Bryce/Zion/Antelope Canyon

Jul 9th, 2015, 04:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6
Bryce/Zion/Antelope Canyon

My family and I, 2 adults and 2 kids (6 and 9 year olds), are looking to spending 2 nights exploring Bryce and Zion. From there, we will head to Antelope Canyon (day trip) and back to Zion for a night before driving back to Las Vegas.
Would appreciate suggestions on where to stay and also the accommodation. We prefer to stay closer to Zion on the last night as we would have half a day to explore Zion before driving to Vegas.
Thank you!
free_soul is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Stay IN PARK if at all possible. That is always my opinion for every National Park.

I personally don't think you have enough time to do all 3. Hate to tell you to skip something, but I might skip Antelope for this trip.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 06:58 PM
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It is a long drive from Zion to Antelope Canyon and back -- like 2.5 to 3 hours each way. I wouldn't try it as a day trip.
janisj is online now  
Jul 9th, 2015, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 57

We just went to Zion and Bryce in June and we had a great time! We stayed 3 nights in the Desert Pearl Inn that is very close to the entrance to Zion and we liked it a lot. We wanted to stay in the park at the lodge but it was booked and I imagine it will be for you as well if you are going this summer, but check it out for sure. (lodge at Bryce was also full). The town of Springdale has quite a few hotels to chose from and they are all pretty close to the entrance of the park along the main street with shuttle stops.

We loved Bryce!! It is so cool. We did a horseback riding tour in Bryce Canyon and it was one of our favorite activities of the trip. I highly recommend it, if you have time. I think it was Canyon Trail Rides. The tour took us down into the canyon and the views were amazing. My boys loved it. We had to stay in a VRBO apartment in Tropic, Utah because there were no hotels available near Bryce Canyon. Ruby's eventually had a room but we had already made plans. I do think you could get up early and make Bryce Canyon a day trip from Zion. It's only 85 miles or so away, so you could just stay in Zion if there are no inns available near Bryce.

Have fun!
3boymom is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 07:29 PM
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We spent some time there in May with our two boys (ages 5 and 7). You may wish to click on my username to find the trip report I've been posting - it contains lots of information and details about our accommodations in Zion and Bryce, and also details about our many hikes and activities.

Hope that you guys have a great time!

alwaysafrica is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 07:30 PM
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There is a Quality Inn that people seem to like. Hampton Inn and a really nice looking La Quinta Inn all close to Zion that are probably more reasonable than the Desert Pearl Inn. But, Desert Pearl was really nice if you wanted something a little different than the usual hotel!
3boymom is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 08:19 PM
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I agree with spirobulldog and janisj that you really don't have enough time for the Antelope Slots canyon. Driving that distance and using up all that time for 1 hour in a slot canyon really isn't worth it.

Three total nights gives you two full days. I'd do it one of two ways. Spend all three nights either in Zion at the Lodge or in Springdale, Utah and make a day trip to Bryce or spend the first night in Bryce and then two nights in Zion.

There are plenty of good hikes for your family to do in both of these parks to use up all the time you have and much more!

utahtea is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 11:08 PM
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Great suggestions, thanks!

I would still love for my girls to experience Antelope Canyon (we did it pre-k(ids).
And it was probably one of the most magical places, among others.

Here's my planned itinerary
Day 1 - Vegas to Bryce (we would still have half a day in Bryce)
Overnight in Springdale?
Day 2 - Bryce
Day 3 - Bryce to Antelope Canyon
Back to Zion, overnight
Day 4 - Zion (half day)
Drive to Vegas

Which park, Zion or Bryce, would you think is better to spend more time in? We are looking at short, easy hikes (about an hour)?
Depending on which I would revised my plan on.

@alwaysafrica, I most definitely would check out your site, thanks!

Thanks again!
free_soul is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 11:25 PM
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Day 2 - Bryce (morning)
Zion (afternoon)
Night in Springdale

Day 3 - Zion to Antelope Canyon
free_soul is offline  
Jul 10th, 2015, 12:29 AM
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Revised plan...

We will just stay in Springdale for 3 nights. Was checking the accommodation, the best available (in terms of dates and price) is in Springdale.

