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Vegas, Grand Canyon, Zion in late July/early Aug with kids

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We have our flights and several nights of lodging booked for my husband, me, and our 9, 6, and 4-year-old children July 28th thru Aug 4th. We have been wavering back and forth for weeks on whether to actually go or not, since we've heard that the heat is intolerable. After much research, we've decided to go and just be prepared, hydrated, hike early, etc. Our itinerary is currently:
7/28: Arrive Vegas
7/29 drive to Zion/stay in St. George, UT
7/30 Zion/ stay in St. George, UT
7/31 drive to Grand Canyon South Rim/stay at Yavapai Lodge
8/1 GC/Yavapai (Any info about Grand Canyon Railway?)
8/2 free
8/3 free/drive back to Vegas
8/4 fly back to HI

Questions: I've read in the forums that Bryce is beautiful and cooler. Where is this in relation to Vegas/GC/Zion? Is it possible to add it on as a day trip? Any suggestions / tips for the above itinerary? MAHALO!

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