Default Vegas-GC-Antelope-Bryce-Zion-Vegas

Old May 24th, 2017, 12:40 PM
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Default Vegas-GC-Antelope-Bryce-Zion-Vegas

Hello everyone,

Me & my BF are planning a road trip of Vegas & surrounding places. We will be flying from Washington DC. Below is the plan that I'm thinking of. We will be travelling during last week of September or first week of October(Which is better ?) We have 7-8 full days for covering these places. We are in early 30's & planning to do a moderate hiking on each of the parks.

Option1:
1. Fly into Vegas. Arriving at 8:00PM. Rent a car & drive directly to a hotel near Grand Canyon.
2. Visit GC - How many days - 1 day or 2 days ??
3. Head to Antelope canyon. If we have time, see Horse Shoe bend. - 1 day
4. Head to Bryce Canyon - How many days - 1 day or 2 days ??
5. Head to Zion - How many days - 1 day or 2 days ??
6. Back to Vegas. Stay for 2 nights & 1 to 1.5 days.
7. If we have time, we may go to Death Valley National Park.

Option 2 is we land in vegas, first visit Vegas for 2 nights, then continue with the loop and return to Vegas - See more at: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum....b0nouj3j.dpuf
sabhi123 is offline  
Old May 24th, 2017, 02:22 PM
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What time of year are you planning this trip?

1 is a bad idea. It will be 10 pm when you land for your body time and by the time you get your luggage and the rental it could easily be 12. It is a 5 hour drive to Grand canyon and it isn't all over well lit highways. Get a room on the south/east side of town and head out in the morning.

2 go to GC. Unless you do a lot of hiking one night in Grand Canyon should be enough if you

3 finish up GC then go to Antelope Canyon, spend the night in Page.

4. visit Horseshoe Bend for sunrise then go to Bryce. If you are going to do a lot of hiking here spend 2 nights, otherwise 1.

5. Zion -one or 2 nights depending on how much you hike

6. Vegas is pretty sad in the daytime, so if it is not summer, head out to Death Valley NP, we've done it as a day trip from Vegas and if we weren't geezers would have had time to do more than have supper and walk the strip for an hour.

If you are planning on this summer, you are way late for getting lodging in/near the National Parks.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 11:55 AM
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Thank you for your help. Based on what I read here, this is what we are planning

Arrive in Vegas on Thursday night. Stay in a motel near south-east side of city or if possible in Boulder City(Motels seem cheaper here) which is 30 mins drive from Vegas.

Day 1: Head to Grand Canyon. Will reach by afternoon. Stay overnight
Day 2: Full day in Grand Canyon.Overnight in GC or near Monument Valley
Day 3: Monument Valley. Stay overnight near Monument Valley or in Page
Day 4: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe bend. Stay overnight in Page or near Bryce
Day 5: Bryce Canyon. Stay overnight near Zion
Day 6: Zion NP. stay overnight in Zion
Day 7: Zion NP. Stay overnight in Zion
Day 8: Drive to Vegas & reach by noon or late afternoon. Rest up to spend Night in Vegas
Day 9: vegas. Watch some show.
Day 10: Fly back in the morning

I'm still little confused in deciding between Monument Valley & Death Valley. They both seem completely different in terms of views. I saw pictures of Death Valley and it just looks miles of desert barren land but my BF seems interested. Says it will be different from regular canyon views. If we go for Death Valley, we will skip Monument Valley & finish Death Valley at the end of the trip.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 12:29 PM
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Sounds better.

Perhaps, Day2/3 It's about 3 hours from Grand Canyon to Monument Valley. You could look to stay the night between them in Cameron at Cameron Trading Post. It is right at the junction of 64 (out of GC) to 89 north and will since it is on the way and a half hour closer to MV will make the drive there in the morning shorter. This will give you time to see MV and then drive the 2 hours to Page before sundown.

As to Monument Valley or Death Valley, that's a hard one. MV has the iconic scenery associated with the west while DV is just awesome. Both are worthwhile but are very different.

MV is a Navajo park so you will need a guide if you go anywhere other than the one dirt road that tourists may drive. If you have a rental car it may void your contract. We've done several trips in the area and have taken a tour with a guide once and we'll look at MV when we drive by.

