of the trip starts on 6/23.

    Wasn’t planning on doing a trip report for this trip bit figured what the heck. Won’t be live but will try to provide some recaps a day or two later. I love reading trip reports on here; get a lot of useful info and I wanted to hopefully provide useful tidbits to inquiring minds.

    4 people on this trip .. me, wife, 4 year old and grandpa. Wife and I used to do vegas quite often before child arrived on the scene. I still go a few times a year with buddies and once junior is ok to stay with others a few nights in a row, wife and i will resume our vegas trips together.

    Always wanted to try Zion and saw some good reports on this site about Zion. Flight from Fort Lauderdale to Vegas on Southwest. A List due to credit card spend and scored A18-21 boarding spots. No problems with flights. Had a short layover in Kansas City. I don’t want to offend any people who enjoy that airport but I felt Havana and Lima, Peru airports would more comfortable. Very cramped waiting and walking areas in Kansas City. Few food options. Not enough seating near gate. Employees were friendly though and I read they are building a new terminal. But again, it was short layover so no big deal … just wouldnt want to be stuck there for an extended period of time. Had A27-30 for Kansas City to Vegas. Grandpa scored exit row. Flights uneventful and we landed on time.

    Booked Budget rental car thru Costco many months ago. Toyota Rav4 for less than $400. No issues at all picking up the rental car at noon on a Saturday. A welcome change from my last two trips in Sep 2020 and Feb 2021. There were plenty of cars and my name and spot number were on the Budget Fastbreak board outside. Yay!! Avis line inside had about 15-20 people and Budget line looked to have less than 10 people. Oh, hardly any wait for the rental car shuttle. Everything seems to be running efficiently again but maybe I just had lucky timing.
     
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  2. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    So glad to read this. I am sooo worried about my rental being there. I have a 16-day trip. Without a car, I think I'd go nuts.
     
    How could I say no?
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  3. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    Couple other notes forgot to mention. Plan was to drive to Mesquite NV Saturday and stay in a Holiday Inn Saturday night. Then 3 nights in Flanigans Inn next to Zion 6/20-6/23 and then drive back to Vegas for three nights at South Point. Pretty much have the dining options figured out for Zion area. Since a 4 year and 71 year old Grandpa on this trip, hiking will be limited to a few hikes a day.

    Plans for Vegas include cabana at Red Rock on Thursday and Neon Boneyard tour at 7:45 on Thursday after doing Le Thai for dinner before the Boneyard. Lots of pool time at SP. We have a pool at home in Florida but the 4 year old loves pools so pools it is. Will likely do a movie at SP as well with the munchkin. Considering doing the Lion Habitat in Henderson and Shark Reef at Mandalay. Will dine most of the time at SP. Video poker for wife and I will be at night or early morning while little one is sleeping under Grandpa’s watch. Grandpa doesnt really gamble but he enjoys naps and watching TV and going in pool with the little one. I am coming out with buddies in late July so the usual degenerate time spent playing vp at SP can wait till July. Was thinking of taking daughter to see Mirage Volcano but dont want to deal with traffic in that area at that time of night.
     
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  4. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    I was pleasantly surprised. I was dreading what i figured I would encounter in the rental car center. Was in and out of there in less than 10 minutes.
     
  5. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    My rental is on Tropicana. Hope all is well there, too. 10 min sounds wonderful. :clap:
     
    How could I say no?
  6. Pe59

    Pe59 Low-Roller

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    Good Luck on your trip to both destinations. Hoping you have a great time with your family.
     
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  7. texascane

    texascane High-Roller

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    Good luck and enjoy your trip!
     
  8. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    After picking up the rental car, did lunch at the Lola’s near Red Rock. Two of us had the shrimp and grits which were great as usual. Wife shared red beans and rice with the little one and both liked it.

    Drove hour and fifteen to Mesquite and stayed in a Holiday Inn Express. Long travel day from Florida to Vegas and figured it would be better to get halfway to Zion on Saturday and finish the drive Sunday morning. Room was good, pool was good and no issues. Pizza and rigatoni delivered from Bella’s. Both were good.

    I get up at 3 am when I am in Vegas since I seem to stay on east coast time. That didnt change this morning either. Waited for everyone else to get up, hit Walmart at 6 am for snacks for trip and departed for Zion. Roughly hour and twenty minute drive to Zion from Mesquite. Cool scenery considering I have lived in Florida my entire life. Forgot about the hour time difference between Zion and Vegas. Parked at Flanigan’s Inn at 9 am and walked quarter mile to the park.

