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GC - Page - Bryce - Zion (Again)

Old Jul 19th, 2009, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
GC - Page - Bryce - Zion (Again)

I know this is a frequent topic -- this forum is so helpful and patient. I thought I would get some feedback on my planned itinerary to the Southwest as well as throw out some specific questions.

I plan to take our family of 4 (kids 8 & 11 y.o.) to the Grand Canyon and Utah parks for the first time. We will be going in mid June next year. We like to hike every day though we've typically kept it to 1/2 day hikes at the longest (sometimes 2/day though). You can get an idea of what we like to do from my Glacier NP trip report:

I got this SW loop idea from my brother who took his boys there. So here was my starting point:

However, I've done some reading on my own, including the fine advice of late here, and thought I would modify his trip slightly. Here's what I've got so far.

Day #1
10:30 AM Arrive in LV from Indianapolis (EDT)
1:00 PM Hoover Dam (must see -- engineers X 2)
5:00 PM Drive to GC (5 hrs?)
10:00 PM Arrive @ GC South Rim
Lodging: Kachina Lodge (3 nights)

Day #2
AM Bright Angel Trail (part way)
PM Rim Trail

Day #3
AM Sunrise
AM South Kalib Trail (part way)
PM Rim Trail or chill out

Day #4
AM Drive to Page (3 hrs?)
PM afternoon on Water (river or lake)
Lodging: Courtyard by Marriott

Day #5
AM Pool? / Checkout
Noon Drive to Antelope Canyon (short?)
PM Drive to Bryce Canyon (3 hrs?)
PM Natural Bridge?
PM Sunset Point
Lodging: Bryce Canyon Lodge (2 nights)

Day #6
AM Sunrise @ Bryce Point
AM/PM Navajo Loop/ Queen's Garden

Day #7
AM Travel to Zion (2 hrs?)
PM Narrow's Hike?
Lodging: Desert Pearl Inn (3 nights)

Day #8
AM Angel's Landing
PM Pool

Day #9
AM Emerald Pool Trail
PM Pool / River

Day #10
AM Drive to LAS (3 hrs?)
PM 5:30 Flight

In general to the "Is this reasonable" question, here are some others:

1) Think that will be too much on the 1st day? Should we bunk down in Kingman on the 1st night to not push it?

2) Day 5 looks a little busy as well. I've heard that Antelope Canyon is best at noon (someone said as late as 3). What's the earliest that it would still be worthwhile? 10 am for instance?

3) The Narrows and Angel's Landing sound difficult. Think the kids (and us) can handle it? I don't believe my brother (with younger kids) did those.

4) Is it really necessary to have special gear for the Narrows hike?

5) Do the drive times look reasonable?

I already have the rooms booked, though they would need to be tweaked slightly to do this (I added an extra day in Zion from when I booked on June 1).

Thanks for your help & patience!
indy_dad is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2009, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,497
We haven't been to Zion yet, so I can't comment on that, but the rest of your itinerary looks good to me.

After a long day of travel, plus the stop at Hoover Dam, I would probably stay in Kingman the first night. There are plenty of motels with pools and all that good stuff.

Be sure to drink a *lot* of water, wear hats, sunscreen, etc. It will be unbelievably hot at Hoover Dam that first day. We went in May, and it was 114 degrees.

There's a little museum in Page if you want to spend a bit of time there before heading to Antelope Canyon. Around noon really is the best time to be there for the best light. Antelope Canyon is just outside Page, and you'll have plenty of time to get to Bryce Canyon that evening.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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Agree that stopping in the Kingman area would be nicer than arriving at GC at night when you can't see anything and might hit an elk or mule deer on the way in. We went to Antelope Canyon in the afternoon after taking a smooth water raft trip on the Colorado from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry, my pictures are at on the 2008 trip. I think we were there at about 2:30 or so and the angle of the light would be different in the morning but I would guess that it would still be beautiful and the raft trip was nice too.
emalloy is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,148
You have obviously done you homework.

In Bryce Natural bridge is not an activity. It's a 10 minute stop on the scenic road. Depending upon when you get to Bryce you may have a bit of extra time in PM.

You may want to do Navajo Loop twice since you'll only do one side (take your pick) when you hike Queen's Garden.

There are two other sights within minutes of Antelope Canyon. Horseshoe Bend and "The Best Dam View".

Horseshoe Bend is just below Rt 98 or 89. It's a 3/4 mile hike of level sand covered rock. Just be *** careful of the kids *** since there's no screen, fence or barrier. Just straight down.

The Best Dam View is a built lookout over the Glen Canyon Dam. A very short walk down some stairs from the parking lot. Greta views.

Hiking part way down at GC is a good idea. I just used GC as an overnight stop and made the mistake of not going down. To me GC was at the bottom of my list. My mistake.

On the way from Bryce to Zion you will enter the East Entrance. You can stop and do the Canyon overlook hike for great views of the Canyon. Less than 1.5 hours return.

Sunrise at Bryce Point is spectacular. However, since the overlook juts out into the canyon it get pretty windy and could be a bit cold at that time of day. Take with sweaters, etc.

I did most of what you're planning. You can see my photos at:
Myer is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2009, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,641
For your day at Zion with only the Emerald Pool "walk" planned, you could see other points of interest in the park during the AM too. Emerald Pools is pretty short. Your kids might enjoy seeing the Weeping Rock. Kind of fun having the big drips hit you!
Dayle is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2009, 12:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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indy_dad, It looks like you've really done your homework! Kingman might be a good choice. There's a really good Route 66 museum there.

Your children are probably old enough to enjoy tubing on the Virgin River just outside of Zion. You can rent tubes in Springdale and they pick you up down the river. It's great fun when it's hot. I know they rent gear to walk the Narrows, but back when our kids were about your kids age, all we took was a backpack with food and water and wore bathing suits under our shorts and old walking shoes that we didn't care that they got wet. You will want to wear shoes when you walk in the river, don't try it barefoot!

utahtea is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2009, 02:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,148
I just reread what I wrote. Obvious typos.

Horseshoe Bend is on Rt 89 just below Rt 98. Rt 98 is the road that goes east to Antelope Canyon. The Best Dam View is just off 89 a little above Rt 98.

To clarify. Rt 89 is the road that goes north-south from GC past the west side of Page and on towards Zion and Bryce.

The other typos can be deciphered.
Myer is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2009, 02:17 AM
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Thanks for all the quick feedback everyone. Sounds like I should tweak the front end slightly to not rush things. I'll plan on staying in Kingman the first night and then fit the GC hikes into 1.5 days.

Myer's given me some other options around Page to fill the time before Antelope Canyon if desired as well.

Appreciate the other Zion options too. I'll be sure to tag this for later. Unfortunately I have to wait a year to go!
indy_dad is offline  
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