April Zion Bryce ?? trip rent rv?

Jan 19th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
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April Zion Bryce ?? trip rent rv?

My husband and I are thinking about taking a trip to Southern Utah in mid April. We are sick of cold weather--would we be disappointed in weather there? The elevations seem high. Also, if we have about 8 days, flying into Las Vegas, renting an rv (small one hopefully), what tour would you take? Never been to Bryce or Zion. Thanks!
Ducko is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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Bryce is over 8,000 ft elevation ... most likely you will have brisk days and very cold nights. Chance of snow.

Mid-April is the ideal time to visit the lower deserts of Arizona or California, especially if it's a good year for wildflowers. The Utah parks are also popular in April but not if you are 'sick of cold weather'. Moab would be a better bet (several thousand feet lower elevation than Bryce), just make sure you skip the week of the big jeep jamboree.
Bill_H is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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May I ask why an RV? Zion is about a 2 hour drive from LV and Bryce not too far away either. There are plenty of lodgings on both areas and once there, there really is no need for the RV. Also, the RV makes for not that easy driving and expensive petrol. Once you're in Zion, you take the shuttle into the park unless you're driving through so no need for alot of driving.

As far as weather, it will be cold in Zion (in the evenings) and colder in Bryce because of the higher elevation. However, if you catch sunny days, it will be really nice. We've done the angel's landing and narrows hike in early/mid april and happened to catch it on sunny days. We actually had to change our plans because when we arrived at zion, it was cold and so we moved things around to try doing the narrows hike the weekend after which was a good idea since the following weekend was beautiful and made for a nice hike (i was in thin hiking pants and DH was in shorts).

Having said that, Zion and Bryce is superb. You're in for a fantastic trip!
maria_so is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 01:08 PM
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Hi Ducko,

I would avoid mid-April as that is Easter/Spring break. Very crowded at all the UT parks. No need for an RV unless that's your preference.

Reservations would be a good idea even if you do the RV. Essential for hotels, other lodging. Very popular time.

Zion will be the warmest, it's the lowest. Bryce will be the coldest. Moab somewhere in between. Moab is actually higher than Zion.
Dayle is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Here's some pictures of the narrows hike and the angel's landing hike, and the bryce hike so you can see what we are wearing. Most of which we are in short sleeve shirts and DH is in shorts. The dates for this trip was April 20 for a little more than a week.

The parks when we went had a lot of people but it's nothing like GC in the height of summer. I think the crowds were doable.

I agree, moab was colder than zion. When we drove through the pass (from Zion to Moab) it was snowing. It was cold in Zion but not as cold as it was in Moab. Again, sunny days make a HUGE difference. As you can see, I was in a bathing suit top during the narrows hike even though the water was cooooooold.


Angel's landing:


p.s. if you have some time, be sure to visit calf creek at staircase escalante. the pictures speak for themselves. great hike!

Here's my trip report if you're interested in what we did and some highlights.
maria_so is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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sorry, try this for the bryce pics:
maria_so is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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As usual, we get so much useful info from Fodor's forums! In terms of time (gone about 8 days from Las Vegas) where else would you go? Arches? Grand Canyon north rim? MOnument Valley? (Have been to Grand Canyon south rim about 10 years ago) Thanks for all your help and photos.
Ducko is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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Hi Ducko,

For that particular trip, here are the places we hit and in this order.

LV to Zion (planned to stay for 2 nights but ended up leaving after the first night because of weather and plan to come back around - so you may not have to do that last part).

Zion to Moab (long drive but worth it - driving over the San Rafael Swell). In Moab, we checked out Arches and Islands in the sky district of Canyonlands and a full day hiking in Needles district of Canyon Lands.

Moab to Goblin Valley (I LOVED THIS PLACE)

Goblin Valley to Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef to Staircase Escalante and Calf Creek hike.

Staircase Escalante to Bryce

Bryce back to Zion

Zion back to Vegas.

There's another route you can take if you don't have to double back to Zion like we did by hitting these places:

Natural Bridges
Lake Powell (absolute must see there is Antelope Canyon, Rainbow bridge and hang out at the many empty red sand beaches, rent a boat or go kayaking like we did in another trip)
Monument Valley

Hope that helps!
maria_so is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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sorry, meant to add north rim to that list too.
maria_so is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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If you decide not to rent an RV consider staying at the Desert Pearl in Springdale outside of Zion. It is lovely and the hot tub would be wonderful for cool April evenings!
luvtravl is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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Hi again Ducko,

You don't say if you enjoy hiking? Long hikes over 5 mi? Short, easy hikes 1-2 mi? Gentle walks?

How much time you want to spend in each park depends on how much you like to hike and perhaps photography interests, serious? Vacation snapshots?

With 8 days:

3 days Zion
1 day Bryce (if it's still snowy)
2 days Boulder
1 day Capitol Reef
1 day back to LV

For a more rushed trip:
2 days Zion
1 day Bryce
1 day Capitol Reef
4 days Moab

BUT - remember, you don't want to be in Moab the week before Easter.
Dayle is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 06:37 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I don't think North Rim Grand Canyon will be open that time of year.
elnap29 is offline  

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