Day 1
Vegas to Zion
Leave Vegas by 10am, 3-hr drive to Zion, arrive by 1pm
(Or drive to Bryce, 4-hr drive, leave by 6pm)
Overnight in Springdale

Day 2
Drive to Bryce (2-hr drive) plan to arrive by 11am
Leave Bryce by 6pm (2-hr drive to Springdale)

Day 3
Springdale to Antelope Canyon, tour ends by 2pm
Drive back to Zion (2.5-hr drive)
Zion (for about 2 hrs)

Day 4
Leave Zion by 2pm

Suggestions? Thank you!
free_soul is offline  
Jul 10th, 2015, 12:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,081
I personally think that is nuts.

it is either LV > Zion Day 1, Zion > Bryce > Zion Day 2, Zion > Antelope Canyon > Zion Day 3, Zion > LV Day 4

-- or --

LV > Bryce > Zion Day 1, Zion Day 2, Zion > Antelope Canyon > Zion Day 3, Zion > LV Day 4

You are bouncing around way too much IMO.
janisj is online now  
Jul 10th, 2015, 12:13 PM
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@janisj, I know we are pushing it. So much to do, so little time! We will have to plan another trip there when the girls are older, for sure!

Where would you suggest I spend more time in, Zion or Bryce? Either way, we are making base in Springdale area (couldn't find many lodging options at this point).

free_soul is offline  
Jul 10th, 2015, 01:29 PM
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Zion AND Bryce and skip Antelope Canyon.
janisj is online now  
Jul 10th, 2015, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 57

I am sending you a couple of VRBO that are in between Zion/Bryce and one we stayed in closer to Bryce in Tropic. I do think you will not want to drive from LV to Bryce then back to Zion on Day 1 then back to Bryce on Day 2. Even though it is under 2 hours to Bryce, my boys were ready to get out of the car and so was I, especially if you plan to hike. I usually am very ambitious in my head like you are but once all the driving is actually happening, I wish I hadn't taken on so much. I think you get more out of a place if you have a little more quality time without so much road time. My boys loved Bryce and horseback riding the most. Zion is beautiful with great hikes, but we liked Bryce the best..but Springdale is a much better town to stay in than the area around Bryce with more to do and several good local restaurants.
3boymom is offline  
Jul 10th, 2015, 09:49 PM
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@3boymom, thanks so much! I will try to get lodging in Ruby's Inn near Bryce, if I'm lucky!

I'm sure we would love both Zion and Bryce, we did it before we had the girls. Did you also do The Narrows hike in Zion? How about the Navajo Queen trail in Bryce? Any advice?

Thanks, appreciate it!
free_soul is offline  
Jul 11th, 2015, 01:32 AM
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Zion is going to have the easier hikes. Riverside Walk (which goes to the Gateway to the Narrows), Lower Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock, Pa'rus trail and maybe even Canyon Overlook. When my son was just 3 1/2 he did Queens Garden in Bryce. There is also a nice walk along the rim between Sunrise and Sunset points at Bryce.

You say you are going to be coming back to the area....I highly recommend you save Antelope Slot canyon for that time and save your children from having to spend so much time in a vehicle when they could be enjoying a park instead.

utahtea is offline  
Jul 17th, 2015, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
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You do know that it is not that close to drive even from Bryce yo Zion. You could easily spend the whole time in Zion. Tons of stuff to do there. If you really wanted to see antelope canyon stay over nite in page and also do a boat ride on lake Powell
jul4 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2015, 05:18 PM
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Skip Antelope. You thought it was magical as an adult - 6 and 9 year old children probably won't have the same appreciation for it as you did. I would not subject them to a 5+ hour round trip for a 1 hour tour, on top of all the driving back and forth to Bryce.

Remember there is a time zone change between Vegas and Utah - the itinerary you posted on 7/10 at 2:29am says you will leave Vegas by 10am and arrive in Zion by 1 - you will actually arrive at 2 accounting for the time change. By the time you factor in check-in, riding the shuttle, time to are looking at 3-4 hours to hike that day. So, adding up hiking time based on the itinerary you posted, you have about 3-4 hours in Zion on day 1, 2 hours in Zion on day 3, and about 5 hours on day 4. That's a total of around 10 hours in 4 days for Zion - remind me again why Springdale is your base? I can't wrap my head around the idea that you want to base yourself there but are spending as much time in the car (if not more) as you are in the park.

Make this simple - find lodging at Bryce for the first night, whether in park or just outside. I guarantee that there are last minute cancellations and you will find a room if you just call every day. Drive from Vegas to Bryce, stay over night and explore as much as you want on day 2, then head to Zion/Springdale for the next two nights. And skip Antelope until they are older and can appreciate it more.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Jul 18th, 2015, 05:05 AM
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We've stayed at Bryce Canyon Pines which is about 5 miles from the entrance to Bryce Canyon. Very clean, nice pool area, and a great family-style restaurant on site that serves good food all day from breakfast thru dinner.

I hope you'll take everyone's advice and stay near Bryce instead of driving from Zion - way too much time wasted driving. I too suggest skipping Antelope Canyon on this trip - you will enjoy your time much more if you just stick to the two parks. You will have more time to relax and enjoy these two incredibly scenic and amazing places.
sharondi is offline  
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