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2 weeks bryce, zion, maybe north rim and where else?

2 weeks bryce, zion, maybe north rim and where else?

Old Jan 8th, 2021, 12:39 PM
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2 weeks bryce, zion, maybe north rim and where else?

Like everyone else, I am now scrambling to create a summer trip with family this summer. We can take 2 weeks. Husband has some heart issues so can't do very steep hikes but we have visited Acadia numerous times and loved YNP and GTNP. Hoping to depart the Sat of Memorial Day weekend. Can fly into Phoenix or Las Vegas. Thinking Phoenix bc I have no desire to see Las Vegas or Hoover Dam.

Not sure if I want to visit Grand Canyon. Bryce and Zion and Antelope Canyon are definites. Can you help me plan itinerary and where we need to find lodging?

When we visited YNP and GTNP for a week we added some extra nights in Driggs Idaho which we loved so thinking of adding some place where we can chill a bit and maybe kayak or paddleboard. WE also realized how important is was to stay in these parks given their size. Do I need to stay in Bryce and Zion or do I focus on Springdale for Zion? Is Sedona or Scottsdale worth a visit?

So appreciate your help here. I need to get lodging asap and secure flights.
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Old Jan 8th, 2021, 01:21 PM
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Most of Zion is back country, wading in the canyon, and hiking up to the rim. Two of those three options are probably out given the heart issues. Bryce can be visited mainly from the rim, driving to various overlooks and has easy hikes into the hoodoos. In other words, the size of the parks is not something to consider. Cedar Breaks is worth a stop between Zion and Bryce. This is mainly an overlook site for most travelers.


https://www.nps.gov/cebr/index.htm
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Old Jan 8th, 2021, 01:38 PM
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Look into a 1/2 day rafting trip from Page AZ.
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Old Jan 8th, 2021, 01:49 PM
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With 2 weeks you could drop Grand Canyon and add Arches and Canyonlands staying in Moab. You can raft/kayak/paddleboard here as well. Also gives you the opportunity to see Capitol Reef park and drive spectacular Route 12 on the way to/from Bryce. We loved staying at the park lodge in Bryce, short walk to the rim at night for star gazing then again in the morning for sunrise. Prefer Springdale for Zion, we’ve stayed twice at the Cliffrose near the park entrance. We don’t like Las Vegas, but for us just too convenient (direct flights) and inexpensive (flights/rental car) for us to pass up.
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Old Jan 8th, 2021, 03:31 PM
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I agree with DaveS about staying in-park at Bryce, and in Springdale at Zion. My go-to hotel is Cable Mtn Lodge which is immediatedly adjacent to the pedestrian entrance to the park, even closer than Cliffrose but not by a lot. With the shuttle situation these days, and various private shuttles running into the valley it's not clear to me if the actual hotel location makes that much differernce. I haven't been there under covid situation.
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Old Jan 9th, 2021, 02:03 AM
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From one who is altitude sensitive, one thing to be aware of is that the elevation of Bryce is pretty high at 9100’.
Arches is one of my two favorites national parks, the other being Yellowstone. That said, if you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, I’d include the North Rim. Walking into the Lodge to check in and instinctively taking a step back became an indelible travel memory.
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Old Jan 9th, 2021, 07:45 AM
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Antelope Canyon is currently closed and might not be open at the time of your trip.
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Old Jan 9th, 2021, 08:37 AM
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Depending on what time of day you fly into Las Vegas, you don't even have to drive "the Strip" after you pick up your cheap rental car. Drive through Henderson and make a 1-2 hour stop at Hoover Dam. It will be a lifetime memory IMO. From there continue to Kingman to get on the interstate. Spend the night in Williams or maybe Flagstaff. The next day go to see the South Rim. Head to the east end of Grand Canyon to see Desert View Tower. If you can score lodging in Grand Canyon on or near the South Rim, do it.
From the south Rim, head east through Tuba City and see Monument Valley on the way to Moab. There are several sections of Canyonlands NP. Take your pick. They are all good IMO. After a night in Moab, Get into Arches for as long as you can.
When you leave the Moab area, Stop to see Goblin Valley State Park on the way to the others of the "Big 5" that you were hoping to see. After seeing the South Rim you might just decide to pass on going to the North Rim.
On the way back to Las Vegas with the rental car, you can visit Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada and if you still have time, go to see the Red Rock area west of Las Vegas.
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Old Jan 9th, 2021, 12:43 PM
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I did a trip that included the place you ask about: Zion, Bryce, and GC North Rim and that makes a good 2 week trip. You could add in a few other places that are not out of the way such as Valley of Fire in Nevada (a state park every bit as wonderful as a National Park, and much less crowded). The trip report I'm posting the link to we drove right by it and didn't stop cause I figured it wouldn't be worthwhile given the National Parks we were visiting. The next time I was in the area I did stop there and was so glad I did. You also ask about Antelope Canyon (also done on a second trip to the region) which is just about my favorite place. It's closed until the covid situation is under control and when it is open it requires reservations made well in advance. But if you have extra time Horseshoe Bend is fantastic and a boat ride on Lake Powel.

Here's my trip report: Water in the Desert - The Great Southwest National Parks Trip
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Old Jan 9th, 2021, 03:47 PM
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If you can get a flight into Vegas by early afternoon, head on up to Springdale, it is only 3 hours drive so you can be there before dark, no need to spend time in Vegas. If you decide to go the other direction head out as mentioned above. I will second visiting Page for Antelope Canyon and the half day smooth water raft trip on the Colorado river from the dam to Lees ferry.

if you decide to do Moab for Arches and Canyonlands, consider flying in to Albuquerque. We have don trips from ABQ to Mesa Verde (spend the fly in night in Bloomfield, MN) then on to Moab. On the way back we go to Bandelier NM then Santa Fe and sometimes do some things in Albuquerque before heading home.
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Old Jan 10th, 2021, 08:07 PM
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Kanab is a great place to chill out and has interesting sites nearby. If you click on my user name you will see trip reports for Bryce, Zion, Moab, Canyonlands,Kanab.
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Old Jan 12th, 2021, 06:56 AM
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Thanks all. I am hearing about state quarantine requirements and just wondering if this trip should wait unitl pre covid. Really appreciate your ideas.
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Old Jan 12th, 2021, 08:09 AM
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That will be a hard choice. If all goes well with the vaccinations, we might be ok to travel by late summer, if you make any plans be sure they can be cancelled without penalty, if things do not get a lot better.

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