Another Zion-Bryce with Las Vegas itinerary

Old Feb 6th, 2002, 05:14 PM
  #1  
tom
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Another Zion-Bryce with Las Vegas itinerary

Hello...My wife and I (fiftysomethings from Western New York, will be making our first trip out west in mid-April:
Fri-Sat Paris Hotel in Vegas @ $129
Hoover Dam Sat AM
Sun-Tues Zion National Park (Zion Lodge
cabin). Valley of Fire stop
on the way.
Wed-Thurs Bryce Canyon (Bryce Canyon
Lodge cabin.
Fri-Sat Mirage Hotel in Vegas @ $159.
"O" show Sat night.

QUESTIONS:
1. My wife and I walk for miles everyday but are not really hikers (some fear of heights!)...what trails would you recommend and suggest we avoid?
2. Obviously, one cannot predict the weather, but how likely do you think we will have snow at Bryce April 17-18?
3. Finally, what are the locations like for the cabins in Zion and Bryce that we will be staying at?
THANKS SO MUCH!
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 06:04 AM
  #2  
RB
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Tom: Answers to ???
1) At Zion, easy trails are Pa'Rus Trail, Riverside Walk, and Lower Emerald Pools. You also could consider Middle Emerald Pools and Weeping Rock. Other trails (Watchman, Observation Point, and Angels Landing) involve much more climbing & are combined with heights. At Bryce, easy to moderate hikes are the Rim Trail and the Bristlecone Look Trail. Queen's Garden is a moderate hike, 1.8 mi RT, and allows you to see formations below the rim. It has some switchbacks, but I don't think the elevations would bother you. The main thing to remember about Zion/Bryce that you've got to get acclimatized(sp?) to the elevation and the dry air. Stay well-hydrated, wear a hat, and keep the lip balm at the ready! If you're prone to nasal dryness, also carry some saline spray.
2) According to NPS info, average high/low temps for April is Zion 73/43, Bryce 56/25. There may be some chance for precip; the best thing is to dress in layers and peel down as the day warms up.
3) The cabins at Bryce and Zion are similar in architecture- they are log structures. Believe there are gas log fireplaces in both. The Zion cabins are newer than those at Bryce. Both have rustic charm and are complementary to the scenery. Food at both lodge restaurants is good- you may want to make reservations at Bryce prior to your visit since dining options are limited in that area (Ruby's Inn and Bryce Pines Motel restaurants- and that's about it!) At Zion, you can go over to nearby Springdale- try Zion Pasta & Noodle. It's great to stay at the park lodges; at Bryce, it puts you closer to Sunrise Point- definitely plan to bundle up with a thermos of coffee and be there before sunrise for a spectacular view. At Zion, deer, turkey and even a porcupine will stroll around the lodge grounds. The natural beauty you will see at the parks will rival all the manmade marvels you'll take in at Vegas. What a grand trip you will have- safe travels.

 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 02:25 PM
  #3  
Tom
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Thank you, RB...I appreciate the time you took to answer my questions.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 03:40 PM
  #4  
OliveOyl
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Tom, my husbnad and I are 50 somethings too, and runners, but living in FL, thus flatlanders. I have some moderate fear of heights, my husband is OK with that aspect.

We did fine on all trails at Bryce--easy hikes, no problem with heights.

We hiked 3 days in Zion, with no problem until the last day, when the hike was Angel's Landing. There were a couple of mild sections with chains that I was OK with, then the series of switchbacks called "Walters Wiggles". There are some beautiful views to this point and I could hug the wall enough in the chain section to be comfortable.

There's a nice plateau after Walter's Wiggles...flat and sandy, just made for a little picnic. I tried to go beyond that, all chains now, but made the mistake of looking over my shoulder and down--the end of me. lol I inched my way back down the 30 yds or so I'd traversed, back to the landing. Husband and son went on but also reached a point where it bothered even them and they returned to wait with me. Our son-in-law and daughter (both of whom have done a fair amount of rock climbing) made it to the top of Angels Landing (and she despite a definite fear of heights) with the reward of some awesome views back into the canyon.

A couple had gone up just before them with formal attire in their backpacks. They made it to the top, changed into gown and tux, set up their camera equipment and took what we presumed would be their Christmas card picture (this was Thanksgiving week). GREAT idea!!

Even if you don't make the final climb after Walter's Wiggles, what you've done prior to that is beautiful and like me, you can see how far you can get beyond that then turn back if and when you become uncomfortable. Despite the fact that I wasn't able to complete Angels Landing, that and Hidden Canyon Trail were our two favorite hikes.

We spent our first night in Vegas, and that satisfied my curiosity. I had no regrets about the remainder of our week being spent in the canyons. After the two nights you'll have at the start of your trip, you may decide the same. I could have easily spent another day in both Bryce and Zion and plan to return and do it all again. It is absolutely awesome country!
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 03:43 PM
  #5  
George
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Let me add thanks, as well. There have been several posters over the past few weeks offering information on the Zion/Bryce trip planning. It's an area that's high on our future-trip schedule. And I've noted the info for later reference.

I'm sure it's the nuggets of information shared by folks like RB who have been-there, and done-that, that will make the difference between a good trip and a great one.
 
Old Feb 8th, 2002, 03:55 AM
  #6  
RB
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Tom, glad to be of help. As Olive Oyl points out, the approach to Angels Landing may be do-able- and it's a great place to take in the final approach to that destination. From the the beginning of the trailhead at the Grotto picnic area, it is a 1.9 hike (3.8 RT) to what is called Scouts' Landing, which is the overlook. It's a level area, and it affords plenty of space to look about. I also have some fear of heights; I did Angels Landing thanks to a "trail angel" from Sacramento who walked & talked with me as I made the ascent. After doing both Angels and Observation Point, I really think you get a better overall view from Observation Point and the climb isn't nearly as perilous! But Angels is a rite of passage for many at Zion- and they sell a commerative coffee mug in the gift shop to celebrate the fact (woo-hoo!) I'm glad to share any info from our 99, 00, and 01 trips. My only request is that visitors preserve and respect the area's natural beauty- it truly is a national treasure.
 
Old Feb 8th, 2002, 05:00 PM
  #7  
Tom
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Thanks to OliveOyl and once again to RB. Does anyone know the approx. sunrise and
sunset times in Zion and Bryce mid-April?
 

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