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Road Trip Help - Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon

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Road Trip Help - Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon

Old Jun 28th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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Road Trip Help - Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon

Hello, I am planning a road-trip to Arizona to see Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon and Bryce Canyon. I have a rough draft of the itinerary - can I get some input from you'll to get an idea about whether or not this would be doable.

Ok here is the plan so far:

Day 1: Start from Irvine in the evening, drive to Kingman, AZ. Overnight Kingman. (5h drive)

Day 2: Drive to Grand Canyon (3h drive). Spend the day exploring GC and stopping at scenic viewpoints. 1 hike around evening (South Kaibab Trail, upto Cedar Ridge). See sunset over GC. Overnight GC or Tusayan.

Day 3: Drive to Horseshoe Bend (3h drive). Take afternoon tour of Upper Antelope Canyon. Go to Glen Canyon Dam Viewpoint, Wahweap scenic viewpoint for sunset (north of the dam on Hwy 89) Overnight Page.

Day 4: Drive to Bryce Canyon (3h drive). Take half-day mule ride into the canyon. Spend the remaining day exploring Bryce and stopping at scenic viewpoints. Overnight Bryce.

Day 5: See sunrise over Bryce (What viewpoints would work best for this?). Drive back to Irvine.

Do you think this would work? Shall appreciate your input. Thanks.
zatrams999 is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2011, 01:45 PM
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Do you think this would work?

Yep, looks like you put a lot of thought into it ahead of time, which is probably why you're getting few responses thus far. You pretty much nailed it.

Some comments where you had Q's ...

1 hike around evening (South Kaibab Trail, upto Cedar Ridge).

This is also a great hike early (say around sunrise) since the sun comes up across 20 miles or so of canyons to the east. Didn't say when you are going but if mid-summer - Sept it will be more comfortable hiking this early instead of later in the day.

Overnight GC or Tusayan

Inside the park is better, if you can get reservations. Tusayan is OK if there is nothing open inside.

See sunrise over Bryce (What viewpoints would work best for this?).

There's actually a Sunrise Point ... also a couple others that are nice nearby.

Staying at the Bryce Lodge puts you within walking distance of most of the overlooks.

Drive back to Irvine.

Zion is worth a detour to drive thru the valley, if you have time (you should have time unless you need to get to Irvine at a specific time). If going to all 3 parks it might be cheaper to buy a Parks Pass vs individual entrance passes for each park.
Bill_H is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2011, 02:22 PM
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I agree with Bill on most things, but if you can't get lodging in GC, go east along the rim to 89 and then a half mile north to Cameron Trading Post. The motel is on your way to Page and will save you a half hour on that trip rather than adding to it.

You can stop at the Horseshoe bend overlook and the best dam view on the way in to Page. It is a short hike to each.

For in park lodging keep calling as they get cancellations all the time and they seldom make it to the web page.
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Old Jun 29th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Thanks a lot Bill_H and emalloy for the encouraging input. The information provided was very helpful.

Made the hotel reservations yesterday. Like mentioned here, the website for GC showed no rooms available, but I called and was able to get a reservation inside the park.

I'll keep the info about Zion in mind, it does look like it should be doable on the way back.

Shall check out the Dam view and Horseshoe bend overlook on the way to Page.

The Upper Antelope Canyon seems to have the best light around 10AM-12PM so wanted to do a Photo tour during that time. So we'll get done with that around 1PM or so.

Wondering if we should add a float trip on the Colorado river or something else for the afternoon/evening. The other option would be to go hiking around parts of the Coyote Buttes area, that does does not require a permit. Any recommendations?
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Old Jun 29th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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we'll get done with that around 1PM or so. ... Wondering if we should add a float trip on the Colorado river or something else for the afternoon/evening. The other option would be to go hiking around parts of the Coyote Buttes area, that does does not require a permit. Any recommendations?

Are you going to be here in the summer? If so it is often very hot around the Coyote Buttes area, plus it's about an hour drive from Page (where you are overnighting), and the dirt road off of 89 is impassable if it rains (which it often does in the afternoon in late July and August). Also the rest of the Coyote Buttes areas aren't nearly as photogenic/interesting as the Wave and Swirl, which are in the section that requires a permit.

So that would suggest the float trip is better for several reasons, assuming you can get one that late in the day. Water from the dam is very cold even mid-summer plus the boat is moving, so it won't feel as hot, and the scenery is great.

Couple of other afternoon possibilities around Page are doing the lower section of Antelope Canyon or doing an afternoon tour on the lake. Lower Antelope has lighter colored walls and is not as deep, so there is great light in there all day (you are right about upper being best mid-day). I like it much better than the ultra-crowded upper section. But it's a deathtrap if there is a storm dropping water upstream. Eleven tourist died in an August flash flood (on a clear day, the storm was upstream) several years ago. I've been in there probably 25 times but only between April and June, never when there was a chance of rain.

The lake tour would be nice if you can find one at sunset.
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Old Jun 29th, 2011, 07:34 PM
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I am glad to hear you have reservations inside GC. That will allow you among other things to enjoy the viewpoints along the east rim. Don't skip Desert View, it is wonderful and the Tusayan Ruin nearby is also nice to see.

I second the evening Lake Powell tour. A tour of the dam would also be interesting if you've never had one. It is easier to get on and less expensive than one at Hoover Dam and covers alot of the same things.
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Old Jul 1st, 2011, 09:07 AM
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Bryce is my favorite (will be there in two weeks for the fourth time)! Also, please add Zion if you can fit it in. The drive into the park coming from Bryce is worth it. During the summer, once inside the park, you can't drive your car. You have to take a shuttle to get around to trails, etc. so build that into your time. But again, it's worth seeing and hiking.

Getting a National Park pass is worth it depending on how many parks you go to. It's good for a year, so investigate the cost and compare to the entrance fees.
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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 10:50 AM
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I would advice lower antelop canyons over upper one. As someone said, the colors are better all over day. While upper canyon is good only for afternoon lights, and you have to face lots of ppl, too.
Bring enough cash and water with you for antelope canyons. They dont take credit/debit cards.
ansh is offline  
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