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Give me some advice about my canyon travel(Zion, Bryce, Grand canyon, etc.)

Give me some advice about my canyon travel(Zion, Bryce, Grand canyon, etc.)

Old Jan 22nd, 2011, 04:37 PM
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Give me some advice about my canyon travel(Zion, Bryce, Grand canyon, etc.)

Hi, I am planing to travel thoughtout National parks listed below.
(Zion, Bryce, Archy, Monument Valley, Canyonlands NP)

and I have 7~9 days to travel those sites. maybe around the end of February..

my incompleted journey starts from Las Vegas

1st date : in the morning, leave Las Vegas for Zion Canyon, Do a hike
2nd date : spend time in Zion, and head to Bryce late in the afternoon before dark.
sleep near Bryce canyon.

3nd date : Get up early and go to Bryce point for sunrise. Do a hike. Leave Bryce for Archy, Canyonlands NP.

4th & 5th date : spend each day in Archy and Canyonlands NP. Leave Moab for Monument Valley.

6th date : spend time in Monument Valley, Leave Monument for Grand canyon

7th & 8th : spend time in Grand canyon. Leave Grand canyon to turn back to Las Vegas and travel ends..


Can you advice something about my plan??
and I wonder whether I have to make a reservation for every accommodation or just walk in any motel.
Is there any tour or site that I shouldn't miss???

Thanks you guys!!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2011, 05:04 PM
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I've driven through Monument Valley many times but have never stayed at Goulding's. I really enjoyed reading this article and if you watched Westerns filmed in Monument Valley you may enjoy it too. Next trip I'm staying at Gouldings.

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/fe...t-valley200903

Yes, definitely make reservations for the Grand Canyon.

Delicate Arch in Arches NP was a highlight for me, but the trail in April was a bit scary at time with snow and ice in shady sections. Make sure you have good hiking boots.

Personally, I'd do the Grand Canyon at the beginning of the trip.
- Las Vegas
- South Rim of the Grand Canyon
- Goulding's or hotel in Kayenta, Monument Valley
- Arches
- Bryce
- Zion
- Las Vegas
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Old Jan 22nd, 2011, 05:52 PM
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I did a similar trip 8/10. I suggest you give yourself a full day at Bryce and another full day to enjoy the drive from Bryce to Moab. We actually made that a two day drive (stayed in Torrey) with lots of stops for hiking, picture taking, and hunting for petrified wood along the way. The Bureau of Land Management in Hanksville was really helpful with telling where to look for petrified wood and helping to identify rocks.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2011, 06:44 PM
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Definitely reserve ahead of time for Monument Valley. There's only two places to stay near there - Gouldings and The View. I made my reservation last April for a trip the following September, and even with five months notice only a few rooms were still available.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2011, 11:03 PM
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Thanks a lot for your advice!!

sttars : I would better prepare hiking boots. thanks. Is there any reason to begin Grand Canyon first??


Skippyjo : Thanks!! I should reschedule a little bit!!
If I take your advice.. I will need to add one more day, right??


Shanti : Thanks!! I should be hurry to make a reservation!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 05:48 AM
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I wonder whether I have to make a reservation for every accommodation or just walk in any motel.

In late Feb most of the hotels are lucky to be much more than half full so you can wait and still get a room. Possibly Gouldings might fill up because they are popular with tour busses but I doubt there will be tours in Feb, and if Gouldings is filled (most years there's a 50% discount in the winter because it's so empty compared to summer) then you can stay half hour away in Mexican Hat or Kayenta, which will always have openings except for the busiest times of the summer.

I've stayed at Gouldings several times in the winter and usually it was about half full.

The potential problem with booking/paying in advance is that you may run into a big winter storm that closes roads, especially at Bryce and Grand Canyon (which are higher elevation). So I would only book ahead if the hotel/lodge has a friendly cancellation policy.

Lots of empty rooms in Springdale (Zion), Moab (Arches, Canyonlands), Kayenta (MV) and at the Grand Canyon in late Feb. Ruby's Inn just outside Bryce is another large hotel that seems to have plenty of winter rooms.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 08:25 AM
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I agree with Bill H, it would be ok to wait until very close to the time of the trip to decide which way to do the loop. Then go on www.weather.com and inquire about the 10 day forecast for the areas you are interested in. If they show snow when you would like to be in one of the areas, go the other way.

You even can wait for lodging in the park most likely. I've had rooms last minute in Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon even as late as April. For Monument Valley, if you can't stay at the View or Gouldings, there are motels in Kayenta, a few minutes down the road. There are tons of places to stay in the Moab area.


By the way, the National parks let you cancel without penalty up to 48 hours before your stay If I remember correctly. And get a Park pass at your first park.
Have a great trip.
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