Bryce and Zion from Vegas - 2 -3 days?

Jun 30th, 2009, 11:22 AM
  #1  
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Bryce and Zion from Vegas - 2 -3 days?

I am looking at arriving in Vegas on a Sunday evening and back out on Wednesday. I'd like to see both Bryce and Zion and am trying to figure out the logistics of all this. I'm thinking stay Sunday in vegas and not sure about the rest of it!

Is this too much to tackle in my time frame?

Any suggestions are welcome
Thanks
Diane
cecil is offline  
Jun 30th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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Yes, you could do it, but it's probably too much to tackle and would really diminish your ability to enjoy either park. With all the driving time you'll have no more than a half-day in each park. I'd stick to either Zion or Bryce and spend both nights there.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jun 30th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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Drive to Zion on Monday morning. It is
only a 2.5 hour drive so, if you get an
early start, you'll have a full day there.
Spend the night in Springdale.

The next morning, get up early and drive
to Bryce. Stop as you exit Zion for the
little hike out the Overlook Trail.

Explore Bryce and maybe do a little hike,
maybe the Queen's Garden Loop.

At this point you can either spend the night
at Bryce and have a 4.5 hour drive back to
Vegas or return to Springdale for the night
and have a 2.5 hour drive back to Vegas.

It can be done and I quess a quick look is
better than none at all.
peterboy is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 12:55 AM
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Two and half hours from Las Vegas to Zion is pretty optimistic time table if you have to drive though any Las Vegas traffic. You better plan on 3 hours.

Utahtea
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Jul 1st, 2009, 04:07 AM
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If you get in to Vegas in the early evening, drive up to the Zion area then and spend the night close to it, say in Springdale. If you are too late or tired to do that, then book a motel/hotel on the north side of Vegas, close to I-15. That will save lots of time getting out in the morning. If you are on east coast time you will probably be up before traffic gets too bad anyway and can be in Zion by 10 AM if you start on the north side of the city ( airport is south of town)
emalloy is online now  
Jul 1st, 2009, 06:02 AM
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Once in Zion if you want to go along the scenic drive you will have to take the free shuttle. Plan on taking close to 2 hrs from the visitor center to reach the end of the road at the Temple of Sinawava.

You could drive to Bryce in early afternoon and get photos of the hoodoos as the sun goes down. (they are in a bowl so will be in the shade before sunset occurs so don't get there too late). Spend the night nearby (Ruby's) and then be there for sunrise and the most dramatic light.

If you are planning on visiting any other federal areas within a calendar year might come out ahead getting an America The Beautiful Pass for $80 versus the $50 it will cost you to visit both Zion & Bryce.

Don't forget you will be gaining an hour on the return to LAS.
Photodog is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 06:21 AM
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Utahtea wrote:

"Two and half hours from Las Vegas to Zion is pretty optimistic time table if you have to drive though any Las Vegas traffic. You better plan on 3 hours."

LOL, clearly I drive a lot faster than you do Utahtea.
I had to slow down to take this picture of the thermometer
but you'll notice that I'm still moving right along.

http://www.pbase.com/peterb/image/85430519

We usually arrive just after noon and so have been lucky missing the traffic.

emalloy gives good advice about staying on the north side
of Vegas if you are too tired to make an evening drive.
Civilization ends pretty quickly as you head north though
so don't get too far out of downtown before you stop.
peterboy is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 11:32 PM
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peterboy,

You need a disclaimer with the 2 1/2 hours that you have to be going between 80 & 85 mph to achive this!

Utahtea
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Jul 1st, 2009, 11:35 PM
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If you don't mind driving 85 miles approx an hour and a half, you can make it to Mesquite, NV and there is plenty of lodging there.

You won't want to drive past Mesquite in the dark or you will miss the pretty drive though the Virgin River Gorge.

Utahtea
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Jul 2nd, 2009, 04:17 AM
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At 85 mph you actually get passed by about
half the traffic.

On our first trip we did do the night drive to
Springdale. We couldn't see the Virgin River Gorge
but the huge lightening storms to the north
that night added some atmosphere. Quite a show!
peterboy is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 08:12 PM
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There's good advice to stay at the North end of Las Vegas on the I-15. We found the La Quinta Inn Nellis in the coupon books and it is a very nice, interior corridors, quiet hotel since there isn't a casino attached (between Walmart and McD's!). Can't say the neighborhood is all that attractive, don't leave anything of value in the car. We pretty much emptied the car just not to have to worry about it.