    Bought grandpa the lifetime pass for $70 and the rest of us mooched off his pass to get in free. Easy peezy process. Nobody in line when we purchased the pass and we got right into the park.

    Next update will be rundown of our Zion day.
     

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  9. Necrochaos

    Necrochaos High-Roller

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    Good luck and enjoy Zion! We plan to hit Zion for one day during our August Vegas trip.
     
    Craps in Vegas!
    Moving over to Luxor
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  10. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    Alright, Zion summary. Its awesome! We did two easy trails today. Took the shuttle from visitor’s center to stop 5 which is the Zion Lodge. Did the lower emerald pool trail which is 1.2 miles total (.6 miles out and .6 back). Grandpa handled it with no issues. Very pretty. Photo dump hopefully shows up on here. Saw quite a few deer. Waterfall was beautiful.

    Ate lunch at Zion Lodge and food was good. After lunch, did the Grotto trail is 1 mile but it felt even shorter. Again, Grandpa handled the trail with no issues although there is a small section that has some undulations in the trails due to rocks but overall, good trail for all ages.

    After that trail, we got on the shuttle at stop 6 and then went to the exit. Left park at 1 pm. 4 hours is pretty long day for a 4 year old in 100 degree heat. She walked about 25% of the time and got a ride on dad’s shoulders the other 75% of the time. She passed out in the shuttle back to visitors center and then got another ride on dad’s shoulders back to Flanigan’s Inn.

    Couple notes. I have been reading that Zion has been packed with people, etc. Although there seemed to be quite a few people in the park, it was by no means overwhelming. We got right in to eat lunch at 11:30, only had to stop a few times on trails to let others get by us in narrow parts and didnt have to really wait for shuttles. Shuttles were full and you have to wear masks on shuttles. Also, I heard someone say it was 103 degrees today. I guess because I am used to 90 degrees with 95% humidity, this 100 degree heat felt comfortable. Did drink more water than usual but I enjoyed the temps and weather. 9799A47D-8EAE-498A-8B82-42AB7006C475.jpeg 9799A47D-8EAE-498A-8B82-42AB7006C475.jpeg 0737342C-8D8E-4BC8-ADD5-763D4BC7A589.jpeg 5BEE1104-1BD7-475E-B530-C3DA11A9AD3F.jpeg 2ADF592B-403F-4E5C-8D33-5A9A6F80478F.jpeg 5ED6406F-DE37-431E-B1CF-FEF608EEC9C9.jpeg 618623B3-F04B-4AAA-82B8-6BFA8B1754B6.jpeg 6DD11169-BECE-4F94-B2EF-8552EC397F8E.jpeg 516FE374-3590-4361-8690-C2B907862D55.jpeg 38D12194-0441-4AB1-8C2E-3AB0AE7EC12C.jpeg 014A331B-3BC4-4781-A730-10C2EB5C40FE.jpeg 988B31F7-E72D-434D-AE91-C497DC78CF18.jpeg DFC774E8-6DD1-4001-954F-BC190D5D472C.jpeg
     

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  11. AlwaysUpForFun

    AlwaysUpForFun High-Roller

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    Love your pics from Zion. It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve been there, I’m always ready to go back. :p Happy to hear that crowds were a non issue. I have also read the horror stories of the overcrowding there.
     
    Annual NHRA trip
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  12. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    I don’t know if I am immune to it based on dealing with south florida crowds or i am just so happy to be on vacation that i could care less. But usually, i dont like being in crowds. I avoid downtown vegas on the bigger concert series nights as i dont feel like working my way through shoulder to shoulder mass of people to casino hop for my gambling. That is my idea of a crowd I want to avoid. Also, since this is my first trip out to Zion, I have never seen Zion on a day that Zion regulars would say is a normal or light day regarding amount of people.
     
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  13. NittyOne

    NittyOne VIP Whale

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    Wow almost forgot how beautiful Zion is.
     
  14. Gaggles

    Gaggles VIP Whale

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    We are also doing Vegas and Zion in a couple weeks. But we are also adding in Lake Powell. Looking forward to it. Keep the pictures coming.
     
    Reno/Tahoe
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  15. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    Flanigans is a nice place to stay. We did Gary Adams villa I believe. 2 br/1ba and a little porch area out front. Will try to post some photos later.

