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DDeBevoise Feb 3rd, 2006 07:07 AM

Grand Canyon and Yellowstone
I would appreciate any advice and recommendations.

We are planning a family (2 adults, 3 children - 16,12,10) "out west" vacation. We hope to do both Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.

Our itenary looks like this - arrive
Jun. 5 - Las Vegas
Jun. 6 - Grand Canyon North Rim
Jun. 7 - GC NR
Jun. 8 - GC NR
Jun. 9 - Mt. Zion
Jun. 10 - Salt Lake City
Jun. 11 - Yellowstone Old Faithful
Jun. 12 - Yellowstone Old Faithful
Jun. 13 - Yellowstone - Roosevelt Cabin
Jun. 14 - Yellowstone - Roosevelt Cabin
Jun. 15 - Salt Lake City
Jun. 16. - Las Vegas

I have the rooms reserved at Grand Canyon an Yellowstone, but there is a little flexibility.

My basic questions:
Does it look "do able?"
Are 2 or 3 nights enough at Grand Canyon NR?
Should we try 2 nights at Zion?
Any suggestions on breaking up the trip between Grand Canyon and Yellowstone?
Or sights along the way?

Due to age and activities of children etc. we don't expect we will get another shot at "family trip" out west any summers from now on.

Thanks for any help or advice!

Dayle Feb 3rd, 2006 08:22 AM

Hi D,

I think you are greatly underestimating the driving this requires. If you MUST do these two parks, you should fly into Las Vegas and out of either Jackson or SLC. Why backtrack all the way to Las Vegas?

Really, you would do better to do either a southern parks trip ( GC, Bryce, Zion) in and out of Las Vegas, or a northern trip (Grand Tetons, Yellowstone).

Your current plan will not leave you much time IN Yellowstone. Utahtean can give you all the driving milage. I live here and go more by driving time.

Zion to SLC is 5 hours
SLC to Old Faithful is 6 hours
Roosevelt to SLC is longer

I think you kids will be much happier with less driving.

Ida101 Feb 3rd, 2006 08:36 AM

Be aware that on North Rim there is still a chance of snow around the rim etc. So maybe you better do Gr. Canyon shorter (2N) or on the return. There is just 1 hotel/restaurant with cabins, and a campground, nothing else to do. It is much quieter than the South Rim. Hopefully you can make some nice walks., to early to say now.
Also Yellowstone-SLC takes really the whole day, again the next day to Las vegas.
Your children must like to be in a car all day, otherwise this is far too much in too few days!!!!

HowardR Feb 3rd, 2006 08:37 AM

I agree with Dayle about departing from Jackson. I'd drop Salt Lake City and Las Vegas and add a day or two in the Grand Teton.

DDeBevoise Feb 3rd, 2006 07:35 PM

Thanks for the sound advice. The problem with a multi city flight is the cost of the one way car rental. Now how do we decide which trip to try to do - Yellowstone/GT vs. Grand Canyon/Bryce/Mt. Zion? Do you think early June is a better time of year for one or the other? I saw Utahtea describe a very interesting southern parks loop on another post/thread.

Thanks again for you input.

utahtea Feb 3rd, 2006 08:09 PM

You won't go wrong with either of the two areas, they are both fantastic examples of natures wonders.

You could really see all of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons on a 12 day trip.

Here's a suggestion for a SW tour:

Jun 5 Las Vegas

Jun 6 South Rim, Grand Canyon (I prefer the S. Rim. I think it's has the better views and more different views)

Jun 7 Grand Canyon

Jun 8 Lake Powell at Page, AZ, (take time to enjoy the scenic overlooks as you exit the Grand Canyon. Once in Page, do Upper Antelope Slots Canyon tour out of Page, AZ. Do Horseshoe Bend hike (3/4 mile)

June 9 Float trip on Colorado River out of Page, AZ or boat tour on Lake Powell. If neither of these interest you, then move on to Bryce instead of spending extra night.

June 10 Bryce Canyon National Park

June 11 Bryce Canyon National Park

June 12 drive scenic Hwy 12 to Torrey, UT. See Capitol Reef National Park

June 13 Zion National Park

June 14 Zion National Park

June 15 (add one day to Grand Canyon if you wanted to hike down into canyon, or add one day to Page if you wanted to do both float trip and boat tour, or add extra day to Torrey to enjoy more of Capitol Reef or add extra day to Zion.

June 16 Zion in morning and then drive the 3 hours to Las Vegas to spend the night.

Is there any reason why you aren't including the weekends of June 3 & 4th and June 17th and 18th onto your trip?


DDeBevoise Feb 4th, 2006 07:50 AM

Thanks Utahtea. I really enjoyed the pictures of your trips on your web post.
A couple of questions: Do you need to spend 2 nights in Paige if you want to do the float trip? Is the float trip just that? Pretty calm water? Could Capitol Reef be a day trip out of Zion or BC?
Due to jobs we have to work around weekends.

Thanks again, Dan

utahtea Feb 4th, 2006 09:51 AM

The float trip is in rafts that are motorized so you move pretty quickly over the 14 miles of river. This is calm water. They stop frequently to tell you about each section. If you were to get a morning float trip you are back at Page, AZ by 1:30 P.M. and could easily make it to Bryce that same day.

You could make a day trip of Hwy 12 to Capitol Reef from Bryce. Plan on this taking ALL day. I think it would really be pushing it from Zion.


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