In Zion we stayed at the Best Western, not bad and they don't charge extra for a view room.
mlgb is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 10:06 PM
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We've done this trip lots of diffeent ways: staying in Las Vegas at New York New York (right by the entrance to I-15), driving to Mesquite and spending the night at a decent Best Western near the 2nd exit, driving to St. George and staying in a motel off the freeway, and driving all the way into Springdale at night.  I think a lot depends upon what time you arrive in las Vegas and how tired you are. Try to eat dinner before leaving Las vegas if you can; it's difficult to find a place to eat otherwise.
We found it was about an hour's drive from Las Vegas to Mesquite, an hour and a half from LV to St. George, and about 45 min. from St. George to Springdale.
I love both parks and would prefer to spend the 2 full days at only one of them, but there are many people who see both Bryce and Zion within your time frame.
elnap29 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2009, 07:19 PM
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I agree with another poster who said try to get at least part way out of Vegas on Sunday if you want to try to do both parks. You will get a head start on the drive...and as Utahtea pointed out, part of the drive is gorgeous...but...if you are driving back the same route in the daylight you will see it then, so perhaps make hay while you can Sunday night (is it a really late arrival?). If my priorities were doing both Zion & Bryce, I would get out of town Sunday night. At this timeframe, you won't be able to do all of the hikes in Zion (nor Bryce), but Zion is the one that probably has the most distinct and different hikes. I think you could do one hike in Bryce and get the flavor of it, which was Peek-a-Boo hike for us and didn't take a long time.
Go to the NPS websites and figure out which hikes you want to do, especially in Zion--Angel's landing (actually stopped @ Scout lookout) and Hidden Canyon hikes were my two favorites there.
hugglynn is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2009, 07:22 PM
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Sorry..I did presume you would want to be hiking some, didn't mean to impart my preferences there...and maybe you just want to drive through the parks...if that is the case, it is doable.
hugglynn is offline  
Jul 5th, 2009, 06:24 AM
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Since you have very few days, Wednesday becomes important.

Are you returning to LV that day or are you returning home that day? What time?

By some of the previous posts it's important to decide what you want to do i each park.

For instance if it was me in Bryce I would plan sunrise at Bryce Point, Hike down Navajo Loop and then back up either the other side of Navajo Loop or Queen's Garden. Then stop by Natural Bridge.

That would give a good flavor of the Park.

For Zion I would try for some combination of Emerald Ponds, Riverside Walk for the views and Canyon Overlook when exiting to the east on the way to Bryce.

With you short time frame I would definitely try to get part or all the way to Springdale the day you arrive in LV.
Myer is offline  
Jul 5th, 2009, 06:25 AM
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I meant to write Emerald Pools. I guess ponds isn't too bad.
Myer is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:19 AM
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My recommendation would also be to drive to Mesquite Sun. night. It's only 75 min. from Vegas (little traffic & stress free once you leave the city limits) & allows you to avoid the monday morning road race in LV. Most of the drive to Zion from Mesquite is worth seeing, including the red rock around St. George so I wouldn't go all the way to Springdale Sun. night & miss it.
The current economy has really impacted the Mesquite casino business, causing some to close and others to drastically reduce rates. I've stayed at the Casablanca, which is right off the interstate, nice, clean & around the clock dining for $40.
Zion & Bryce are each unique, fantastic & well worth seeing. If you're not worried about lots of hiking time, I'd do them both, assuming you don't have an early flight Weds. morning so can overnight at each.
Have a great time.
RandiRA is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:28 AM
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Peterboy

You're right...... you will get passed at 85mph on Interstate 15 and those many UT Highway Patrol in their unmarked, supercharged Mustangs & Dodges just love it! One of many good reasons to resist the "need for speed."

Randi
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Jul 14th, 2009, 05:26 AM
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Just so that folks from the east realize, the speed limit on
I-15 once you leave Las Vegas is 75 mph. The chance of getting stopped for driving 85 mph or less is practically nil unless there is something else that draws attention to your vehicle. I've been passed by unmarked cops on this road while traveling in excess of 80 mph. Going 83 mph on this road is like going 73 on the NYS thruway (where the speed limit is 65 mph)...you just blend into traffic and you won't get pulled over for speeding.
peterboy is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Hopefully you won't get pulled over for speeding. My Mom, when she was in her 70's for heaven's sake, did get pulled over for going 75mph.

Also, be very careful once off I-15, those small town, rural UT cops just love to lurk and ticket you when you "speed" through their little towns with 25mph limits on the 1 block of "downtown". Trust me on this...
Dayle is online now  

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