    Dinner last night at Spotted Dog which is the Flanigans restaurant. No food photos because I have no self control and was hungry. I had the trout which was very good. Wife and kid split the spaghetti. Grandpa had wild game meat loaf which he liked. Did two pitchers of the spotted dog amber beer. Just got back from day 2 at Zion Park and will do that update a little later. Need to get the wife to send me the photos we took on her phone of the riverwalk and narrows. Crowded today out there. 89726670-33F8-417A-9E3F-AE43D5FE0EBD.jpeg
     
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  16. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    Got to the park today at 7:10 am. Hour and fifteen wait for the park shuttle. Went to stop 9 in order to do the Riverwalk and Narrows. Very busy on the walk to Narrows and then back to the stop 9 shuttle pick up spot.

    i guess we did about an hour or bit more round trip in the water with Grandpa and kid. Water felt great. Hoping the photos show up for everyone to see. Hiked back to the shuttle pick up and that was it for us for the day. The little one and Grandpa passed out on shuttle back to Visitors Center again.

    There was no line to get on the park shuttle when we were leaving which was 11:45 am or noon. On hindsight, I would have just done an easy hike from Visitor’s Center and then picked up shuttle to Narrows stop when crowd died down. Narrows hike is refreshing since you are in the water so it wouldn’t matter if the hike was at 8 am or 2 pm. Actually, with a toddler in tow, next time I would just plan to get to the park at noon on Narrows hike day since that one hike is more than enough for a 4 year old.

    Listening to people on shuttle ride back who said they got to Zion Park before 5 am to try to get on first or second shuttle to the narrows to try and beat the crowds. That’s dedication. AFEC7564-58CB-4562-9E62-E042F8E58E79.jpeg D7DB0B85-3CDF-4037-83C0-D9F99749EC16.jpeg D1BEE14F-4058-4F62-8DF1-9416E7D60161.jpeg 038F4B5D-A284-44EC-8CE9-3C36017AF870.jpeg 2D3B0D23-CD84-4E31-849E-709E16EB0459.jpeg A0327040-868A-48FB-B103-8DB14DDE50CC.jpeg F890CB8B-8BB8-4FFE-9EDF-75684DF63658.jpeg 5DDF0218-5B65-423B-9A65-1A36C1E6850E.jpeg 392A5093-368A-4138-A366-DED459A6D008.jpeg DEAA635C-877D-487E-928C-7CAF3010034F.jpeg ABA02B0A-E8B2-47B2-B036-7BFA4FE55C8B.jpeg 72ABD1FC-CDBF-47AE-9758-78D2FEE8727B.jpeg 63A20421-9E85-406D-8E73-FFF26EA15258.jpeg 3268CA15-F0D5-4266-BBBB-AEB623D82F5D.jpeg 79653D8F-37D3-4B66-9145-4CEBBEED9CAD.jpeg

    Ate lunch at Whiptail Grill after the park. Excellent.
     
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  17. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    Gaggles … word of warning on your upcoming trip … do not pick a fight with the deer at Zion. They are apparently bad asses out here and adept at mma fighting based on the sign I saw.

    Second, don’t tell the shuttle driver about how the deer left you a bloody pulp as nobody is allowed to carry on unecessary conversations with the drivers according to the other sign. This park doesn’t screw around apparently … Chuck Norris deer and drivers that don’t want to hear how a deer kicked your ass.

    FF9B029A-F840-4010-B641-C777D599BFE9.jpeg 3F070B40-FD47-4AE0-A031-51F5E595013C.jpeg
     
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  18. AlwaysUpForFun

    AlwaysUpForFun High-Roller

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    Beautiful photos of the Narrows. I know that the area has been in a drought for awhile now, but WOW the Virgin River is turning into a trickle. Your experience with crowds and wait times are more typical of what I have been hearing lately.

    Thanks for your glowing review of Spotted Dog. I have always heard good things about it, but we have yet to try it. Prices seemed pretty reasonable too.
     
    Annual NHRA trip
  19. grockford

    grockford Low-Roller

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    View from the Flanigans pool.

    7F869843-CCCF-4BF4-AE2A-16EEA42425EE.jpeg
     
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  20. Gus

    Gus Low-Roller

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    we keep trying to do zion. and man thanks for the pictures!

    hopefully next year we go!
     
    2021 birthday/new years bash