DV is a National Park and is very large. We've been there several times and are nature nerds, so love seeing the geology of the park. We haven't explored it all by any means. If it is summer I would not consider going there. From Vegas my favorite approach is to drive north on 95 to the town of Beatty then head west over the mountains. We often stop along the way at a ghost town called Rhyolite which has ruins and a house made of beer bottles. We also stop at the top of the ridge where there art pit toilets and a fantastic panoramic view of the valley.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 04:43 PM
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DV will be much hotter and is a park that can take several days to explore. I would save it for when you have more time in a different season. MV can be seen in a day. Staying overnight gives you the advantage of being there at sunset and sunrise.
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Old May 27th, 2017, 06:27 PM
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Since no one has a weather crystal ball, no way of knowing if last week in Sept. or first week in Oct. will be best. This is generally a nice time of year for your locations except LV will still be hot. My advice, go whichever week works best for your schedule and reservations availability. I would recommend you start you vacation with LV instead of spending time there at the end. I would also limit it to one day and one night. IMHO, it is the low point of your trip. Unless you plan hiking into the Canyon, one very full day or portions of two days should be good to experience GC. Try to get lodging in the Park to maximize your time there. I've been through Navajo Nation land upwards of 150 times and I still don't tire of the beautiful red rock scenery, in fact I drove through on Thursday so you might say I am prejudiced to the MV option; try to get reservation at The View. Many rental companies will not void your rental agreement for going on the dirt 17 mile drive. It is not considered "off roading" so unless the road has not been recently graded, it should not be bad for larger passenger vehicles. One note, however, you might want to rent an SUV just to be safe here and in Bryce in the event of an early snow. After leaving MV, take the back road to Page rather than going all the way back to 89, it's quicker. Antelope Canyon is Upper and Lower. Lower is the better choice. Keep in mind Antelope canyons are by guided tour only so time accordingly. You should have no problem covering Antelope and Horseshoe Bend in on day. Horseshoe Bend is best at sunset or sunrise. One final comment, if it fits your schedule, both GC and MV are most spectacular at sunset and sunrise.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 12:31 AM
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Any recommendations for a guided tour?
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Old May 29th, 2017, 05:45 AM
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As Bailey123 suggests, Las Vegas is the low point of your itinerary - spending time there at the end of the trip can give you a nasty bit of culture shock. I would also suggest a day there at the beginning of your trip, if you must. After a full day, leave early in the morning for the South Rim.
Spend the rest of that day and the next day hiking, leave early for your 3.5 hrs to Monument Valley. Try to get a room at The View. Unless it is raining, you will have no problem driving the road through MV - the views are stunning. Many of the guided tours pack a bunch of people in open vehicles making it a cramped and dusty experience. A private tour will be worthwhile but otherwise just drive the road. We always rent an SUV and take it on backroads - hit a carwash before you return the vehicle.
Its a little over 2hr from MV to Page - be sure you have your tours scheduled. We have never done Antelope/Horseshoe Bend - way too crowded for me. But you should easily be able to do your tours and maybe spend the night in Kanab instead of Page. Treat yourself to a lovely dinner at Sego and maybe a quick visit to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
From Kanab, its a quick 1.5 hr to Bryce so you'll have most of a day, sunset and a sunrise in the park. Get lodging in the park if you can; keep calling for cancellations.
Some incredible hiking in Bryce - Queens Garden/Navajo loop is very worthwhile - start early so you'll have it to yourselves before it gets too hot and crowded.
Enjoy sunrise and head to Zion through the incredible east entrance. The short Canyon Overlook hike just before the tunnel is excellent with spectacular views and sometimes a glimpse of desert bighorn sheep. I suggest staying in Springdale which provides easy access to shops, dining and other amenities. The park shuttle system is excellent and allows you to leave your car at the motel. If your flight home is in the afternoon, you can easily get back to LV the day of your flight since you will gain an hour leaving Utah into Nevada. Enjoy your planning and ask questions of the knowledgeable Fodor's folks.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 08:48 AM
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Sharondi,I agree if OP were to take the Upper Antelope tour, it would be crowded plus they would have to contend with the dusty open vehicle transport to the Canyon. Lower Antelope Canyon is not crowded and one can drive right to the starting point. Horseshoe Bend is also not very crowded, I have been able to sit right on the edge and get great photos and view, especially since OP is going in the fall after the summer vacation rush. Both stops are well worth the visit visually and especially if they are into photography. I can't imagine driving through Page and missing the iconic Antelope Canyon.
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