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Bryce Canyon/Zion areas

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Hi there.

I'm putting together an itinerary to visit the Bryce Canyon and Zion areas. We don't have MUCH time; we'll be driving from Grand Junction, CO leaving around 1pm on Sunday, September 1st, so that puts us at Bryce around 6:30pm. We'll stay there for the night at a KOA site, then head on to stay in Vegas the next day (we don't really care what time we get into Vegas, though).

We're on a budget, so I'm looking at how we can maximize seeing the beauty of these areas without paying a $25 entry fee to every place we stop. Do you guys have any recommendations? It looks like the Grand Staircase Escalante is free, but Bryce and Zion themselves are $25 each. Or, there's the National Parks and Federal Recreation Annual Pass, which is $80, which essentially would be $30 more for the trip total but give us a year's worth of ability to get into National Parks. Ugh, decisions.

What are your thoughts/suggestions, oh well-traveled community? :)

Thanks!

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