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Grand Canyon South Rim, Bryce, Zion, June - Activities

Grand Canyon South Rim, Bryce, Zion, June - Activities

May 6th, 2013, 06:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 96
Grand Canyon South Rim, Bryce, Zion, June - Activities

Hi Everyone!

I can't believe it is time to book my trip in a few weeks! I've been asking for advice here for several years and it's finally only a year away! I've wanted to visit the Grand Canyon my entire life - I'm certain that has something to do with the Brady Bunch - but I'm not entirely sure. I'm drawn to the southwest. I visited Phoenix and Sedona twice in my 20's, and I only wish I'd made the effort to go to the Grand Canyon then!

Anyway, This how my trip is shaping up:
Two adults, 40ish. Three kids, 11, 10, and 10 at time of travel.

We will fly from Chicago to Las Vegas. I will get an early flight. I want to hit Hoover Dam - should we go from the airport to Hoover Dam? And then drive to the Grand Canyon? Is that going to be too much for one day?

I want to hit the GC first, because I think Zion will be the most fun - and I think we should do the parks in order from least fun to most fun (from a kid, activity) perspective.

My thought was two nights at the GC. The first night, we'll probably get there late (after flying and visiting Hoover Dam and driving over?). Get up in the morning and Check out the overlooks. Take the shuttle up and down? Eat. I found a place to rent bikes - that is something we would all enjoy. I wonder if I need another day here, now?

Then, move on to Bryce. I thought we'd do a good hike at Bryce one day, and perhaps a horse ride on a second day? Or maybe reverse those (are we going to have issues with the elevation?). (Two nights at Bryce)

Then, Zion - I have three nights in mind for Zion. One day, I'd like to rent gear from Zion Adventure Company and hike the Narrows. On the second day, I'd like to tube on the Virgin River (with Zion Adventure). It will be hot in Zion - and I think the kids would LOVE both of those activities. Then, the third morning, we can get up and head back to Vegas for a flight home. Would this be a better time to hit the Hoover Dam?

Does that seem like a decent itinerary? Do you see anything glaring about what we should drop or add? We're thinking a nice 7 day trip, with those three parks - and then if we fall in love - we can come back and do more. Thanks for any thoughts or input!
gnomemom is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,123
Between GC and Bryce you may want to spend part of a day in Page.

When the sun is high in the sky hike (3/4 mile flat with no shade) to Horseshoe Bend. Just be careful with the kids as the end has no screen, fence or barrier. Just 1000 ft down. The hike is very flat and easy. Just make sure you have hats and sunscreen. Allow and hour or so for this.

Then Antelope Canyon. They're 10 minutes from each other. Allow a couple of hours for this.
Myer is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,020
I agree. Actually, Page is worth a couple of nights. Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, float trip and/or Lake Powell boat trip. On the way from the GC, stop at the Cameron Trading Post for browsing and lunch (have the Navajo Taco).
MikePinTucson is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
I can't remember if you said your kids were adventurous or not, or afraid of heights. It would be a shame to miss Angels Landing(if you or they like that sort of thing). I wouldn't let them do that on their own. And if they are the kind of kids that don't listen/act silly, then don't do AL at all. It is still probably my very favorite hike. The Narrows and Navajo Loop/Queens Garden do rank right up there too.
Canyoneering from Zion Adventure CO would be another awesome adventure.

I think you have a good plan. You could add a day or two for Page as Mike and Myer indicate

You will fall in love, then you'll be back to do Hwy 12 and Arches or perhaps hike or raft the GC.

At least you should be able to get the exact lodging you want. Call when the moment they open up for reservations. I waited 4 hours the other day before I tried Yellowstone. I was shocked to find one of the places I wanted was already full on a specific date I wanted. It still worked out for me though.
spirobulldog is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 09:25 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
As long as your flight arrives reasonably early, hitting the Hoover Dam on the way to GC should work. You only have one full day at the GC and visiting the different viewpoints will pretty much eat up that day, so I don't think you'll have time to also rent bikes. Your idea of adding another day here is not a bad one. If you added a day, you could rent bikes in the morning, have lunch, hit some viewpoints in the afternoon. Then the second day I'd suggest including a hike down into the canyon on the Bright Angel trail... of course, i don't think you'll want to do the entire trail to the bottom, but hiking down even just a few hundred feet gives a very different perspective of the canyon. Then enjoy some different viewpoints you didn't get to, and of course sunset.

I know others like Page, but seems like your itinerary is already very full with the national parks. No need to add more. Sounds like a great trip. Have fun!
msteacher is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 09:27 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
And no, you won't have elevation issues at Bryce.
msteacher is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,123
They probably won't get sick (though some people might) due to the elevation in Bryce but they'll definitely feel the elevation hiking back up to the rim from down in the hoodoos.
Myer is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Buy a National Park Pass on entrance to your first park (good for 1 year)
spirobulldog is offline  
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