Grand Canyon trips with 3 teens

Jan 12th, 2012, 02:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,070
ZMR appears to be midway between Springdale and the Mt Carmel junction. That puts you about 1.5 hours from Bryce Canyon.

Staying there you can forget about seeing the Bryce Pt sunrise.

You really don't want to be driving in the dark in that part of the country. Animals could be crossing the road and it's probably no fun hitting them.

Things are quite spread out and driving takes time.

While I usually try to stay in a place at least 2 nights, it's not always practical.

I've never been to the North Rim so I don't know how much time you'll need. I don't know if it's practical to get there some time in the morning and leave by late afternoon. Others will have to comment on that.

I would just make sure to spend one night at Bryce and at least the better part of two days at Zion.

In Sedona my favorite, scenic hikes are Broken Arrow and Boynton Canyon Vista.

You're taking the Broken Arrow Pink Jeep tour so that accounts for Broken Arrow.

Don't confuse Boynton Canyon Vista with the full (and in my opinion boring) Boynton Canyon.

At the start of the Boynton Canyon hike there's a cutoff to the Vista. It's a Vortex sight (look up Sedona Vortex for an in depth explanation). It's short and very scenic.

Something else you may want to do for both of your evenings. In my opinion the best sunsets are

1) Crescent Moon Picnic area. You have to find the view of Cathedral Rock with Oak Creek in the foreground. Get there an hour before sunset, ask at the entrance where the view is, and watch the sun shine on Cathedral Rock and it starts to turn golden.

2) The view at the airport is popular but in my opinion way, way down.

My favorite sunrise is Bryce Canyon and my favorite sunsets are Delicate Arch at Arches NP and Cathedral Rock over Oak Creek.
Myer is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 04:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
I've found a place called the Zion Mountain Ranch which states you can reach all three spots from there. True? Difficult?

True, but all three are inconvenient to ZMR (figure as much as an hour drive each way), you would be much better off staying either in the parks or, for Zion and Bryce (if you can't get in-park lodging), just outside.
Bill_H is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 04:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I agree with Myer and Bill_H on the lodging. If you can get your family to only unpack the clothes they will wear the next day and repack the things that they have on, then the hotel changes are much easier.

The drive to Vegas to Hoover Dam should take only an hour or so, but with security and/or traffic can be longer. If you plan to do a tour I would not want to do a drive all the way to Sedona unless you are on west coast time.
emalloy is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 454
We were there two years ago, when my twins were 12 years old. We stayed at Yavapai, which I recommend. The cafeteria at Yavapai is very adequate, many choices and not crowded.

Our favorite thing to do there was bike riding. There was a kiosk where you can rent bikes very close to the rim. They give you a map and drive you out west of the main village area. Then you can bike along the road and bike trails in almost complete solitude, at your own pace, with gorgeous views of the canyon all along the way. Then they pick you up at the agreed upon spot. It was great. I hope they are still there. Can't remember the name of the company that did this.

We also hiked partway down into the canyon (maybe 1 1/2 or 2 miles; it was July and hot). We also enjoyed just walking along the rim in the village area, and ducking into all the buildings and hotels and gift shops just to see what's there. People watching (and listening to all the languages) is really neat too.
kansasmom is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Best option,IMOP
Stay "in park"

Option 2
Stay @ Rubys while in Bryce if you can't get into Bryce Lodge
Stay in Springdale while in Zion if you can't get into the Zion Lodge

Option 3
Anything else is probably not a good option

For the North and South Rim-staying at one of the lodges there is really the only option.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 07:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 64
If you had to choose between staying two nights at the south rim at Yavapai Lodge or two nights on the north rim in a pioneer cabin. Which would you choose? We will not be hiking to the bottom or riding mules, so that should not factor into the equation.
workingonthebucket is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 08:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 64
I'm finding it hard to fit everything into the schedule. Should I just skip Sedona? By doing so, it allows me to focus our trip more in a loop: LV, GC, Page, Bryce, Zion then back to LV.
workingonthebucket is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 10:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,414
Forget my replies on your other threads. You have plenty of advice here.
MichelleY is offline  
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